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The Top 10 Planes Of All Time: WARNING: This List Goes To 11.

No holds barred. If it flies in the air with a pilot at the controls, it qualifies. This list plays no favorites, takes no nostalgia into account. And we guarantee that you’ll hate some of these. Nevertheless, we proudly present our list of the most outrageously great planes ever.

Plane & Pilot named the Concorde a Top 10 Plane of All-Time
See where the Concorde lands on Plane & Pilot’s list of Top 10 planes of all time.

Two of the most popular questions, at least for pilots and other students of aviation history, are: What are the top 10 planes of all time, and which one’s the greatest of them all? 

Seems impossible, but we think we did it. Here’s how. 

We started with a group of really great airplanes, which automatically turned into cross section of airplane types.   

Then we narrowed things down even more by asking if there was a top dog among them. Usually, surprisingly, there was. That one made the list.

We think you’ll agree with at least two-thirds of our picks. 

After our Top 10 Planes Of All Time, we present 25 others that a lot of you will argue belong on the main list. In many cases, you’d have a strong argument. Enjoy! 

3. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

3. Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor

Say what you will about it: It costs a boatload of dough, $350 million a pop, all up. It was late. It was way over budget, and some say in today’s global political world, we don’t even need it. But from a pure design perspective, the F-22 is the all-around most capable airplane ever, and by a good margin. The F-22 is the only full-up fifth-generation air superiority fighter in the world that’s in full production and that’s fielded. And besides, it’s better than the others, anyway. The F-22 is capable of a supercruise (that is, sustained faster than the speed of sound flight without afterburner) of Mach 1.85; it’s incredibly maneuverable—the first time we saw a slow flight demonstration, we were absolutely spellbound, as this plane is capable doing things that look aerodynamically impossible; it features stealth technology; and, with a range of 1600 without long-range tanks, it can go a long ways between refuelings.

Margin of error: 25%. Contenders: McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom; Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter; F-117 Stealth Fighter; F-15 Eagle; F/A-18 Hornet.


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