Open thread: Favorite aircraft?

Next Saturday I travel to the Singapore Airshow, where Flightglobal will be publishing an online daily. This morning my bosses in London asked me to contribute to the “meet the staff” page in the daily by answering three questions about myself. I am publishing the answers here, and I’m asking you the same questions.

Question #1: Favorite aircraft?


MiG-21 – Simple, powerful and ubiquitous; the AK-47 of fighter jets



Question #2: Favorite airline?


Air America – “Anything, Anytime, Anywhere” indeed

Question #3: Dream destination?


Sea of Tranquility, Moon — You said ‘dream’, right?



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39 Responses to Open thread: Favorite aircraft?

  1. Lightndattic 22 January, 2010 at 2:45 pm #

    #1- B-52- Do just about anything warhorse.
    #2- Southwest- for it’s embracing of the Keep It Simple, Stupid idea.
    #3- International Space Station- It’s a commercially accessible destination, so it counts.

  2. Charley A. 22 January, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    1. Grippen: Nice balance of systems and performance.

    2. Southwest: Cheap and fun.

    3. Seychelles: I a bit more terrestrial.

  3. Chris Taylor 22 January, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    1. Short S.23 C-Class flying boat. Flying in comfort unimaginable to today’s air traveller. If I had to pick a mil aircraft it would be the C-17. Get pretty well anywhere, and get there a few hours faster than the Herc.

    2. Imperial Airways. Granddaddy of BOAC and BA, operating commercially where there was not much more than a fuel dump and accommodation for overnighting.

    3. Anywhere you can get to in a flying boat. It’s the journey, not the destination. =)

  4. daskro 22 January, 2010 at 4:24 pm #

    1. F-4 Phantom – Boy they made a lot of them.

    2. TWA – RIP

    3. Mars?

  5. dziban 22 January, 2010 at 4:34 pm #

    1) AD/A-1 Skyraider.

    2) Myself

    3) Miami. Superbowl. Geaux Saints.

  6. aeroxavier 22 January, 2010 at 4:48 pm #

    1: rafale ,because to many people ignored his real capabilities
    2:ryanair, it is the time for low cost
    3:somewhere in universe, because Human know the earth

  7. Chris 22 January, 2010 at 5:10 pm #

    1. JA37 Viggen – One of the world’s finest and most unique interceptors.

    2. Southwest. “Please remember that oxygen is complimentary for the first 3 minutes, 99 cents per minute there after…”

    3. Norway

  8. EG 22 January, 2010 at 5:30 pm #

    1. Oh so many. But after 13 years of wrenching on her:
    F-14 Christine

    2. You mean there’s one out there good enough to be a favorite?

    3. Out with friends

  9. Nicocou 22 January, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    1- L-1649 Starliner… Just so elegant

    2- Air Inter

    3- time travel

  10. RobH 22 January, 2010 at 5:55 pm #

    1 – A-10 Warthog: It’s flying cannon for crying out loud.
    2 – dziban’s got the perfect one, otherwise Virgin: It takes a brilliant capitalist mind to get a person to pay 4x the price to fly across the same pond.
    3 – Inside the minds of Elon Musk, Burt Rutan and Richard Branson.

  11. jbierling 22 January, 2010 at 6:54 pm #

    #1. F-16 – Simple, powerful and ubiquitous; the AK-47 of modern fighter jets

    #2. There’s a difference?

    #3. Front cockpit of a fighter jet.

  12. WitchDr 22 January, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    #1. F-14D- Power, avionics, weapons loadout…oh, and the best airshow performer bar none

    #2. KLM (before NWA)

    #3. Wherever the next SI Swimsuit issue is being shot

  13. EG 22 January, 2010 at 7:11 pm #

    W/Dr.
    I was never blessed to go to the Delta. In fact I went from the TF30 to the RH-53D. From there it was ships company on the….TF30.

    And if you can’t be where the swimsuit issue is being shot, may i recommend Ibizia?

    As a friend of mine says;
    It’s a great place to deposit genetic material.

