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1

Boeing 247

First flown in February 1933, the Boeing 247 has sometimes been described as the first modern airliner. It was certainly a stride forward from the boxy Ford Trimotor then standard on American air routes. Evolved from the Boeing B-9 bomber, the 247 was powered by two Pratt & Whitney Wasp air-cooled radial engines. It was sleekly streamlined, with a smoothly shaped fuselage, a […]

2

Boeing 747

When the Boeing 747 entered service in 1970 it was by far the largest, heaviest, most powerful airliner the world had ever seen. With a tail as high as a six-storey building and a wing wide enough to park more than 40 family cars on, it could carry three times as many passengers as the Boeing 707, which was then still the […]

3

Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2

A military two-seater, the B.E.2 had the misfortune to become one of the most maligned aircraft of World War I. Yet when the prototype first appeared, in February 1912, its performance was judged to be little short of impressive. The B.E.2 was designed by Geoffrey de Havilland at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Farnborough, to meet the newly formed Royal Flying Corps’ need […]

4

Boeing 707

The Boeing 707 was the aircraft that ushered in the age of mass air travel. The first US commercial jet, it could carry many more passengers than the largest propeller-driven airliners while halving long-distance journey times. Pan Am boss JuanTrippe said of the introduction of the 707: “In one fell swoop we have shrunken the earth.” Boeing spread the […]

5

Boeing Model 307 Stratoliner

The Boeing 307 Stratoliner was the world’s first airliner to have a pressurized passenger cabin. This meant that it couId fly in the cloudless blue of the stratosphere, high above the turbulent weather that had previously so often made flight a trying experience for passengers. The 307 was created as a spin-off of Boeing’s top military project, the development of which would become […]

6

Boeing 314

The Boeing 314 “Clipper” flying boat was probably the most luxurious passenger aeroplane ever built, This stately giant was created for Pan American, who wanted an aircraft to carry wealthy passengers in comfort and style on transoceanic routes. Boeing married the wings and tailplane of their prototype XB-15 long-range bomber with a massive whale-shaped hull to make a flying boat of breathtaking […]

7

Boeing B-52

When Boeing’s B-52 Stratofortress bomber entered service with US Strategic Air Command in 1955, no one could have believed that it would still be going strong in the early 21st century. The aireraft has undergone constant updating of equipment and extensive structuraI modification, but its survival in frontline service is above all a tribute to the soundness of the initial design. Distinctive […]

8

Boeing B-47

The futuristic-looking B-47 Stratojet bomber formed the core of the United States’s nuclear bomber force in the 1950s. It proved to be a revolutionary aircraft in both design and performance. When Boeing set out to create a jet -powered multi-engine bomber for the US Army Air Force in 1944, the designers though in terms of a straight-winged aeroplane such as the B-29 Superfortress. After […]

9

Dunne Tailless Aeroplane

In the early years of the 20th century British army officer Lieutenant John William Dunne developed a theoretical interest in aircraft stability, which led him to design the first practical tailless aeroplane. His machines achieved stability through the shaping of their wings. These were sharply swept hack and incorporated “washout” a change, from root to tip. of the angle at which the wings […]

10

Bell-Boeing V-22 Osprey

The V-22 Osprey is the first aircraft specifically designed to meet the needs of all four US armed services. Cleverly combining the attributes of both helicopter and aeroplane, the aircraft takes off and lands like a helicopter using its tilting “proprotors” but, once airborne, its engine nacelles can be rotated to convert it to a turboprop airplane. Twice as fast as […]