Military aircraft that spied from 85,000 feet, jetliner that crossed the Atlantic in 3 and a half hours and a ‘Jumbo Jet’ that held a unique record for 37 years.
Airbus A380 (2005-present) The ‘Superjumbo’ remains the largest commercial jetliner ever built. With a flight range of more than 15,000 km, the jetliner can fly from New York to Kuala Lumpur non-stop with 525 passengers (three-class configuration) or 853 passengers (single-class configuration).
Airbus has delivered 217 A380s so far, out of which 100 are being used by Emirates.
Boeing 747 (1968-present) Nicknamed the ‘Jumbo jet’, the 747 was the first wide-body aircraft produced. The jetliner has a distinctive “hump” on its upper deck and is among one the world’s most recognizable aircraft.
The plane held the passenger capacity record for 37 years before the Airbus A380 took off.
B-2 Spirit Stealth Bomber (1989-present) Known as the ‘Flying Wing’, this long-range strategic bomber is the successor to the B-52. In 1997, each unit of the B-2 Spirit cost more than USD 2 billion.
The B-2 Spirit is capable of carrying 40,000 pounds while flying just under Mach one. Around 20 of these are said to have been produced till date and they served in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.
Concorde (1965-1979) Built by British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), the Concorde is regarded as one of the greatest feats in aviation history. It was the world’s first supersonic aircraft and would take flyers across the Atlantic Ocean in just 3 and a half hours.
In July 2000, Air France 4590 crashed, in what was the only fatal accident involving the Concorde. The incident eventually led to the retirement of its entire fleet.
SR-71 Blackbird (1966-1999) The SR-71 Blackbird was a reconnaissance aircraft used during the Cold War. It could fly at a height of 85,000 feet, at a speed of Mach 3, for an hour. The speed meant that the Soviets would not have been able to shoot it down even with surface-to-air missiles.
The stealth aircraft carried only cameras and sensors to help spy on the enemy.
Douglas DC-3 (1936 – 1950) Despite belonging to the World War era, the DC-3, a fixed-wing propeller-driven aircraft, can cruise at a speed of 333 kmph and has a flying range of 2,400 km. The aircraft lasted through the world war era and revolutionised air travel.
As of 2013, as many as 2,000 DC-3s are still in active service, proving the craft’s durability.
Supermarine Spitfire (1938-1948) As many as 20,351 Spitfire units were produced for the Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force and the United States Army Air Forces. The Spitfire is widely recognised by people in Europe because of its role in World War II.
It played an important role in the Battle of Britain where it secured the airspace over the country. Only 44 Spitfires are in operational condition and are used in air shows and ceremonies.