The Most Beautiful Aircraft Ever Built: A Ranking of Exquisite Designs

Choose the aircraft you think is the most beautiful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 10, 2024 06:20
Welcome to StrawPoll's sky-high showdown of stunning aircraft designs! We've compiled a list of the most breathtaking, awe-inspiring, and downright beautiful aircraft ever built for you to vote on and rank. From the sleek curves of the Concorde to the impressive wingspan of the Spruce Goose, these magnificent flying machines have captured our imaginations and hearts throughout history. Now it's up to you to decide which aircraft takes the crown as the most beautiful ever built! Cast your vote, share your thoughts, and even suggest a missing masterpiece - because in this poll, the sky's the limit!

What Is the Most Beautiful Aircraft Ever Built?

  1. 1
    46
    votes
    Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
    TSgt. Michael Haggerty, USAF · Public domain

    Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

    Lockheed Corporation
    The sleek, black design of this high-altitude reconnaissance aircraft makes it a stunning sight. Its speed and agility also add to its beauty.
    The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird is a long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was designed and built by the Lockheed Corporation. The aircraft's sleek and futuristic design, coupled with its unmatched performance capabilities, make it widely considered one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. Its unique appearance and innovative technologies have made it an icon of aerospace engineering.
    • First flight: December 22, 1964
    • Crew: 2 (Pilot and Reconnaissance Systems Officer)
    • Length: 32.74 meters (107.8 feet)
    • Wingspan: 16.94 meters (55.7 feet)
    • Height: 5.64 meters (18.6 feet)
  2. 2
    27
    votes
    The iconic supersonic passenger jet had a unique, slender shape that made it instantly recognizable. Its drooping nose added to its distinctive appearance.
    The Concorde was a supersonic passenger jet aircraft known for its sleek and elegant design. It was jointly developed and manufactured by British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) and Aérospatiale, with major involvement from Sud Aviation and the Bristol Aeroplane Company.
    • First Flight: 2 March 1969
    • Introduction: 21 January 1976
    • Retired: 26 November 2003
    • Length: 202 feet 4 inches (61.66 m)
    • Wingspan: 84 feet 0 inches (25.6 m)
  3. 3
    33
    votes
    The classic fighter plane of World War II has a graceful, curved design that is instantly recognizable. Its wings and tail are especially elegant.
    The Spitfire is a legendary single-seat fighter aircraft that was built primarily for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful and iconic aircraft ever produced.
    • First Flight: 5 March 1936
    • Wingspan: 11.23 m (36 ft 10 in)
    • Length: 9.12 m (29 ft 11 in)
    • Height: 3.86 m (12 ft 8 in)
    • Empty Weight: 2,352 kg (5,185 lb)
  4. 4
    19
    votes

    Boeing 747

    Boeing Commercial Airplanes
    The "Queen of the Skies" is one of the most recognizable commercial airplanes in the world. Its humpbacked design and massive size are impressive and beautiful.
    The Boeing 747, also known as the 'Jumbo Jet', is a wide-body commercial airliner that has been widely regarded as one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. Its distinctive hump-shaped upper deck and graceful curves have made it an iconic symbol in the aviation industry.
    • First Flight: February 9, 1969
    • Length: 231 ft 10 in (70.66 m)
    • Wingspan: 195 ft 8 in (59.64 m)
    • Height: 63 ft 8 in (19.41 m)
    • Maximum Takeoff Weight: 987,000 lb (447,696 kg)
    Boeing 747 in other rankings
  5. 5
    29
    votes

    F-22 Raptor

    Lockheed Martin
    This stealth fighter jet has a sleek and angular design that is both beautiful and intimidating. Its advanced technology and capabilities make it a marvel of engineering.
    The F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation fighter jet built for air superiority. It is designed to have stealth capabilities and advanced avionics to defeat modern air defense systems.
    • Max speed: 1,500 mph
    • Ceiling: 65,000 ft
    • Range: 1,840 miles
    • Thrust: 35,000 lbf
    • Length: 62 ft
    F-22 Raptor in other rankings
  6. 6
    26
    votes

    P-51 Mustang

    North American Aviation
    Another classic fighter plane of World War II, the Mustang has a sleek design and distinctive nose that make it a beauty to behold. Its powerful engine and maneuverability add to its appeal.
    The P-51 Mustang is a World War II era American fighter aircraft known for its exceptional performance and versatility. It is one of the most renowned and advanced planes in War Thunder, recognized for its distinct design and successful combat history.
    • Crew: 1
    • Length: 32 ft 3 in (9.8 m)
    • Wingspan: 37 ft 0 in (11.3 m)
    • Max Speed: 437 mph (703 km/h)
    • Range: 1,650 mi (2, 655 km)
    P-51 Mustang in other rankings
  7. 7
    20
    votes
    Airbus A380
    Julian Herzog (Website) · CC BY 4.0

    Airbus A380

    Airbus SE
    The largest passenger airliner in the world has an impressive size and unique design that make it a beautiful sight. Its double-decker cabin and curved wings are especially striking.
    The Airbus A380 is a double-deck, wide-body airliner known for being one of the most advanced commercial aircraft in the world. It was designed and developed by Airbus SE, a multinational aerospace company based in Europe. The A380 is recognized for its spaciousness, efficient fuel consumption, and cutting-edge technology.
    • First Flight: 27 April 2005
    • Length: 72.72 meters (238.7 feet)
    • Wingspan: 79.75 meters (261.6 feet)
    • Height: 24.09 meters (79.0 feet)
    • Maximum Seating Capacity: 853 passengers
    Airbus A380 in other rankings
  8. 8
    7
    votes
    B-2 Spirit
    United States Air Force · Public domain