  14. Dave 22 January, 2010 at 7:20 pm #

    1) A-12/YF-12/MD-21/SR-71 et al Blackbird series-the fact it could sustain Mach 3.2+ says it all.

    2) I hate all airlines equally- but if I had to pick, I think Air America would be the one, assuming that particular organization counts in this case.

    3) Space… it’s a pity we can’t exceed the speed of light. There is an entire universe out there to conquer and we’re stuck here on this slowing dying rock.

  15. WitchDr 22 January, 2010 at 7:25 pm #

    I loved the Tomkitty but when the D model came out, I was blown away. I still remember listening to a flight of Vipers going against a set of 14′s without realizing they were D models..it was shock and disbelief…then defeat.

  16. EG 22 January, 2010 at 7:39 pm #

    Too bad Cheney and the F-18 mafia killed Grumman and the F-14D.

    It should have been the next Weasel!!

    I had an O-2 from VFA-37 pitch a fit one night. He used to pound his chest about how great his bug was and how old and sorry the F-14 was.

    So finally, one night I said, you have to go out 300 miles, loiter for an hour and fight for 10 minutes. No tanking. (I really have forgotten the profile I threw at him, but you get the idea.)

    He looked at me and said; “Can’t do it.”

    “Too bad sir, that’s were the fight is and my F-14 is going to be there.”

    Got my butt dressed down for disrespect!

    Shame too, cause I really liked the F404 at the intermediate level. We could teardown, build-up and push across the cell in 12 hours!
    You couldn’t do that with any F-14 engine. 4 days for the TF30!

  17. Skycrane 22 January, 2010 at 8:10 pm #

    Aircraft: F-14 — Ever see Top Gun?

    Airline: Horizon\Alaskan — Friendly stewards and free micro-brews and Northwest wines

    Destination: Anywhere pulling high G’s and high Mach numbers.

  18. Surfcaster 23 January, 2010 at 12:08 am #

    Aircraft: P51-D

    Aitline: PanAM circa flying boat days. Would love to Boat down to Costa Rica and chase some Roosterfish from shore

    Destination: The Dark Side of the Moon

  19. maukaman 23 January, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    1 – F-111. Swing-wing beauty. The Aussies are still flying the darn thing.
    2 – Hawaiian Airlines, olay my hometown airline but their service is just great.
    3 – The next Superbowl, with sky box seats of course!

  20. puppethead 23 January, 2010 at 1:39 pm #

    1. DH.91 Albatross – I’d love a modern replica with RR 250s.

    2. Virgin – I like blondes…

    3. Tahiti – maybe with said blondes?

  21. Obamanite 23 January, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    1. F-16 – Why? Simply the most beautiful, elegant fighter out there. Sexy as hell.

    2. Paradoxically, terrified of flying, so I hate all airlines.

    3. Jupiter and beyond the infinite.

  22. denis 25 January, 2010 at 4:06 pm #

    #1 : SR-71 BLACKBIRD for the military, Super Constellation for the commercial. (and basically anything designed by Kelly Johnson..)

    #2 : L’Aéropostale, even though it is only cargo now, just for the myth, and may be some form of French art de vivre it carries inside

    #3 : practically anywhere you can FLY to!

  23. James 25 January, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    1. Harrier GR3/Sea Harrier FRS1-because it was a true war winner and, uniquely, did the business (offensive air) in the Falklands singlehandly which no numbers of RAF Hawks, Jaguars, Tornados, Buccanneers, Lightnings or Phantoms could of done at that time, in that same situation, ever.

    2. Eurostar-it’s like flying without the hassle.

    3. Salcombe, Devon

  24. AirShowFan 26 January, 2010 at 2:19 pm #

    1: Blackbird! A miraculous feat of engineering . There’s nothing else like it, and there might never again be any single airplane that embodies so many technological leaps. And, it’s beautiful. (Concorde as a close second. F-22 a distant third).

    2: Virgin America. Their interiors and their ticket counters are surprisingly cool-looking, and their employees are friendly. (And this is coming from a Boeing employee! Virgin America flies only A318/A320s). However, I do the bulk of my flying on Alaska. (All-Boeing fleet, baby!)

