cedarjet
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"You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Mar 23, 2003 9:54 pm

Or so pilots, instructors et al say. But I've always found landings in 747s the same as any other plane (we're not going to talk about the MD11 here). Now I'm rethinking this. Recently I was lucky enough to fly from London to Sydney and back in first class on Qantas, and all four landings (BKK, SYD, SIN, MAN*) were greasers. Much as it warms the heart of any Aussie to think Qantas pilots are, you know, THE BEST, I have another theory, especially in the light of the Qantas BKK overrun accident of a couple of years back, the pilot of which was the same gentleman that flew me from Singapore to Manchester on this recent trip.

What I'm thinking is, the reason pilots, instructors et al think you can't make a bad landing in a 747 is that up front (in first or upstairs in the office), they're so far from the main gear that they don't feel it, and they're up there in their ivory tower thinking they're Buck Rogers while all the schmucks in their back are wishing they'd bought travel insurance to pay for physio, and trying to find their false teeth which flew out and are under someone's seat three rows away.

* - a few snow flakes (I typed 'snokes' for some reason) closed LHR and we landed at Manchester instead, where we were kept on the plane for six hours due to a lack of parking spaces / immigration officials / airside buses (the reason kept changing). Welcome to the third world.
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
 
CX Flyboy
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Mon Mar 24, 2003 12:30 am

I actually think the 747 is a lot harder to land than something like the 777, which is very flyable. In the 777 you can actually correct the flare during the manouvre itself, if you've got it wrong and tease it in the second or two before touching down. The 747 is much less forgiving in that sense.

You can do bad landings in ANY aircraft!
 
wietse
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Mon Mar 24, 2003 1:17 am

The reason they say that is the ground effect. The 747 is so large, it has a large cushon of air under itself. That keeps the plane afloat at the last second before touchdown, so the landing is very smooth...

Wietse
Wietse de Graaf
 
delta-flyer
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747&qu

Mon Mar 24, 2003 1:53 am

The ground effect is true, of course, but that is also true of other low-wing aircraft. And, I have experienced less than perfect landings on 747's. I suspect the reason for the high incidence of smooth landings (if indeed that is a true statement) is that the most experienced pilots fly the 747.

I can't comment on the second paragraph of Cedarjet's post, as I don't understand it.

Pete
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wietse
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Mon Mar 24, 2003 4:13 am

It doesn't matter how far you are from the gear on touchdown. You will feel the impact just as much... The G forces afterwards might be less in the cockpit, but the impact (to "grease" or not) is not dependent on your position in the plane.

Wietse
Wietse de Graaf
 
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Mar 25, 2003 2:48 pm

Dear CedarJet -
xxx
I agree that the 747 is rather "smooth" on touch down, and with my opinion as a pilot, it is also the "easiest" airplane to land, compared to other types of aircraft I used to fly before the 747... Used to fly 707, 727 and DC8...
xxx
... and honestly, it is not any smoother to be far away up there in the "ivory tower" you mention...  Big grin
xxx
For me the hardest airplane to land... smooth - was the DC8 - I flew mostly the 60/70 series... The 707 and 727 both, touch down nearly as smooth as 747 generally do...
xxx
As a pilot instructor, needless to say, I often am training pilots, many who are "new" to the 747, and ALL these pilots tell me how easy they find the aircraft to handle, to achieve a smooth touch down, compared to whichever aircraft they flew previously... by the way, I have yet to witness a "hard landing" by a 747 pilot trainee, captain or first officer... despite the fact that I estimate having had, some 1,000 landings performed by trainees...
xxx
Smooth touch down generalities - In most airplanes I have flown, including the 747, the smooth touch downs are achieved when the aircraft is landed at heavy weight (i.e. max landing weight) with "less flaps" (747 can land with 25 or 30 flaps, 25 is generally smoother). A harder touch down can generally be expected with a light aircraft (empty cargo aircraft) using "more flaps"...
xxx
Disarming automatic spoilers (speed brakes) touch down extension (if the airline policy permits) makes the landing even smoother... A friend of mine, with long career as DC8 pilot with UAL, told me that they "disarmed" their spoilers for landing unless runways were short or wet...
xxx
Happy contrails
(s) Skipper
 
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william
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Fri Mar 28, 2003 3:45 am

Not to change the subject,but the new landing gear under the 737NGs seem to really soak up hard bumps too,never had a landing in one
 
luisca
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Apr 06, 2003 10:06 am

Ill second Williams statement on the 737 gear... but once in a 73G landing in MIA we really floated.. and then all of the sudden WHAM the hardest landing ever in my life..... my back still hurts when i remember it..  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
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JBirdAV8r
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:47 pm

I'll second that 73G hard landing, Luis.