    B-2 Spirit

    Northrop Grumman
    This stealth bomber has a unique, bat-like shape that is both beautiful and ominous. Its ability to evade radar detection adds to its mystique.
    The B-2 Spirit is a stealth strategic bomber used by the United States Air Force.
    • First flight: July 17, 1989
    • Length: 69 ft
    • Wingspan: 172 ft
    • Height: 17 ft
    • Crew: 2
    B-2 Spirit in other rankings
  9. 9
    15
    votes

    F-14 Tomcat

    Grumman Aerospace Corporation
    The iconic fighter jet of the movie Top Gun has a sleek and powerful design that is instantly recognizable. Its variable sweep wings and twin tails make it a standout.
    The F-14 Tomcat is a supersonic, twin-engine, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft that was primarily used by the United States Navy. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built, known for its sleek and powerful appearance. The F-14 Tomcat gained fame for its role in the movie 'Top Gun' and its distinctive twin tails and variable geometry wings.
    • First Flight: December 21, 1970
    • Wingspan: 64 ft
    • Length: 62 ft 8 in
    • Height: 16 ft
    • Max Speed: Mach 2.34 (1,544 mph)
  10. 10
    7
    votes

    Spitfire Mk IX

    Supermarine Aviation Works
    This variant of the Spitfire has a beautiful paint job and the iconic elliptical wing that makes it a beautiful plane to watch.
    The Spitfire Mk IX is a legendary British single-seat fighter aircraft that was primarily used by the Royal Air Force (RAF) during World War II. It is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful aircraft ever built, showcasing elegant curves and a distinctive elliptical wing design.
    • First Flight: 26th April 1942
    • Wingspan: 36 feet 10 inches
    • Length: 31 feet 3 inches
    • Height: 11 feet 5 inches
    • Empty Weight: 5,090 lbs

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Ranking factors for beautiful aircraft

  1. Aesthetics
    The overall visual appeal of the aircraft, including its lines, curves, and proportions. This includes the shape of the nose, wings, tail, and fuselage.
  2. Innovation
    The level of technological advancement and innovation in the aircraft design. This could include unique features, materials, or engineering solutions that make the aircraft stand out.
  3. Performance
    The aircraft's capabilities in terms of speed, range, altitude, and maneuverability. An aircraft that performs exceptionally well can be considered more beautiful because of its capabilities.
  4. Functionality
    The purpose and utility of the aircraft. An aircraft that serves its intended function well, whether it's for passengers, cargo, or military purposes, can be considered more beautiful because of its efficiency and effectiveness.
  5. Impact on aviation history
    An aircraft's influence on the development of aviation, whether through setting new records, advancing technology, or inspiring other designs, can contribute to its beauty.
  6. Craftsmanship
    The quality of the construction and materials used in the aircraft. High-quality craftsmanship can contribute to the aircraft's overall beauty through attention to detail and durability.
  7. Paint Scheme and Artwork
    The colors, patterns, and artwork on the exterior of the aircraft can enhance its visual appeal and contribute to its perceived beauty.
  8. Interior Design
    The design and layout of the aircraft's interior, including the cockpit and passenger cabin, can contribute to its overall beauty by providing a comfortable, functional, and aesthetically pleasing environment for its users.
  9. Environmental Impact
    An aircraft that is designed with a focus on reducing its environmental impact, such as through fuel efficiency or reduced noise pollution, can be considered more beautiful due to its commitment to sustainability.
  10. Iconic status
    The aircraft's importance or popularity within the world of aviation, whether due to its distinctive design or historical significance. An aircraft that has become an icon within the industry can be considered more beautiful because of its impact on aviation culture.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most beautiful aircraft ever built. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or airplane is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!

Statistics

  • 4547 views
  • 168 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each airplane once every 24 hours. The rank of each airplane is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most beautiful aircraft ever built

Background Information: The Beauty of Aircrafts Since the dawn of aviation, airplanes have fascinated people with their impressive designs and capabilities. Over the years, aircrafts have evolved from simple and primitive machines to sleek and sophisticated models that can travel at supersonic speeds and fly thousands of miles without refueling. However, beyond their technical prowess, aircrafts have also captivated us with their aesthetic beauty. The most beautiful aircraft ever built can be a subjective topic, as different people have different tastes and preferences. Some may favor the classic designs of yesteryear, such as the Spitfire or the Mustang, while others may find more modern planes like the F-22 Raptor or the Eurofighter Typhoon to be the epitome of beauty. One thing is for sure – the beauty of aircrafts goes beyond their exterior appearance. It's a combination of form and function, with each element serving a specific purpose. From the curves of the fuselage to the angle of the wings, every aspect of an aircraft's design is carefully considered to optimize performance and efficiency. Whether you are an aviation enthusiast or simply appreciate the artistry of engineering, the beauty of aircrafts is undeniable. So, what is the most beautiful aircraft ever built? That is a question that is sure to spark lively debate and discussion among aviation enthusiasts around the world.

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