Top Twenty Aircraft from the Mid-1930s to the 1970s
Captain Eric "Winkle" Brown, CBE DSC AFC RN is the only man alive who has flown every major (and most minor) combat aircraft of the Second World War, as well as all the early jets. One of the few German-speaking airmen, he went to Germany in 1945 to test the Nazi jets, interviewing (among others) Hermann Goering and Hanna Reitsch. He flew the suicidally dangerous Me 163 rocket plane and tested the first British jets. In his recently released book, "Wings on my Sleeve", he tackles the thorny question of what were the "greats" in aviation from the mid-1930s to the 1970s. Here is his top-twenty list:


AVRO LANCASTER
LANCASTER - just to sit in the cockpit was sheer joy. It exuded self-confidence.

B-29 - gave a feeling of impregnability.

BOEING B-29 SUPERFORTRESS


BUCKER JUNGMEISTER
JUNGMEISTER - an aerobatic gem.


HORNET - overpowered perfection.

DE HAVILLAND HORNET


DOUGLAS BOSTON
BOSTON - its take-off acceleration was a taste of things to come.

STORCH - a virtuoso of slow flight.

FIESLER STORCH


FOCKE-WULF 190D-9
FW 190D-9 - German fighter
technology at its best.

GLADIATOR - last of the great biplane fighters.

GLOUSTER GLADIATOR


GRUMMAN BEARCAT
BEARCAT - a pilot's dream machine.

HUNTER - flies as good as it looks.

HAWKER HUNTER from E,T,P,S.


JUNKERS 88
JUNKERS 88, efficient in all its multi-roles and a delight to fly.


"CONNIE", a standard bearer for long haul airliners.

LOCKHEED CONSTELLATION


MACCHI C.205
C.205 - a wonderful combination of Italian styling and German power.

F-4 - exciting performance and a thrill to fly.

MCDONNELL F-4 PHANTOM IIs from VF-161


MARTIN-BAKER MB.5
MB.5 - a real beauty that arrived too late for World War II.

ME 262 - a quantum
jump in fighter performance in World War II.

MESSERCHMITT 262


NORTH AMERICAN F-86 SABREs of Pakistan Air Force
F-86E - handling perfection with help of a 'flying tail'.

FRANK - a lively performer that was a revelation to fly.

NAKAJIMA FRANK


SUPERMARINE SPITFIRE XII
SPITFIRE XII -
I enjoyed this most of all the spitfires.

VISCOUNT - a new standard for short-haul passenger airliners.

VICKERS VISCOUNT


BASIS FOR THESE AIRCRAFT SELECTIONS
Captain Eric Brown's book is an outstanding personal account of his experiences early in WWII with British carriers and later his test flying of World War II aircraft from all countries. Details of these aircraft are available on http://www.wikipedia.org. "Wings on my Sleeve" (published in 2006)can be purchased online from both Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

Top%20of%20Page 

 WWI Entente Aircraft 
   WWI German Aircraft