Landing into JAX in a WN 73G, we rounded out a bit high, floated, and settled down pretty hard.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
QANTAS747-438
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sat Apr 12, 2003 7:21 am

No bad landings for a 747?


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Zkpilot
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 1:26 am

Quoting Wietse (Reply 4):
It doesn't matter how far you are from the gear on touchdown. You will feel the impact just as much... The G forces afterwards might be less in the cockpit, but the impact (to "grease" or not) is not dependent on your position in the plane.

Wietse

You do feel less impact in the nose of the aircraft. The aircraft has a certain amount of flex in it and vibrations are also absorbed a certain amount in the nose. In fact you can be considering whether or not to go see a chiropractor when you are sitting around doors 4 whilst someone at doors 1 or on the UD might think its just a normal landing!
I've seen several overhead bins pop open because of the impact down the back and yet up the front they all remain perfectly locked in place (and considering some of the heavy bags in business, that is something).
64 types. 44 countries. 24 airlines.
 
Bellerophon
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:01 am

Let's see if we can agree on what we mean by a good landing on a B747, because some people seem to be of the opinion that it is all about achieving a smooth touchdown.

I define a good B747 landing as one which touches down in the touchdown zone, at the correct speed, with a moderate rate of descent, wings (very nearly) level, with the aircraft CG tracking down the runway centre line, from a stable approach.

If, on a dry runway, you can achieve all that, and still touch down smoothly, then well done, that is great flying, and what we all aim to do.

However, many smooth touchdowns, that ones that please passengers, do not tick all the above boxes, and, smooth though they may be, they are not good. Some of the worst landings I've experienced, both on training details and on the line, were smooth touchdowns, but badly lacking in other areas.

One of the advantages of modern simulators is the ability during training to let trainees carry on with a floated, or fast, or unstable, or drifting downwind, landing - where we couldn't have let them continue on a real aircraft - to see just how close to the side or end of the runway, and how quickly, they can get.

One of the most valuable disciplines that those of you who someday want to fly commercially can start to develop, right now - even if all you currently fly is a Cessna 152 - is ensuring the aircraft touches down in the touch down area.

I bet your current Cessna instructor will agree, and I know your future airline training captain will!

Best regards

Bellerophon
 
UncleBuck
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:31 am

just do a YouTube search for "747 Kai Tak"  Smile
 
GRZ-AIR
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:20 am

It's usually easier to achieve a smoother landing in long haul craft compared to smaller regional airplanes, I have been told by most experienced pilots that flew small and large airplanes.
When I joined A.net it was still free, haha ;).
 
xjramper
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:32 am

Holy cow. The original post was dated in 2003. Someone was looking pretty far back in the archives!

XJR
Look ma' no hands!
 
UncleBuck
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 4:42 am

Quoting XJRamper (Reply 14):
Holy cow. The original post was dated in 2003. Someone was looking pretty far back in the archives!

"eez not my fault, maaaan" i just replied to someone else's digging  Wink
 
HaveBlue
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 6:13 am

Quoting B747skipper (Reply 5):
Dear CedarJet -
xxx



Quoting B747skipper (Reply 5):
Happy contrails
(s) Skipper

Great to see you back B747skipper!! Been a long time, I always enjoyed yours and SlamClicks posts a lot.  Smile
 
Stealthz
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:38 am

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 16):
Great to see you back B747skipper!! Been a long time, I always enjoyed yours and SlamClicks posts a lot

He isn't back see reply 14, B747skipper replied in 4+ years ago!

Cheers
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Viscount724
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 12:08 pm

A few of my landing recollections from the passenger seats:

B727 - not many very smooth landings and they often seemed to bounce and touch down a second time. I have also read a few articles mentioning that the 727 is difficult to land smoothly on a consistent basis.

B737 - not all landings are smooth but they rarely bounce.

BAe146/Avro RJ - in my experience the most consistently smooth landings of any jet airliner. Sometimes you can barely tell when the wheels are on the runway except for the rumbling of the tar strips. The slower landing speed compared to most jet types probably helps but the gear also seems very forgiving.
 
sprout5199
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:08 pm

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 16):
Great to see you back B747skipper!! Been a long time, I always enjoyed yours and SlamClicks posts a lot.



Quoting StealthZ (Reply 17):
He isn't back see reply 14, B747skipper replied in 4+ years ago!

