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Old Sep 23, 12, 6:00 pm   #1
 
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Ugliest Planes of All Time!

Now up and running in Patrick Smith's ASK THE PILOT ...

THE UGLIEST PLANES EVER MADE?

Conventional wisdom holds that modern aircraft are so aesthetically generic because, in the name of aerodynamics and economy, they have to be. But is this true?

And, from the DC-10 to the Trislander to the An-72, a nod to history’s worst-looking commercial planes.

It's a fun read, I think.

And maybe a little scandalous. You'll notice that I've dared to include the legendary Lockheed Constellation on that list, albeit with a bit of a caveat. Go ahead, I'm ready for the abuse.

You can read it on the home page...

http://WWW.ASKTHEPILOT.COM


As for any that my list doesn't include, I'm sure we can get a lively discussion going here on FT.


- Patrick

Last edited by GateHold; Sep 23, 12 at 6:00 pm. Reason: grammar
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Old Sep 23, 12, 6:36 pm   #2
 
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I agree with most of them minus the Lockheed Connie and the DC-10.

Especially the Fokker 614 good lord.........

With that being said if you include the DC-10 might as well include the MD-11 since on the exterior it is somewhat similar to a DC-10. Yes I know an MD-11 has winglets but still.......
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Old Sep 23, 12, 6:43 pm   #3
 
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Quote:
With that being said if you include the DC-10 might as well include the MD-11 since on the exterior it is somewhat similar to a DC-10. Yes I know an MD-11 has winglets but still.......

Actually, now that I think about it, the MD-11 was (is) probably LESS attractive than the DC-10.

Winglets can make or break a profile. They look sleek and sexy on some planes, like the A340 or the 747-400, but are sometimes awkward as add-ons. The 767, for instance, just doesn't look right with winglets.

PS

Last edited by GateHold; Sep 23, 12 at 6:44 pm. Reason: format
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Old Sep 23, 12, 7:57 pm   #4
 
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Great article. I've always thought the Shorts to be especially ugly aircraft.

Complimenting your story, I wrote a 'World's most hideous airline cabins' story a while back which you can read here:

http://flymefunky.com/2012/05/the-wo...irline-cabins/
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Old Sep 23, 12, 9:35 pm   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GateHold View Post
Actually, now that I think about it, the MD-11 was (is) probably LESS attractive than the DC-10.

Winglets can make or break a profile. They look sleek and sexy on some planes, like the A340 or the 747-400, but are sometimes awkward as add-ons. The 767, for instance, just doesn't look right with winglets.

PS
Winglets on a 767 is like having an awkwardly designed renovation put on your house. It stikes out like a sore thumb.


BTW I do agree the A380 is ugly and this comes from someone who has flown on one.
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Old Sep 24, 12, 2:18 am   #6
 
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I think price would be lower. The Airbus A320, looks like hatched egg. lol for ugliest planes looking like traveling in bus. Nice insight.
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Old Sep 24, 12, 10:23 am   #7
 
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I think price would be lower. The Airbus A320, looks like hatched egg. lol for ugliest planes looking like traveling in bus. Nice insight.
unfortunately, the A320's main competitor, the 737, is even uglier. it sits strangely low to the ground, has those oddly-shaped engines as a result, and the winglets look like some aftermarket hunk of fiberglass some goofball attached to his honda civic. U G L Y .

Last edited by cblaisd; Sep 30, 12 at 5:12 am. Reason: removed animated gif
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Old Sep 24, 12, 1:16 pm   #8
 
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Breguet Deux-Ponts
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Old Sep 24, 12, 7:53 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
Hmmm, it looks like some strange prop-driven forebear of the A380.
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Old Sep 24, 12, 11:38 pm   #10
 
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I've always thought the A318 just looks "wrong" proportionally. Like it should be a turboprop but somebody stuck jet engines onto it. Or like a photoshopped jet in the real world.
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Old Sep 25, 12, 1:55 am   #11
 
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Seriously disagree, along with others concerning the article's critique about the Lockheed Constellation. Among many flyers, I share the opinion that the Connie is the most beautifully designed airliner in history.

Concerning the A380, its design will grow on you over time. Just as the Boeing 377 did many years ago.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_377
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Old Sep 25, 12, 5:10 am   #12
 
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Agree that the Connie was a beauty, and my current favorite is the B747, especially the former SP model.

Don't think I'd ever consider the A380 much of a looker. Seems to me to be just an overgrown whale with wings.

Between the L-1011 and the DC-10/MD-11, my vote would be for the L-10, as the center engine of the DC-10/11 ruins the effect of a sleek fuselage while the L1011's center engine's lines flow gracefully into the empenage.

bj-21.
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Old Sep 25, 12, 11:33 am   #13
 
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Originally Posted by tonywestsider View Post
Among many flyers, I share the opinion that the Connie is the most beautifully designed airliner in history.
Concorde was better. The Connie always looks as if it thumped the tail down hard and bent the back half of the fuselage
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Old Sep 26, 12, 10:35 am   #14
 
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Hmm... AN-72 starts looking cute when you compare it to Cheburashka
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Old Oct 1, 12, 1:19 am   #15
 
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Originally Posted by alanR View Post
Concorde was better. The Connie always looks as if it thumped the tail down hard and bent the back half of the fuselage
But the Connie was designed using a beautiful compound curve, which shows in different cabins throughout its fuselage versus flying what amounts to be in a very narrow straight tube of the Concorde. The Concorde is nice but in terms of overall spatial and experiential qualities in and outside of the aircraft, it's no match to the Connie.
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