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7 Airliners You Wish You Had Flown On

Any pilot has a list of aircraft they would love to fly - or fly on. Here are 7 historic airliners that would have been a blast to experience.

1) ATL-98 Carvair: Because Sometimes You Want To Take Your Car

It looks like a 747 - but it's not. The Aviation Traders ATL-98 Carvair could hold five cars and 25 passengers. Developed in 1961 to support the car ferrying service, it moved passengers and their automobiles between Britain and continental Europe.

carvair Richard Goring / Flickr

2) Lockheed L-1049 Super Constellation

At the end of the prop age and the beginning of the jet age, the Lockheed Super Constellation - known as the "Connie" - ruled the sky. Cruising at 304mph (489 km/h), it carried 27 to 106 passengers and a crew of four. Airlines quickly phased out the Connie after the introduction of the Boeing 707 and Douglas DC-8.

The Connie has a special role in the expansion of Air Traffic Control. In 1956, a TWA Super Connie collided with a United Airlines DC-7 over the Grand Canyon - neither aircraft was under ATC control. The aftermath resulted in the dissolution of the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the formation of the Federal Aviation Administration under the Federal Aviation Act of 1958, and the expansion of Air Traffic Control.

super-connie Alan Wilson / Flickr

3) Boeing 314 Clipper

Just prior to the start of World War II, Boeing designed and produced the 314 "Clipper" - a long range flying boat meant for transoceanic flights. Pan Am took nine of the flying boats and the British Overseas Airlines Corporation (BOAC) took three. Pan Am's clippers entered service with the US military during the war.

Clipper YouTube

4) Ford Tri-Motor - The Tin Goose

An icon from aviation's golden age, the Ford Tri-Motor was one of the first all-metal commercially successful passenger aircraft. Produced between 1926 and 1933, it's one of the best known aircraft from the 20's and 30's - but did you know that only 199 were built? If you want to fly in one, you can - EAA's Tri-Motor will be giving rides at Oshkosh.

tri-motor D. Miller / Flickr
tri-motor2 D. Miller / Flickr

5) Boeing 377 Stratocruiser: One Of The First Double-Decker Airliners

The Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 are famous for their upper decks, but did you know that the Boeing Stratocruiser beat them to it in 1947? Designed from the C-97 transport (which was a derivative of the B-29), 55 Boeing Stratocruisers entered transoceanic service with airlines after World War II. They offered premier service and luxury - the main deck on top held up to 100 passengers, with a lower-deck lounge for 14 passengers.


6) Boeing 707: Changing Air Travel

The Boeing 707 wasn't the first commercial jetliner, but it was the first commercially successful jetliner. Boeing built them between 1958 and 1979, and they carried anywhere from 140 to 189 passengers. Want to ride in one? Actor John Travolta flies a pristine example - painted in Quantas livery.

707-travolta Dylan Ashe / Flickr

7) The Fokker F.VII Trimotor

When you hear "Tri-Motor," you probably think Ford - but Fokker produced a tri-motor airliner in the 20's, as well. You may think of Fokker as German, but it's actually Dutch. They developed the F.VII as an 8 to 12 passenger fabric, steel and plywood aircraft in 1924. It saw service around in Europe and the Americas and a crash of its derivative, the F.10, killed American football coach Knute Rockne in 1931.


Aleks Udris

Aleks is a Boldmethod co-founder and technical director. He's worked in safety and operations in the airline industry, and was a flight instructor and course manager for the University of North Dakota. You can reach him at

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