What is your favourite aircraft? Top 10 aircraft of our readers (vote now)

Just for illustrative purposes – you may have ANY aircraft. It does not have to be in this image.  

Hush-Kit is eight years old today, here’s what we’re doing to celebrate.

What do you love? The thunderous naan triangle that was the Avro Vulcan? The evil insectoid menace of the Apache? Or perhaps the elegant beauty of the de Havilland Comet racer?

 

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Tiger Typhoon

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The arrogant brutality of the Thunderchief is appealing…but then so is the industrial madness of the MiG-25 or the batshit eccentricity of the Wyvern. You can choose absolutely any aircraft. Have a think, make this impossible choice and pop your answer in the comment section below. 

Let us know your favourite aircraft in the comments section below and after a month (closing date 23/5/2020) we’ll tally the votes and assemble a top ten with a quirky history of each type that is included in the list. 

 

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“If you have any interest in aviation, you’ll be surprised, entertained and fascinated by Hush-Kit – the world’s best aviation blog”. Rowland White, author of the best-selling ‘Vulcan 607’

I’ve selected the richest juiciest cuts of Hush-Kit, added a huge slab of new unpublished material, and with Unbound, I want to create a beautiful coffee-table book. Pre-order your copy now right here  

 

TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT PRE-ORDER YOUR COPY NOW

From the cocaine, blood and flying scarves of World War One dogfighting to the dark arts of modern air combat, here is an enthralling ode to these brutally exciting killing machines.

The Hush-Kit Book of Warplanes is a beautifully designed, highly visual, collection of the best articles from the fascinating world of military aviation –hand-picked from the highly acclaimed Hush-kit online magazine (and mixed with a heavy punch of new exclusive material). It is packed with a feast of material, ranging from interviews with fighter pilots (including the English Electric Lightning, stealthy F-35B and Mach 3 MiG-25 ‘Foxbat’), to wicked satire, expert historical analysis, top 10s and all manner of things aeronautical, from the site described as:

“the thinking-man’s Top Gear… but for planes”.

The solid well-researched information about aeroplanes is brilliantly combined with an irreverent attitude and real insight into the dangerous romantic world of combat aircraft.

FEATURING

  • Interviews with pilots of the F-14 Tomcat, Mirage, Typhoon, MiG-25, MiG-27, English Electric Lighting, Harrier, F-15, B-52 and many more.
  • Engaging Top (and bottom) 10s including: Greatest fighter aircraft of World War II, Worst British aircraft, Worst Soviet aircraft and many more insanely specific ones.
  • Expert analysis of weapons, tactics and technology.
  • A look into art and culture’s love affair with the aeroplane.
  • Bizarre moments in aviation history.
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The book will be a stunning object: an essential addition to the library of anyone with even a passing interest in the high-flying world of warplanes, and featuring first-rate photography and a wealth of new world-class illustrations.

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132 comments

  1. GeoffG

    Vickers Valiant B Mk 2. Only one was built, but it should have been far more. With RR Conway engines of 20,500 lb thrust it was more suited to the role that was later given to the Vulcan.

  2. Jack Jones

    The P39 Airacobra an insane engineering airplane with a door, the reinforced cockpit mid-engine and the driveshaft running through the pilots legs, and if it had been delivered as designed would have been a fairly advanced fighter for its time. So advanced, but hobbled by procurement clerks still managed to make a contribution with the Soviets and in the Pacific.

    • russell1200

      Two votes for Aircobra.

      The recently released -The Bell P-39 Airacobra and P-63 Kingcobra Fighters: Soviet Service during World War II – Gordon, Yefim, Komissarov, Dmitriy, Komissarov, Sergey adds a lot to the Soviet service history.

      Similar to the P-38, it was a dog in one theater of the war, and a world beater in another. The Soviets worked with Bell to get a lot of minor bugs out, but it was mostly just being used in a way more suitable to its design.

  3. Lee Thornton

    I know it’s like the flying equivalent of that Granada Ghia that John Thaw drove in The Sweeney, but the F4 Phantom has always done it for me.

