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The Most Significant Jets

Thu Oct 28, 1999 6:29 am

The jet age has seen aviation take some major steps forward, with each generation bringing something new, be it in the form of technology or speed or serving new markets. I have a few aircraft in mind, but maybe you'd like to share a few too:-
1) The 707. The first real jet. Enough said.
2) The Caravelle. The first short haul jet. Another trendsetter. It was another four years before Boeing followed with the 727.
3) The 747. The first widebody. The first twin aisle aircraft, the first aircraft to use high bypass (big fan) engines. Still the greatest.
4) Concorde. First super . . oh, you know.
5) 737. The Toyota Corolla of the air. Reliable. The model for successful short low cost operations. Still very much alive. The fact that two major carriers - American and SAS - first ordered the aircraft thirty years after it was launched must say something. How many DC3s were ordered in 1965?
6) A300. The first twin aisle twin. The start of a line which includes the 767 (see below), the A310, A330 and 777.
7) The 767. First long haul twin - opened up many new smaller markets to long haul flights. New Zealand to Asia and North Carolina to Europe, to name two.
8) Canadair RJ. The first small commuter jet - another trendsetter in what seems to be the fastest growing market. (Okay, I'm talking 50 seats here).

Well, any more? Corrections, additions?
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RE: The Most Significant Jets

Thu Oct 28, 1999 6:40 am

Well, it never reached production, due to politics and the Korean War causing the company to shift all effort towards fighter production, but the first short-to-medium-haul jet was the Avro Canada C-102. It first flew in 1949, following the Comet by only 2 weeks.

One other addition I would make is the DC-8. It was the aircraft that set off the widebody race, as the super sixty series forced Boeing to build the 747. And I just happen to be a DC-8 fan.

Also, the Fly-By-Wire airliner, the A320 comes to mind as a significant change in technology.
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DH106 Comet And TU104

Thu Oct 28, 1999 7:09 am

Before the 707, there were the ground-breaking first-ever jetliners, the deHavilland Comet and the Tupolev TU104. These were the first jetliners to enter regular service, and while limited in passenger capacity, they flew faster and farther than any of their prop-driven predecessors.

RE: The Most Significant Jets

Thu Oct 28, 1999 7:12 am

I would have to add the DeHavilland Comet. Being the first real commercial jetliner, it probably deserves a place in the Most Significant Jets category.

Yes, it had severe early problems that killed sales (and people) despite the fact that later Comets did not have the same airframe flaws the early, doomed ones did. It still, however, began an era.

My two cents...

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Thu Oct 28, 1999 9:40 am

I love the crj.
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Thu Oct 28, 1999 10:03 am

Part of what makes the Comet so important is its tragedy. While it was tragic, the crashes from the Comet developed modern crash analysis techniques and gave information about metal fatigue and aircraft design. It is very much to the credit of the investigation that the causes of the crash were well documented and that information was shared to avert the same thing from happening elsewhere. I hope that perhaps the legacy of the Comet is that because of its tragedy the information gained averted problems in later airplanes.
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RE: Comet

Thu Oct 28, 1999 1:32 pm

I would add the 727 and DC-9 to the list. These are significant aircraft still flown by the majors.
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RE: Comet/ AC183

Thu Oct 28, 1999 10:06 pm

Excellent point and I congratulate you for making it. Without the tradgedies of the Comet Boeing and subsequent Aircraft Manufacturers would have had to learn the very same lesson DeHaviland had to. I think the Comet is the most significant Aircraft since the war!



Trident And Comet

Mon Nov 01, 1999 1:20 am

Ok so I'm a bit biased here, but trident was the first aircraft to be able to land in Cat 111 weather, pioneering and using the smiths auto land, and also the first british aircraft to be fitted with the so called black box flight recorder, after that tragic accident at Stains (UK) circa' 72

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