Most Important Aircraft of ALL TIME

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After numerous designs and technological advancements, it’s no surprise that there have been many outstanding aircraft throughout history. Here they are listed below for your convenience. Let us know if we’ve missed anything!


  • Wright Flyer – The first airplane to achieve a controlled, sustained flight with a pilot 
  • Bleriot XI – The first aircraft to cross the English channel
  • Sikorsky Ilya Muromets – The first true airliner
  • Fokker E.III – The first to form small specialist fighter units
  • Junkers F 13 – The first all-metal transport aircraft
  • Spirit of St. Louis – The first to fly nonstop from New York to Paris
  • Amelia’s Lockheed Vega 5B – The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic

1930 -1940

  • Supermarine Spitfire – Only fighter built throughout WWII
  • Douglas DC-3 – The first airliner to carry passengers across America in a day
  • Messerschmitt BF.109 – Most famous German fighter of WWII
  • Piper J-3 Cub – Taught 80% of US pilots to fly in WWII
  • Boeing 314 Clipper – Carried then-President Roosevelt, making it the first Air Force One


  • Messerschmitt Me 262 – The first jet-powered fighter aircraft
  • Lockheed Constellation – The first prominent pressurized airliner
  • Boeing B-29 Superfortress – World’s first nuclear-capable aircraft
  • Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star – The first American jet-powered combat aircraft
  • Bell X-1 – First to break the sound barrier
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 – Soviet Union’s first jet-powered fighter


  • de Havilland Comet I – The world’s first commercial jet airliner
  • C-130 Hercules – Had the longest production run of any military aircraft
  • Cessna 172 – The highest-selling aircraft of all time
  • Grumman Gulfstream I – Successfully introduced business-class aircraft


  • Learjet 23 – The first mass-produced business jet
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – The world’s fastest air-breathing manned aircraft
  • Boeing 737 – Best selling jetliner for 52 years
  • Tupolev Tu-144 – The world’s first commercial SST supersonic transport
  • Concorde – The only supersonic transport to have a 27-year career


  • Boeing 747 – Has flown more than 3.5 billion people
  • RV-3 – Most successful kit-built plane
  • Rutan VariEze – Led to the development of SpaceShipOne
  • Gossamer Albatross – The first human-powered plane to cross the English Channel
  • F-16 Fighting Falcon – First fighter designed to be unstable to improve maneuverability


  • Rutan Model 76 Voyager – First to fly around the world without stopping or refueling
  • Airbus A320 – Pioneered the use of a digital fly-by-wire flight control system


  • Cirrus SR22 – First aircraft that had its own parachute
  • SpaceShipOne – The first privately-funded human spaceflight
  • Dassault Falcon 7X – The first plane designed entirely on a virtual platform
  • F-22 Raptor – Has a kill ratio of 108:0
  • MQ-1 Predator – Marked the beginning of the era of extensive drone warfare
  • V-22 Osprey – The first successful tilt-rotor military aircraft


  • Boeing 787 Dreamliner – The first airliner constructed primarily out of composite materials
  • Gulfstream G500 – The first private jet to adopt active side-stick military technology
  • F-35 Lightning II – Future of American aerial warfare
  • Lockheed Martin SR-72 – First hypersonic plane capable of firing hypersonic missiles

Honorable Mentions:

  • H-4 Hercules “Spruce Goose” – Largest wooden plane and flying boat ever built
  • LZ 129 Hindenburg – The world’s largest airship
  • Antonov An-225 Mriya – Was the largest and heaviest cargo plane
  • B-2 Spirit – America’s first strategic stealth bomber
  • Mitsubishi A5M – First carrier-based monoplane fighter
  • Scaled Composites Model 351 Stratolaunch – Longest wingspan ever flown, at 385ft
  • Hawker Siddeley Harrier – The first operational V/STOL jet fighter
  • Airbus A380 – World’s largest passenger airliner
  • Mig-25 Foxbat – Currently the fastest armed jet in the world