  4. Martin Dice

    Bloom und Voss BV 141.
    For sheer weirdness and as a manifestation of Doktor Vogt’s fixation with asymmetry.

  5. TD

    The JF-17 is, under no uncertain terms, a mutt.

    It’s a bastard, the beast of three nations – seven if you count the other countries which contributed their technology in some way or another.

    In it beats a Russian heart, the electricity it generates powering an American brain and nervous system. On wings of steel mined from the lands of the Baloch and glass fibre imported from ChongQing rest a truly multinational armament – American PGMs bought conditionally, Italian missiles and French anti-runway munitions licensed mostly-freely (and built in China, duly).

    It can carry everything you’ll ever need – laser-guided rockets, EO and radar guided air to surface missiles, glide bombs and JSOWs, drop tanks and ASELPOD. It has short legs – no mistake about that – but between air-to-air refueling and the enemy on the doorstep it doesn’t have to go far. 2,300 kilograms of fuel and a top-off from a KC-130 is enough to make it to the LOC, loose a pair of JSOWs and be back in time for tea.

    There’s no elegance to its design, no fancy contours dreamed by artisans or brutalist industrial might made corporeal. It’s not a hellduck, it’s not a Foxglove. The cockpit is all-glass, the controls are digital fly-by-wire. It has the boring style and the absolute pragmatism of a Leatherman multitool. And it doesn’t pretend otherwise.

    The JF-17. It’s a small fish in big lake, with large teeth and bigger bite. It’s an underdog, and who doesn’t love an underdog story?

  6. Stephen Jolly

    The Beardmore Inflexible – arguably the best name ever given to an aircraft, and it holds an important position in the development of British aeronautical engineering.

  7. Martin "The Mess" Hohner

    Normally I’d say something like the F4U Corsair or Panavia Tornado. But this being Hush-Kit, I gotta go with a weird and wonderful failed prototype aircraft of some sort, so it’s gonna be the XB-70 Valkyrie. The plane that most looked like it should be on some ’70s sci-fi TV series as an alien space battlecruiser.

  8. Bob Henke

    The B-58 Hustler…It still looks modern and menacing 60 years after it was designed. Way WAY ahead of its time.

    It also scared the crap out of me as a young boy as it flew over Milwaukee Wisconsin in the middle of the night at Mach 2 in the early 60s on practice bombing missions! Many windows were cracked and nerves were frazzled before the practice was stopped.

  9. MAxxx

    10. Bell-Boeing V-22
    9. de Havilland DH. 110 Sea Vixen
    8. Sukhoi Su-47 Berkut
    7. Arado Ar.234 Blitz
    6. Scaled Composites ARES
    5. Martin P6M SeaMaster
    4.Handley Page Victor
    3. Sukhoi T-10 (Su-27)
    2. Focke-Wulf Fw 200
    1. North American XB-70 Valkyrie

  10. David Ortega

    I don’t intend to be THAT Saab fanboy, but the Draken is some beautiful warbird. Besides the looks, it was ground-breaking in both systems and aerodynamics, all from a small country and with mostly native technology

  11. Siddharth

    Ok so… late 1930’s – 1940 is my fav. era; inlines over radials, and beautiful noses… the P-40 does it for me. Overall, a far more fluid and balanced design than the Spitfire, I mean take away those elliptical wings and what you have is a vanilla ice cream with a hideous vertical tail (haha boy do I have a deathwish). TBH the Griffin marks with the broader fins and bubble canopies were lovely and the Seafang was *gorgeous* but then so was the P-40Q, so… this is the hill I die on.

  12. EKSelenc

    I’m involved in the avionics and aircraft systems development in Russia, full-time, Dept. Chief Designer as of now.

    Came to love aviation in all of its forms over the past years, love many flying things all across the spectrum – from Mi-28 to the Rafale, from C-5 to the 747.

