The vast patchwork of airfields that were a legacy of World War II rendered obsolete the commercial flying boats.
They were replaced by multi-engined landplanes with pressurized passenger cabins, although these, too, soon gave way to the unprecedented speed and comfort of the first turboprop and pure-jet airliners, German wartime research into high-speed aerodynamics had pioneered innovations such as swept wings and podded engines, ushering in the era of supersonic flight. There was also tremendous experimentation with new technologies. In military aviation, the jet engine revolutionized the performance of front – line light fighters and bombers, allowing them to climb higher and fly faster than ever before. The greatest developments of this era were supersonic transport aircraft, high-capacity widebody airliners, and vertical take-off aeroplanes. However, piston-engined aeroplanes were still widely used: as well as conducting survey and agricultural work, they were flown by smaller airlines which were being set up in previously remote parts of the world.

Hughes H-4 Hercules

In 1942 American millionaire and aviation enthusiast, Howard…

Tupolev Tu-95 Bear

If the Cold War had ever turned hot, the massive Tupolev Bear…

Lockheed C-5 Galaxy

The gargantuan Lockheed Galaxy transport aircraft is incredible…

Saunders-Roe Princess

The epitome of those large, elegant commercial flying boats…

North American XB-70 Valkyrie

When it was rolled out on 11 May 1964, the first prototype of…

Hawker P.1127

During the postwar period aircraft manufacturers around the…

Boeing 707

The Boeing 707 was the aircraft that ushered in the age of mass…

Lockheed F-104 Starfighter

When it first appeared in 1954, the super-fast, lightweight…

Hawker Hunter

Undoubtedly one of the shapeliest jet fighters, the Hawker P.1067…