When I read his post I thought the same thing "great B747skipper is back", but alas, I then read the date.  Sad


Always thought his post were thoughtful and provided a lot of insight.

Dan in Jupiter
 
n710ps
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 2:20 pm

The CRJ is an intresting plane. The 50 seater 100/200 tends to want to float when you put too much flare in on it too high. When you "flare" your are pretty much bring the airplane to a level attitude. You roll it on to the ground so to speak. If you flare you float than you slam down and generally outside the TZ at that.In the 700 it is a bit diffrent. Not as much of a dive bomber approach. With the leading edge slats it helps a great deal. You actually flare in that airplane prior to touch down. When you go from flying the 200 to the 700 is is an adjustment. You tend to fly it down like a 200 and than flare a little late and make those jarring bangers of touchdowns more. It is nice to grease it sometimes but the objective is on speed, on glideslope, tracking center line and not too much of a sink rate. In the 700 if you catch it high enough you can flare it a bit more and than let it settle.
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nema
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 8:48 pm

Quoting Wietse (Reply 2):
The reason they say that is the ground effect. The 747 is so large, it has a large cushon of air under itself. That keeps the plane afloat at the last second before touchdown, so the landing is very smooth...

Yep, i recall a 747 pilot trainer saying that the aircraft just wants to fly and you have to work at putting it down on the tarmac.
There isnt really a dark side to the moon, as a matter of fact its all dark!
 
HaveBlue
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Sep 30, 2007 10:45 pm

Ah, I didn't check the POSTED date I just saw his JOIN ON date and thought he had just resigned up at anet. Gotta be careful when browsing the fourms while exhausted...  Wink


"B747skipper From , joined today!, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted Tue Mar 25 2003 01:48:17 your local time (4 years 6 months 1 week 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 2705 times: "
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Mon Oct 01, 2007 12:44 am

Quoting N710PS (Reply 20):
The CRJ is an intresting plane. The 50 seater 100/200 tends to want to float when you put too much flare in on it too high. When you "flare" your are pretty much bring the airplane to a level attitude. You roll it on to the ground so to speak. If you flare you float than you slam down and generally outside the TZ at that.In the 700 it is a bit diffrent. Not as much of a dive bomber approach. With the leading edge slats it helps a great deal. You actually flare in that airplane prior to touch down. When you go from flying the 200 to the 700 is is an adjustment. You tend to fly it down like a 200 and than flare a little late and make those jarring bangers of touchdowns more. It is nice to grease it sometimes but the objective is on speed, on glideslope, tracking center line and not too much of a sink rate. In the 700 if you catch it high enough you can flare it a bit more and than let it settle.

Aaaah! It always seemed like every -200 pick was a nose down attitude.
What gets measured gets done.
 
Accidentally
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Mon Oct 01, 2007 5:44 am

Quoting HaveBlue (Reply 22):
Ah, I didn't check the POSTED date I just saw his JOIN ON date and thought he had just resigned up at anet. Gotta be careful when browsing the fourms while exhausted...

I nearly had a heart attack
Indianapolis, IN
 
stratosphere
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Mon Oct 01, 2007 8:11 am

Quoting B747skipper (Reply 5):
Disarming automatic spoilers (speed brakes) touch down extension (if the airline policy permits) makes the landing even smoother... A friend of mine, with long career as DC8 pilot with UAL, told me that they "disarmed" their spoilers for landing unless runways were short or wet...

Funny you should mention that...My friends father is a retired DC-9 guy from the Southern/Rebublic/NWA mergers and stayed on the 9 right until retirement he too said he never used auto spoilers and he said he could grease it most of the time by using the spoilers manually.

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
BAe146/Avro RJ - in my experience the most consistently smooth landings of any jet airliner

Yeah that trailing link landing gear really helps cushion the landing on those RJ-85, BAE 146 types.
 
don81603
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:33 pm

This might be a bit off topic, but I was told many years ago that during adverse conditions (wet or possibly slick) runway surfaces, pilots would intentionally touchdown hard enough to have the aircraft bounce slightly to get the wheels spinning before landing to prevent a skid. Is there any truth to this, or was someone pulling my leg?
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InbarD
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Oct 09, 2007 1:48 pm

I have to agree with you. 744 is probably the plane with the softest landing in my opinion. I've been on plenty of 744 landings and i can't say i recall a bad landing. QF and BA are experts at smooth landings, from what i have experienced. The 777 is close second on my list, it also has a pretty smooth landing.