    But THE favourite aircraft has always been the P-51D. I’ve never been more entranced than its balance, agility and sheer performance did for me back in youth.

  13. Jeff

    The Supermarine Seagull Type 381. A Rolls Royce Griffon driving contra-rotating props on a catapult launched amphibian? Yes, please.

    • jim smith

      When I first worked at RAE there were about 20 Seagull tail assemblies out the back of Structures Dept. Presumably having been used in research on fatigue. Disappeared somewhere around ’76.

  14. David

    F/A-18…the descendant of a lovely and wonderful lineage,the one and only,the navy multi-role to rule them all…

  15. Scott M STERGIOS

    SR71 Blackbird. Still top of the class! Closely followed by A10. I gotta say I like everyone else’s choices too

  16. christopherheiny

    There are so many, many possibilities, for so many reasons. But if there is just one plane to put in the garden where I could look at it every day, it would be the Lockheed XP-38. Gawdammmm… that thing is beautiful!

  17. Lucas Welby

    It’s a struggle for me, Tomcat, Eagle or Flanker… but will have to go with SR-71 if I only get one choice.

  18. bleary123

    AH64 Apache.

    Uncompromising, ugly, beautiful.

    (Except for the Lolbow which spoils everything with that ridiculous Swiss Cheese)

    • Bill Bailey

      I might add, that of the 317 Widgeons and SCAN 30s built between 60 and 75 are still flying to 80 years after the first flight, try matching that with all of your fighters and bombers.

  19. Jim Smith

    Favourite aircraft: Handley-Page Victor
    Hands down on looks and presence.

    Favourite aircraft I have flown: CAP10, narrowly over the Chipmunk

    Favourite of the programs I worked on: Typhoon

  20. Thatdude253

    Oh dear, this is so difficult! Probably the MiG-23, specifically the late model MLA and MLD, though the eccentric crappiness of the early generation Floggers is neat in and of itself.

  21. Vikram Puttanna

    de havilland dh.88 comet. Form follows function and by God, what a beautiful form. Asthetically the most beautiful airplane ever designed imo.

  22. phuzz

    I suspect that if I tried to think of a top ten list, it would end up being at least twice that long, but if I have to pick just one, I’m going to say the De Havilland Vampire.
    Simple, attractive, widely used, abit hampered slightly by being a very early jet.

  23. Hotel Yamato

    What? Nobody has voted for the Saab 37 Viggen yet? Am I the only guy here with real good taste? So disappointing. (go Viggen!)

  24. 4Star

    On looks yf23, but I would go for f117. So much mystery about stealth, and when revealed looked so different from the f19 model kits I had built.

    • Matt D

      I remember when they had one of these on ground display at the Mildenhall Air Show and it was one of the only planes I ever saw there that had armed guards and a solid fence around it, rather than a rope. It does make you wonder what the debates were among the higher-ups before they let it appear, as that was a solution that surely satisfied nobody.

  25. Prof. Anthrax

    The F-4 Phantom II
    Seeing my dad;s Vietnam pictures as an Air Force Phantom mechanic got the airplane bug going.

  26. Herzogs Pusher

    Late model lightning with long belly, overwing tanks and looking well used. It might be an obvious favourite now for those, especially for those who have commemorative RAF plates on their walls but back in the 80s it felt like an oddball choice as a favourite. They were being phased out when I was 8 and the rest of the world focused on Fulcrums and Falcons and no Lightning ever appearing in any game. But it was then that I had my first airfix model, a Lightning, a copy of dad’s aviation magazine with a Lightning on the front with a peeling front radome and streaked bodywork. That year was my first airshow at Leuchars where we drove in a queue past a series of dismantled lightnings in various stages of scrap. I think I liked it especially as it doesn’t look like an aggressive killing machine, but more innocent or strange even, perhaps a supersonic flying trout? I’m similarly drawn to EAW gannets, with bulbous parts and stained, patched panels. As with most things, childhood experiences inform the choice.

  27. BC

    The de Havilland Mosquito! Too bad they put all those Merlins in Lancasters – coulda had a fleet of Mossies!