    3: Realistically? The MAKS airshow in Zhukovsky. Not realistically? Mars, with a manned HALE airplane! (But I really like the “Inside Burt Rutan’s head!” that someone posted earlier).

  25. Danvin 27 January, 2010 at 4:32 am #

    I believe the best Fighter ever is definitely the F-14D Tomcat. Its also the only jet with the capabilities to carry the AIM-54 Phoenix Missile!

    Airlines wise.. I guess that would perhaps be Singapore Airlines?

    Dream Destination : Anywhere with clear blue waters and tons of fishes to be caught!

  26. Bruce Crossan 27 January, 2010 at 5:31 pm #

    1) Spitfire – for all it represents

    2) Air New Zealand – for the innovation

    3) North Norway – to see the Northern Lights

  27. Fabulous 27 January, 2010 at 7:09 pm #

    1)CF-104 – fun, fast and everyone thought you were Chuck Yeager.
    2)Virgin Atlantic – best service without being servile.
    3)Biggin Hill August 1940 waiting for the horn…

  28. Jay Cline 29 January, 2010 at 9:35 pm #

    #1 F-15 – in a dogfight, the 16 might have an edge, but in the four years I tended Eagles, the 16s could never get close enough to engage, and if it could, there was always the straight-up option for the Eagle to disengage.

    #2 Southwest – funky boarding policy, and you never can get a direct non-stop flight, but it works

    #2 Any passing asteroid.

  29. Thomas Barton, JD 30 January, 2010 at 7:09 am #

    The F-8U3 Super Crusader, “the greatest fighter that never was.” 2. The baggage compartment of a Southwest Airlines jet, maybe I can fly free with the bags. 3. Wherever Apollo 18 was supposed to land.

  30. Isaac Grigor 30 January, 2010 at 8:12 am #

    T-50 Golden Eagle – Something about that first flight sent shivers down my spine…

    Air New Zealand – National Pride. And its just ‘plane’ awesome.

    Probably… Sweden. Its a lot like New Zealand, only in the northern atmosphere. And with fighter jets.

  31. Anymouse 2 February, 2010 at 6:27 am #

    1.MiG-21 beats all! Plus you haven’t seen beauty until you see one flying overhead.
    2.Qantas. The world’s safest record.
    3.Helo to set foot on Mt. Everest’s summit.

  32. rapier 8 February, 2010 at 7:10 am #

    1. Aurora ….. if it ever was …..
    2. TWA
    3. USAF Museum

  33. Tiago 8 February, 2010 at 12:18 pm #

    1- Blackbird; faster, higher, more…
    That´s the direction to go!

    2- Don´t enjoy much flying in commercial flights, kudos for who come up with the online check in.
    So far the one I enjoyed the most was Lauda Air. Modern aircraft and only attractive girls with nice uniforms as compared with the usual boring stuff from traditional carriers.

    3- Dream destination would be the yet to build Bigelow Hotel on the Spaceship 3 from Burt Rutan.

  34. Joris 8 February, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    Aircraft: F-14 Tomcat, I prefer the A model because of the huge afterburner use on takeoff.

    Airline: ‘COD’-airline, flying the C-2′s of the US Navy; they gave me my ‘worst landing ever’, when they tailhooked onboard the USS Kennedy in 2002.

    Destination: any aircraft-carrier will do

  35. Jetcal1 8 February, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

    Joris…
    A model and JFK? I spent 76 months total onboard JFK with the A. But was gone for 5 years by the time you had your trap with VRC-40.
    The TF30 would make a mech out of you!

  36. 7K7 12 February, 2010 at 12:15 pm #

    Then you would probably enjoy the Panavia Tornado too :-)

  37. Kartil Kalaichelvan 18 February, 2010 at 12:52 am #

    1.Mig-21–simple,fast manueverable and has the best jet engine sound
    2. Singapore Airlines/Virgin Atlantic (it’s a tie!)
    3. Leh (Indian air force base in the Himalayas-highest military airfield in the world)

  38. Watch Prince of Persia 14 July, 2010 at 6:18 pm #

    Excellent job.

  39. Women's Skirt 24 July, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

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