Aviation has advanced tremendously since the 1970s. The advent of the widebody airliner made long-range air travel affordable to all, and aircraft operation was revolutionized by technical developments such as “glass” cockpits, fly-by-wire, and fly-by-light technologies. Refined aerodynamics improved the performance of both airliners and combat aeroplanes, while new materials such as carbonfibre made them lighter. Stealth technology dramatically altered the appearance of bombers and fighters, while weaponry continued to evolve into ever more fearsome and deadly forms. As both civil and military aircraft became more complex, development periods lengthened and costs spiralled. Meanwhile, human-powered flight became a reality, and home-built and ultralight aeroplanes proliferated as never before. Today, the triple-deck widebody airliner is a reality, the convertiplane is entering military service in the form of the Bell-Boeing Osprey, and unmanned, solar-powered aircraft with virtually unlimited endurance are waiting impatiently in the wings.

Lockheed F-117A Nighthawk

With its menacing demeanour and black, futuristic design, the…

Boeing 767

The workhorse of the transatlantic route, the Boeing 767 also…

Scaled Composites Proteus

Cruising higher than supersonic transports can fly, the Proteus…

MAcCready Gossamer Albatross

The Grossamer Albatross captured headlines in 1979 when it made…

Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II

Nicknamed the "Warthog", the A10 Thunderbolt II was the first…

McDonnell Douglas DC-10

Held in affectionate regard by pilots and engineers, the DC-10…

Airbus A380

Cllaimingtobe the most spacious and advanced airliner ever built, the…

Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

The V-22 Osprey is the first aircraft specifically designed…

Northrop Grumman B-2A Spirit

The formidable B-2 Spirit is an American multi-role stealth bomber…