There are countless lists comparing and contrasting the greatest airplanes of all time, but what about those that are often overlooked? We asked the experts at Artemis Aerospace, a leader in the supply and repair of aircraft components, to tell us which aircraft they like the most and why
WISTON, West Sussex , June 15, 2022 /PRNewswire/ —
Jim Scott – Co-founder and owner
The first airliner produced by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC), the BAC 1-11 was originally designed by Hunting Aircraft as a 30-seat jet aircraft, before its merger with BAC in 1960. Following an order from British United Airways in 1961, it eventually became an 80-seat design to compete with early Boeing 737 variants that would be used by several carriers around the world. After its first commercial flight in 1965, the aircraft was redesigned in 1967 to introduce a stretched 500 series. Jim remembers it fondly:
“It was the first civilian aircraft I remember flying in the early 70s and a mainstay of the British Caledonian fleet out of Gatwick which served European holiday destinations. In my case it was the magic machine who took us to Spain!
“The BAC 1-11 was something of a pocket rocket, with its pair of rear-mounted Rolls-Royce Spey engines. It added to the magic for me as a passenger, as there was always an incredible roar takeoff. It was also quite special for its wing-facing seats and the ability to deploy a set of sky stairs under its tail. Naturally, these features were long before anyone thought of maximizing passenger numbers and to minimize the weight for economic reasons!”
BAe 146 Whisperjet
Deborah Scott – Co-founder and owner
Manufactured in the UK by British Aerospace (later BAE Systems), the BAe 146 was in production from 1983 to 2001 and can still be seen in service today. Designed as a short-haul and regional airliner, upgraded versions of the aircraft were released in 1992 (Avro RJ) and 1997 (Avro RJX). However, only two prototypes and one production aircraft of the Avro RJX were produced before production ceased in 2001. One of the most successful British civil airliners, the Avro RJ/BAe 146 is a a beautifully proportioned small jet plane that Deborah considers to be ahead of its time. She says:
“It was extremely quiet and nimble, so it was ideal for conurbations – it could come in at very steep angles and land effortlessly on short inner-city runways, like London City Airport. business flying short trips in the In the 1990s, the Whisperjet was luxurious compared to other alternatives, such as the F27 twin-engine turboprop, which could not fly above bad weather. Passengers on these planes would suffer a lot of turbulence when flying over the English Channel.
“The Whisperjet’s innovative design meant there were fewer components, thus reducing maintenance to a minimum. The QC (Quick Change) version had modular seats which could very easily be reconfigured for cargo transport. This meant that it could carry passengers during the day and cargo during the night – beauty and intelligence. What a fabulous aircraft!”
Dan Frith – Director of Flight Simulator Support Sales and Beth Wright – Commercial director
One of the newest additions to the skies, the magnificent A380 with its wide-body jumbo, huge wingspan and four Rolls-Royce Trent 900 turbofans, is instantly identifiable as it flies overhead.
First delivered to Singapore Airlines in October 2007it is the largest passenger aircraft in the world and can carry up to 853 passengers – hence its nickname, Superjumbo. At its peak, up to 30 aircraft a year were produced. In 2021, Airbus announced the end of its production. However, this full-length double-decker aircraft remained a favorite among aircraft enthusiasts.
With two votes from the team, the majesty of this aircraft certainly did not escape today’s passengers.
Dan was at the Farnborough Airshow in 2006 to see his public debut and since then he has loved the experience of flying the A380. He said:
“The first time I was able to fly the A380 was on a trip to Singapore. I was in the economy cabin, which is extremely spacious and comfortable. It’s also the quietest plane I’ve ever flown, which seems odd considering it’s also the biggest!”
Beth, who is a former British Airways cabin crew member, flew with them for work and leisure. She has fond memories of both:
“I’ve always enjoyed flying the A380. For such a large aircraft, it’s incredibly comfortable and soaks up a lot of turbulence – so much so that I could barely feel the sudden inclination of a go-around during an approach to LAX. Passengers were always delighted to walk around it – they were particularly fascinated by the stairs in the forward and aft sections. The size of the plane is such that on takeoff I often remember having the impression that we would surely run out of runway by take-off time!”
André Viljoen – Global Logistics Manager
A shortened version of the Boeing 747, the 747SP was designed to compete McDonnell Douglas’s DC-10 and Lockheed L-1011 TriStar.
Part of Pan Am’s signature fleet until the airline ceased operations in 1991, the 747SP was born out of a request by the company to create a 747 variant that could carry a full payload, nonstop on his longest route at that time between New York and Tehran. The company took delivery of the first aircraft, Freedom Mowerin 1976.
The aircraft was originally named the 747SB for “short body”, but later became SP for “special performance”, a nod to the aircraft’s greater range and speed of higher cruising.
Andre, a former South African Airways pilot, explains why it’s his all-time favorite civilian aircraft:
“I first flew a 747SP in 1979 (JNB-LHR) when it was a relatively new addition to the SAA fleet. It was ideal for the needs of the time, which demanded a high-performance, long-range aircraft Mach 0.86, it could reach its 45,000-foot ceiling faster and stay there longer than any of its counterparts, making it more fuel efficient and helped increase its range by 1,200 NM.
“It was an absolute joy to fly and have the benefit of a flight engineer – something that technology has now made history.
“Boeing ultimately produced only 45 airframes, but its wing design and engineering heralded the production of later aircraft, such as the SUD 300 and 747-400.
“In 1996, my journey came full circle when I was part of a crew that flew a JNB SAA SP at the old Kai Tak airport in hong kong. After a long dark night over the Indian Ocean, flying the checkerboard approach on Runway 13 really helped me focus and make the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end!”
Artemis Aerospace offers an innovative approach to component solutions for the aerospace sector. Founded in 1999, the company has built a reputation for exceptional customer service by solving problems and providing a range of realistic options that give customers the flexibility and freedom to choose a solution that fits their schedule and budget. . Its services include component supplies, component repairs, lessor support, flight simulation hardware support, consignment inventory management and global aircraft logistics.
With decades of expertise in global aviation logistics, the expert team works with trusted MROs, OEMs and spare parts suppliers around the world to offer 24/7 support to its global clientele.
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SOURCE Artemis Aerospace