Okay, we freely admit it: What started as a simple exercise, to select the 10 sexiest airplanes in the world, has turned out to be one of the most difficult and divisive projects in which we’ve ever been involved. Part of that was to be expected. After all, when you put “est” at the end of a word (e.g., strongest, tallest, funniest, etc.), you just know it’s going to generate controversy. When you start saying “sexiest,” however, the tension can get so high that the only things preventing fisticuffs between myself and the Plane & Pilot editors are the 400-mile distance and the fact that we’re only digitally connected.
The root of the difficulty is in the definition of “sexiest.” When applied to hardware, it connotes a level of sleek appearance that causes a pleasing visceral reaction in a viewer. Not many disagree with that. The problem develops in the individual brain chemistry that causes each of us to react differently to the same stimuli. As we were to find out, we react very differently. The Piaggio Avanti is an excellent case in point.