Hush-Kit Top Ten: The ten best-looking French aircraft

Bonjour. As we all (should) know, the first people to fly were French; Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier and François Laurent d’Arlandes popped aloft in 1783. On completing the world’s first flight by humans, they drank champagne, and were soon forgotten by the non-French world.  To this day France continues to be a nation that’s good at building flying machines. Whereas Britain was great at piston-engined aircraft and crap at jets, France was the opposite and only really came into its own in the 1950s.

Today, France is one of only two European nations that build indigenous high performance aircraft (the other is Sweden). Let’s take two minutes to look at some of the extraordinarily beautiful aeroplanes that France has made.

If you enjoy this, have a look at the top ten British, Australian,  Soviet and German aeroplanes. Wanting Something a little more exotic? Try the top ten fictional aircraft.

10. Breguet 1001 Taon

9. Dassault-Breguet Mystère 20

8. Caudron C.460 Rafale7. Sud-Ouest SO.8000 Narval6. SNCASE SE.161 Languedoc

5. Dassault Mirage 4000

4. Bugatti Model 100P Racer

3. Sud Aviation Caravelle

2. Dassault Mirage 2000

1. Dassault Mirage IV

  If you enjoyed this, have  a look at the top ten British, French, Swedish, Australian,  Soviet and German aeroplanes. Wanting Something a little more exotic? Try the top ten fictional aircraft.

27 comments

  1. Pingback: Hush-kit Top Ten: The ten best-looking British aircraft « hushkit
  2. Thomas

    Yes, it’s right. The Mirage IV would top a list of best-looking aircraft of any origin and generation. If the delta makes for the ‘perfect’ aircraft look, then the MIV is the perfect delta (Convair never got it quite right, and the Vulcan was spoiled as soon as the wing got a kink in it…)
    Ugly French aircraft on the other hand… where to start?

  3. Thomas

    Oh, and the ‘looker’ who opens this article, together with Air France Caravelle III Champage (F-JTQ), is, ironically enough, British, of course.

  4. Thomas

    There was some slack spelling there as I was holding a baby. Caravelle III ‘Champagne’ was F-BJTQ.

  5. Jason

    Good choices.

    However, Britain has not been rubbish at building good jets. For every successful French type, there’s at least 2 British ones.
    Ie: Meteor, Vampire, Venom, Swift, Javelin, Hunter, Harrier, Buccaneer, Nimrod, Lightning, Canberra, Comet, Vulcan, Victor, VC10, TSR2 (never saw service, but the prototypes were fantastic), Trident.

    The most beautiful jet of all is an Anglo-French design though – the Concord.

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