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#1 Ricky

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 07:20 AM

I just thought it might be interesting to discuss what, in your view, is the most successful plane ever. I have deliberately left the parameters open, so you can base it on anything from numbers produced, length of service, how widespread its use was, its abilities in the role, its versatility, or any other criteria(s).

For me, I quite like the Tiger Moth. A 1930s light biplane it was widely used, had a host of imitators and is still in relatively widespread civil use.

#2 Flo

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 08:03 PM

Fairey Swordfish. (Insert devil smiley here!)

Hugely successful in its intended torpedo bomber role. A few highlights were crippling the Bismarck and the Vittorio Veneto in war at sea strikes, devastating the Italian fleet at Taranto and striking relentlessly at Axis merchant shipping from Norway to the Indian Ocean.#

Very useful as a bomber. Destroying the Oil storage facilities at Taranto kept all but one of the Italians battleships confined to port until June '42. Stringbags terrorised the Med and North Africa for most of the war. The fact that there were, in theory, much better attack aircraft in the world was little consolation to Axis sailors and troops for the fact that, in reality, they were about to wear a ton and a half of iron bombs courtesy of a machine that looked like it should have been parked up in a museum somewhere!

Great foul weather aircraft. It was just about the only thing that could fly on most days in the Norwegian Sea. Placid handling made it ideal for use from the various types of light and escort carriers the Commonwealth Navies operated, almost regardless of sea state.

Immensely versatile. 'Stringbag' is a reference to the British housewife’s shopping bag, which is another way to say that a Swordfish could carry just about anything. Depth charges, bombs, torpedoes, rockets, flare dispensers, HF detectors, metric and centimetric radar, IFF transponders, navigation transponders, magnetic anomaly detectors, UHF and HF radios, gyroscopic compasses (magnetic ones aren't much use in the Arctic) and RATO rockets were all routinely fitted to the airframe.

Above all, it was the ancestor of the modern ASW aircraft. It could actively or passively detect U-boats in almost all weathers, by day or night, on sorties over five hours long. It had weapons sufficient to deter the threat, to restrict its movement and even, on occasion, destroy it. Just the presence of patrolling Swordfish could open gaps in a Wolf Packs' line, while their co-operation with hunter killer groups of corvettes and frigates could restore the tactical advantage surrendered by the little ships to faster, late war U-boats.
Modern ASW aircraft follow a similar operational concept to the little bi-plane. Slower airframes are preferred because of their improved sensor performance. Older designs are popular on cost and reliability grounds. Endurance is more important than range. Flexibility in weapon and sensor fit is highly desirable.
A modern ASW helo has very similar performance to the Swordfish- 100 to 140kt speed, 300 to 500 mile range, 1,000 to 2,000lb payload. There's a reason for that. :D


#Well, Vichy French anyway. ;)

#3 Kutscha

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Posted 22 August 2011 - 10:34 PM

Posted Image

DC-3/C-47 family still flying after 70 years and built by Japan (Showa L2D) and the USSR (Lisunov Li-2).

BTW Flo, the local museum has a Swordfish on display.
http://www.aviation....aireySwordfish/

There is a flying example based across the river.
http://www.vintagewi...ish-Mk-III.aspx

#4 Flo

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 12:54 AM

:D Cool. You can still buy a new Dakota! I'll add it to the list for when I win that Eurolottery. Right behind the Spit, Tempest and (Dora) Fw 190...

"Little different from the biplanes of (the) First World War and totally obsolete by Second World War, "
"this lumbering biplane anachronism"

Yep, that's a real Swordfish all right. ;)

The museum slides keep moving- is that a Harvard in front of the Corsair?

#5 Kutscha

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Posted 23 August 2011 - 11:31 AM

List of Vintage Wings a/c,
http://www.vintagewi...a/aircraft.aspx

#6 Armand

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 12:29 AM

I'll say the P-51!
- It was a powerfull plane able to counter the enemys best!
- Its long range ability was a main factor of abeling the 8th airforce to turn the table by adding dayligt bombings of ' das Reich'
- It was, and stil is, pretty neat!
- It does still a good figure in air-races!

#7 Edgar Brooks

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:47 AM

C-130



#8 CORSNING

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 07:22 PM

Hey guys,

 

My vote goes to the DC-3/C-47. It was here pulling its weight 5 years before the P-51 and will probably be up in the airways long after the last Mustang is retired. That is all just an opinion though.

 

:D , Jeff



#9 riggerrob

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 03:37 AM

More lowly Cessna 172shave been built than any other model of airplane.



#10 CORSNING

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Posted 02 May 2015 - 11:00 PM

C-47. It carried everything (Personnel and Supplies) to wherever they were needed when they were needed. PERIOD!






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