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These 12 Airliners Changed the World and Air Traffic

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12. Concorde

Concorde is one of the most recognizable airliners ever, and for a very good reason. This was one of the first supersonic passenger aircraft and the only one of two in service. Concorde was a real pioneer of the supersonic jet travel and was retired in 2003. Since then, no other supersonic airliners in commercial service appeared something that could remain forever.

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11. Boeing 747

The Boeing 747 has to be the most recognizable airliner in the world. The real “Jumbo Jet” is the original “giant airliner”. The plane was revealed during the 1960s when the Concorde was taking shape. It is one of the reasons why the supersonic jet did not become mainstream. Air travel became about transporting the most possible, and the 747 did it superbly while the passengers traveled in a new definition of comfort. One downside is the 8 hours it needs from the UK to the US, while the Concorde only took 2 and a half.

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10. Lockheed Tristar

This is one of the most innovative aircraft of its time, and it looks familiar to the Douglas DC-10. The DC-10 sold great, but it was hampered by issues that resulted in crashes. The Tristar was far more advanced, and better aircraft overall. The Tristar also served air forces, especially the RAF. Despite almost killing its creator, it was an astonishing machine.

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9. Boeing 737

There is nothing that groundbreaking about this airplane. Nothing is special about the looks, nor is it faster or slower than other jet airliners. However, it has great versatility. This is one of the most popular airliners everywhere, for passengers and airlines alike. As a perfect short-medium range airliner, the only rival it has is the Airbus A320 jet, the only real answer to the 737.

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8. DE Haviland Comet 4

This plane was the first jet airliner in the world, and the most troubled. The first version had tons of issues, resulting in devastating crashes. An entire fleet of them was grounded following this. Then, the Comet 4 came out and was what the original Comet should have been from the start. By then, however, it was left behind a bit, pity as it is a great airliner.

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7. Airbus A380

This airliner has had a troubled existence during a short lifespan, before going out of production. The airlines simply did not place orders. The 747 was the more popular, and the A380 was a struggle to sell. In addition, there are much cheaper airliners, which could be bought in larger numbers than a few of these. Emirates are a huge customer of this aircraft, and they saw the potential of Airbus. Sadly though, other companies did not.ž

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6. Vickers VC-10

This is another unique airliner, as it has four jet engines on the tailfin instead of under the wings. The speed was what made it truly special. In its time, it was the fastest airliner in the world and held the record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean the fastest. Only the Concorde could match the VC-10 in the London to New York race. The VC-10 has retired only a few years ago, and several even served the RAF as tanker planes.

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5. Boeing 787 Dreamliner

The 787 Dreamliner is one of the latest and also the greatest aircraft on the long list of Boeing planes. It is perhaps the best of the whole modern generation of their airliners. The beautiful flicked wings give it a lot of lift, while the economy and capacity easily rival whatever Airbus has to offer. The 787 is 20% more efficient than the 767, and it has noise-reducing chevrons on the engines, making it one of the quietest airliners currently on the market.

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4. Bristol Britannia

The plane was known as the whispering giant, one of the most ground-breaking airliners when it comes to turboprop design. It was immensely popular with both the crews and passengers. The outside noise from the plane was surprisingly quiet, while a very smooth nature made it comfortable even though the inside noise was somewhat loud passengers. The age caught up quickly with the jet when it comes to commercial use, but the RAF uses it as a transporter.

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3. Boeing 777

Like the 737, the 777 is a very versatile aircraft from the famous company. The first flight took place in 1994 and the aircraft has stayed in production ever since, developed into the ultimate version called the 777X. This plane is the most produced wide-body jet by Boeing and is easily one of their bestselling models. The airliner is very fuel efficient, comfortable, and fast, as well as incredibly nice and easy for the pilots to fly. It shares some of the design features with the 787 Dreamliner.

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2. Lockheed Super Constellation

This beautifully named airliner is usually regarded as one of the classics, and a legendary airliner all over the world, mostly for the gorgeous looks. That isn’t all though. This was Lockheed’s response to the Douglas DC-6 airliner, dubbed the “super Connie,” and it saw service in commercial and arm fleets throughout the world. It was a comfortable aircraft to fly in, with a great range to rival the Douglas DC-6. It was also larger. The Super Constellation and the original Constellation are some of the most recognizable airliners in history.

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1. Vickers Viscount

This is one of the pioneers of turboprop airliners that never caught on as much as it should and could have. It appeared when jet aircraft took center stage. Still, it became one of the most profitable and successful transport aircraft after the war, with exactly 445 built for customers around the globe. The plane was famous for its quietness and a comfortable cabin. The last Viscount in any service retired in January of 2009.

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Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]

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