Hush-kit readers voted for the best looking fighter aircraft currently in production. Silence please as we open the golden envelope.
Bronze award: Saab Gripen
Though somewhat anodyne compared with Saab’s earlier Viggen, the perky Gripen is well proportioned, with a pleasing canopy and nicely shaped canards. The petite jet nozzle is pleasantly dainty.
Silver: Dassault Rafale
The best-looking Western fighter is, of course, the Dassault Rafale. A distinctive Y-shaped cross section, sensual lines and a touch of the TF-102 combine in a stylish and predatory form.
And the winner is……………
Gold: Sukhoi Su-35
Bill Sweetman noted how the ‘Flanker’ “looks incomparably bad-ass, as if God designed a pterodactyl to go Mach 2.”, the latest member of the family continues this tradition. The bird-like bend to the ‘Flanker’s forward fuselage gives it a noble and almost living appearance. The fuselage/wing blending lends its shape an integrity that most other fighters lack.
It also helps that the Su-35 is unsurpassed at airshow gymnastics (though the MiG-29OVT may be on a par).
Booby prizes in this category goes to the F-35B which looks like somebody force-fed a filing cabinet to the runt of a F-22 litter.