[Edited 2007-10-09 06:51:03]
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Oct 09, 2007 3:04 pm

Quoting InbarD (Reply 27):
I have to agree with you. 744 is probably the plane with the softest landing in my opinion. I've been on plenty of 744 landings and i can't say i recall a bad landing. QF and BA are experts at smooth landings, from what i have experienced. The 777 is close second on my list, it also has a pretty smooth landing.

Soft landings are not necessarily good landings. A soft, smooth landing can in fact be complete rubbish from a piloting point of view.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
SBBRTech
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:43 pm

Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 28):
Soft landings are not necessarily good landings. A soft, smooth landing can in fact be complete rubbish from a piloting point of view.

Besides crashing afterwards, what would classify a smooth landing procedure as rubbish?
Is touching down too far way into the rwy considered bad piloting?
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YYZSaabGuy
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:45 pm

Quoting InbarD (Reply 27):
I have to agree with you. 744 is probably the plane with the softest landing in my opinion. I've been on plenty of 744 landings and i can't say i recall a bad landing. QF and BA are experts at smooth landings, from what i have experienced. The 777 is close second on my list, it also has a pretty smooth landing.



Quoting Starlionblue (Reply 28):
Soft landings are not necessarily good landings. A soft, smooth landing can in fact be complete rubbish from a piloting point of view.

Starlionblue has nailed it. "Firm" touchdowns are especially desirable under certain runway conditions (e.g. heavy rain) to prevent hydroplaning and loss of directional control during the rollout. Also, as has been pointed out above, landing is the culmination of a lengthy and complex approach and descent process - other things equal, a soft touchdown is a bonus but certainly not the point of the exercise.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:47 pm

Quoting SBBRTech (Reply 29):
Besides crashing afterwards, what would classify a smooth landing procedure as rubbish?
Is touching down too far way into the rwy considered bad piloting?

You already said it yourself there.  Wink Here are some things that would make a soft landing rubbish.
- As mentioned by YYZSaabGuy, landing very softly in heavy rain is inadvisable.
- Missing the touchdown zone in either direction.
- Floating in a powerful crosswind.

Quoting YYZSaabGuy (Reply 30):
a soft touchdown is a bonus but certainly not the point of the exercise.

Indeed.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
Super Em
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:17 am

When I get a chance to spot at JFK, I have to say that the MD-11 DC-10's seem to always slam on the ground with plenty of smoke. Rarely have I seen greasers from them.
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Wed Oct 10, 2007 10:14 am

Quoting Super Em (Reply 32):
When I get a chance to spot at JFK, I have to say that the MD-11 DC-10's seem to always slam on the ground with plenty of smoke. Rarely have I seen greasers from them.

It's the chemtrail dispensers. They add weight.

Seriously though, it might be that cargo pilots simpyly care less about the cargo since it isn't self-loading.  Wink
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
BAE146QT
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Wed Oct 10, 2007 11:01 am

Quoting Starlionblue:
- As mentioned by YYZSaabGuy, landing very softly in heavy rain is inadvisable.
- Missing the touchdown zone in either direction.
- Floating in a powerful crosswind.

Also; I read somewhere that - unless it's put down firmly - the smaller 737s have a habit of flat-spotting the tyres because there's not enough weight on them to spin them up at touchdown.
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PGNCS
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Fri Oct 19, 2007 1:03 am

Quoting Viscount724 (Reply 18):
B727 - not many very smooth landings and they often seemed to bounce and touch down a second time. I have also read a few articles mentioning that the 727 is difficult to land smoothly on a consistent basis.

The articles you read were correct!
 
N353SK
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Oct 21, 2007 2:06 am

Ever consider that it's just because 747s are landed by some of the most experienced pilots in the world?
 
PGNCS
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Oct 21, 2007 3:14 am

Quoting N353SK (Reply 36):
Ever consider that it's just because 747s are landed by some of the most experienced pilots in the world?

They may be experienced but how many landings do they get a month?
 
N353SK
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Sun Oct 21, 2007 5:24 pm

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 37):
They may be experienced but how many landings do they get a month?

By that logic a 2-year CRJ pilot who flies ORD-MLI-ORD-SBN-ORD-EVV-ORD-GRR every day would perform the best landings
 
AntonovA330
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RE: "You Can't Make A Bad Landing In A 747"?

Fri Oct 26, 2007 10:08 pm

Quoting Cedarjet (Thread starter):
and they're up there in their ivory tower thinking they're Buck Rogers while all the schmucks in their back are wishing they'd bought travel insurance to pay for physio, and trying to find their false teeth which flew out and are under someone's seat three rows away.

 rotfl 

Anybody to share a A380 landing experience??
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