2:46 PM

New, new, new!

This is a post I have ran before, but I update it every year about this time, squeezing a few more smiles out of it. So my new readers can enjoy this time-consuming game we pilots all play, here is the New Year’s 2007 version:

Filling the Hanger of Your Dreams

Every pilot is the same when it comes to these flying machines…we’ve never met one we didn’t like. But when we really stop and think about it, exactly which ones are more dear to us than all the others? If you are a true-blue aviator, it will be very, very hard to pick your personal “Top 10” favorite aircraft of all time.

Compiling your own list of 10 favorite aircraft can be fun, and if you are like me, this will be a great way to amuse yourself for hours. It should not be a list of what you can actually ever afford, but a “dream list” of what 10 airplanes would be in your hanger if money were an unlimited resource.

With that said, here is “Part One” of my personal “Top 10” list in descending order…enjoy:

10. LoPresti Fury: This great new certified airplane is the dream of notorious speed merchant Roy LoPresti, and it's fast, sexy and did I mention fast? It jumps into my Top 10 because I believe it is one of the most exciting new projects about to come out way in years. It is designed for those who define “car” as anything built by Ferrari.

9. Beechcraft Starship: Because I’d want something designed by Burt Rutan in the dream hangar. This rare beauty was panned as having horrible fuel economy, but that is completely mitigated by its museum-quality sex appeal. Sure, they are all in scrap heaps now, but friends, this is fantasyland here, so anything is possible.

8. Terrafugia Transition: Speaking of exciting projects, this “roadable airplane” from the fertile minds at MIT should be a huge hit if/when if comes to market. As an airplane, it delivers LSA performance, so don’t expect this to be a serious cross-country vehicle. But when you factor in the capability to suck in your wings, switch power to the drive wheels, and cruise out of the airport gate to your destination, there is nothing in the air that will even come close to this breathtaking and daring concept. I have flown the transition in X-plane, and it is smooth and stable. I want one…

7. The Space Shuttle: Sure, you'll need a set of big, honkin’ rockets to punch out through the stratosphere, and sure, it has the glide characteristics of a brick, but man, what a view after you get it trimmed out at it’s usual cruising altitude of about a gazillion feet AGL. Plus, the Shuttle fleet is getting close to retirement, so you might be able to soon pick one up cheap on eBay.

6. North American P-51: What red-blooded pilot wouldn’t have one of these V-12 powered monsters in his/her dream hanger? And nothing shouts “ramp appeal” quite like a Mustang…and I’m not talking about the one made by Cessna either. The newest Citation is very cool, but the first time a Citation 'Mustang' parks next to a real Mustang, you can bet the P-51 will walk over and kick it’s ass for "borrowing" it's name.
Tune in tomorrow for part two of this post...and in the meantime, try to make up your own list. You can then email it to me here, and I'll try to post some reader lists soon.

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