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GREATEST AIRPLANES (1903-1978)

    History was made on December 17, 1903, for on that day on the wind-swept sand dunes of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, the Wright brothers completed the first powered airplane flight.   This historic achievement ushered in a new era - an era of incredibly rapid progress during which brave men and women conquered the skies and began venture beyond the earth and into space.

This section commemorating the 75 th anniversary of the Wright brothers' first flight - honors the 50 greatest planes in the aviation history as chosen by a distinguished International board of advisers consisting of the world's most honored aviation pioneers.  Included are General James H. Doolittle, one of the most brilliant flyers ever to take wing;  Britain's dean of aircraft designers Sir Barnes Wallis, inventor of the swing - wing jet; General Adolph Galland, the great German fighter pilot and leader; and France's Pierre Clostermann, a renowned pilot and world-famous author.

The planes selected by this International Board are the subjects of the following pages.  The significance of each of these planes-from the Wright brothers' fragile "Flyer I"  to the latest supersonic jet - is explained in detail.   This section traces the first 75 productive years of aviation history.  It spans the period from 1903 through two world wars, when pilots battled for control of the sky, to 1978, when any point on earth can be reached in only a few hours by air .

Wright Flyer I

Santos-Dumont Demoiselle

Blériot XI

The Deperdussin Monocoque

Sikorsky Le Grand

1915 Fokker E-1

Avro 504 J

Sopwith Camel

Junkers J.1

Handley Page 0/400

Fokker DR-1

Fokker D-VII

Vickers Vimy

Navy Curtiss (NC-4)

De Havilland Moth

Fokker F-VII

Ryan NYP

Dornier DO-X

Savoia-Marchetti S-55

Piper Cub

Lockheed Vega

Gee Bee R-1 Douglas DC-3 Boeing B-17 Messerschmitt BF-109
Junkers JU-87 Short C Class Flying Boat Spitfire Mitsubishi Karigane Ant-25
Heinkel HE-178 Ilyushin II-2 Stormovik Focke-Wulf 190 Mitsubishi Zero North American P-51 Mustang
Avro Lancaster Boeing B-29 Lockheed Constellation Bell X-1 Mikoyan MIG-15
F-86 Sabre De Havilland Comet De Havilland Beaver Boeing 707 Fiat G.91
Dassault Mirage III McDonnell F-4 Phantom Sud-Caravelle Mikoyan Mig-25 Foxbat Concorde

 


The preceding information was extracted from the pamphlet,
"The Great Airplanes Sterling Silver Miniature Collection", published by The Franklin Mint, 1979.
Permission was granted to ALLSTAR by The Franklin Mint to use the preceding materials.
 
ALLSTAR maintains the copyright for the format in which the material is presented.


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Updated: 12 March, 2004