Well, perhaps predictably, Concorde is the winner of The Great British Design Quest run by the BBC and London's Design Museum. As readers of this article , of which I was the author, may have suspected - I don't agree with the outcome. Still, no fewer than 200,000 people voted so I'm not in a position to demand a recount.
But it should have been the Spitfire. I think the contest is about form and function - the Spitfire definitely wins on the second criterion, and I personally think it's also ahead on the first.
Fact is that the Spitfire did what it was designed to do better than Concorde did. Now it's true that the odds were stacked against the Concorde team, who were exploring a design regime way beyond anything that had gone before. But in the event RJ Mitchell's Spitfire was, I think, as good as it could possibly have been at the time - and in combat proved enduringly triumphant.
Aircraft aesthetics of course are largely a matter of taste, but it's not quite as simple as that. I think much of Concorde's attraction is to do with its photogenicity (such a word as that???). In the flesh there are plenty of angles from which it's not quite so pretty. The Spitfire on the other hand looks superb in any airborne pic (taxying, it often looks like an accident waiting to happen, and sometimes was), but it's also virtually impossible to find an ugly line on it even close-up.
Furthermore, aesthetics aren't just visual. There has never been anything that sounded quite as thrilling as a Rolls-Royce Merlin and I doubt there ever will. (Although the Olympus is not bad at all.)