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.

Vickers Viscount

The world's first turboprop airliner, the Vickers Viscount was…

Tupolev Tu-95 Bear

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

Hawker Hunter

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

Bell X-1

The rocket-powered Bell X-l was the first aircraft to fly at…

Boeing B-52

When Boeing's B-52 Stratofortress bomber entered service with…

Bristol Brabazon

The Bristol Brabazon airliner was a gian of an aircraft larger…

Lockheed SR-71A

One of the most amazing aeroplanes ever built, the SR-71A Blackbird…