  28. ZAIL COFFMAN

    When I graduated from high school a Cavalier 2000 (cleaned up and deluxed P-51D) was available for $20,000. Boy did I miss out on that, best deal and best airplane.

  29. David A. Beck

    I love the SR-71. The sinuous curves and looks like nothing else combined with staggering performance.

  30. Toby

    Blackburn Buccaneer. Preferably howling over the desert at a ridiculously low altitude on a Red Flag exercise.

    • Brett

      My second choice was the B1. Saw a low high speed pass with wings back that scared hell out of me. Truly a bomber for the end of the world.

  31. Kirk

    I’m tempted to say the F-4E, but while it was (and still is) one of the best fighters ever built, it wasn’t really nice to fly, compared to the F-104 and F-16 that I was also lucky enough to try out. So my choice goes a different way: The Republic XP-72. Big, powerful, just looks perfect. If those stupid suck and blow jets hadn’t shown up to ruin the day, it would have been an awesome fighter.

  32. Pingback: The Ten Greatest Biplane Fighters | Hush-Kit
  33. Andy Elms

    Lockheed C-130, for two reasons. Having worked in an office in Wroughton, they were a familiar sight and sound

    Secondly, the bonkers bells-and-whistles variation that was W2 “Snoopy”

  34. Carlo

    The Concorde.
    Might not have made much economic sense, but it was one of the most beautiful machines ever built. And I bet that if it was built today, it would still be considered ahead of its time.

  35. Tom

    I’m getting this in just under the wire! There are a lot of contenders, but for me it has to be the P-39 Airacobra. It’s such a wonderfully weird, unappreciated aircraft, with one of the most interesting careers in aviation.

  36. Michael Christensen

    A-6 Intruder, you name it, it could haul it at any time of day or night and in any weather conditions. Plus I worked on her for many years, every plane was older than I was.

  37. Nate

    The F4 Corsair. A difficult choice to pick just one from so many favorites, but waiting to the last minute might put the Corsair on top. A long and compelling history from WWII Pacific to the world’s last piston and prop aerial combat and a lot of interesting stories in between from FAA service to French service in Africa. It’s varied and somewhat improbable history after WWII makes it a great HushKit aircraft pick.

  38. shashank

    MiG 29 for me. Clean lines, sports car performance, rough around the edges yet managing to look slick and sophisticated.The stuff aviation fantasies are made of.

  39. Walter Sobchak

    The A-12 ‘Oxcart’, really for me any Blackbird variant. Kelly Johnson at his finest. Astonishing performance, speed and altitude with endurance. Nothing else even comes close!

  40. prairieaviator

    The more I think about it, the more favourites I come up with. Almost everything can be a favourite for some reason or another. But, if I’m forced to pick just one, I have to stay true to my homeland and go with the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. Big, beautiful, fast, and years ahead of the competition in so many ways. She was the Canadian aviation industry at its finest.

  41. prairieaviator

    The longer I think about it, the more favourites I come up with. To be honest, almost anything could be a favourite in some way or another. But, if I’m forced to pick just one, I have to stay true to my homeland and go with the Avro Canada CF-105 Arrow. Big, beautiful, fast, and years ahead of the competition in so many ways. She was the Canadian aviation industry at its finest.

  42. schurem

    Ooh such a hard choice. Spitfire? Fokker dr.1? F-14? Of the perennial viper, the F-16, with its sexy curves and awesome dogfighting prowess? The beautiful flanker? The strange awesomeness of the XB-70?

    As much as I love warplanes, in the end it’s a “commercial” jet that takes the cake for me: Concorde. For looks, story, design and aerodynamic achievement it’s just way ahead of the pack.

  43. Domhnall Ryan

    Honourable mentions to the Spitifre Mk.IX, Buccaneer S2, A-12, CV-990 and Mirages IV and 2000C, but can only pick one, so JA 37 Viggen. Preferably operating in its natural habitat off a backroad in Lapland.

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