What's the coolest airplane you've been on?

I’m a private pilot, and sometimes get to ride in cool airplanes. I haven’t been in anything really unusual yet, although I expect to. The best so far was a 1969 Piper Comanche.

A friend of mine took a ride in a B-17, and pronounced it awesome.

I’ve always wanted to go on the Concorde, and was planning to until they grounded them last year. Has anyone ridden it?

My fantasy however, is the SR-71 Blackbird. 80,000 feet, and something like Mach 3. Not much chance of that one though.

OK, your turn. Make me jealous.

A few actually:

TravelAir 4000 biplane skywriter.
DeHaviland Beaver
Piper Cub on floats (off the Mississippi River, no less)

P-3 Orion (approx 5000hrs; mostly in the P-3C, but I am partial to the VP-3A for ultimate comfort).

What other aircraft can you roll your sleeping bag out and rest undisturbed until it’s time for a steak dinner? Try that on any commercial aircraft and see where it gets you.

Any one I happen to be flying at the time. :wink:

When I was a kid my mom used to work at MYF and there was a DC-3 giving rides. I went up in it and it was very cool.

A Ford Trimotor, on a Boy Scouts camping trip to an island in Lake Erie. Rattly, drafty, gawdawful slow, even a little worrying when over the water, and I loved it. I really wish I’d bought that “Island Airways - World’s Shortest Airline” flight bag.

Coolest airplane, though? Any time I fly for the first time in a plane with engine components I’ve designed, that plane gets my vote.

Of course among light aircraft, nothing is cooler than a helicopter! :smiley:

I was on an F-14 Tomcat once. It was parked on the tarmac at an air show. But I was ON it.

Among flying things, I got to do some treetop, swoop-down-the-river flying in a Huey, and that, my friends, was just too awesome for words.

Piper PA-11. First flight ever. You sit in tandem with the pilot. Slow, low and noisey. We flew with the door open. Over twenty years ago and I still remember. Thank you Brian Moore.

F-16 over the Gulf of Mexico. Whattaride.

Condorde. Once.
Air Jamaica leased one from Air France (I think) several years back. They gave some of us travel guru’s the inaugural ride from Dulles to Montego Bay. They went way out over the Atlantic so they could go supersonic.
Cool? YES!
Comfortable? NO.

And I flew in a C-130 to Keflavik Iceland on a training exercise once while as a civilian contractor for the government.
Cool? Also YES!
Comfortable? Also, NO!

The coolest plane I’ve ever been on was a Tupolev Tu-16 Badger, a Soviet bomber (it was still Soviet at the time). I visited the Ukraine in 1989, and they had one on display in a park. I was able to climb up into the cockpit and poke around. The coolest plane I ever actually flew on was probably a Tupolev Tu-134. That’s a small (70 or 80 passenger) Aeroflot airliner which took me from Frankfurt to Kiev, and back.

In 1969 took a short commuter flight across Columbia in a DC-3 cargo plane. It cost about $6, it was the scariest flight I ever had. The small plane had about 8 seats along the walls, with nets in the rear holding back the cargo (which included live goats). And there was no door on this plane either, I felt like I was being sucked out the door, so I held onto my restraints (a 4-point military-style seat harness) for dear life. My seat faced the open door, which was particularly scary as the pilot was making the craziest maneuvers as he threaded his way through the mountains, I’ve never again been on a plane where the pilot had no hesitation to do a 90 degree roll with one wingtip pointed straight down.

I recently went up in a turbine powered DeHaviland Otter for my first floatplane ride. It was a blast, and swooping around the Space Needle before touching down on Lake Union was memorable.

The absolute coolest airplane I’ve been on was an AN-2 Colt. When I was in the Army, I played a ‘bad guy’ at our training center (OpFor at JRTC, for those that love abbreviations), and we used threat airplanes for insertion and to give the Stinger crews something to shoot at.
The Colt was a fabric-skinned biplane from N. Korea, I think, and it flew maybe 100 knots. Maybe. To jump out of it, we’d have to crouch as we went out the door, and I always hit my packtray on the way out. It was fun puttering along above the treetops, then climbing to altitude to jump in a small clearing. That’s the only aircraft you could get me on again with a parachute. I’ve sworn off faster birds.

Huh. You guys are WAY cooler than me.

I’ve only flown in commercial stuff. The “coolest”, well, actually the most FUN was a Fokker F50. It’s a small prop plane, build in Holland in the late 80’s and early 90’s. They pop up all over the globe, and KLM UK uses a lot of them for the hops from and to London City Airport.

Very comfortable - when there isn’t a lot of wind. If there IS, you’re in for a wild ride. But because of its small size, it has a very fun “small plane” kinda feel to it.

Does anyone know this plane, even?

The T-34C. What a ride! I puked a lot (aerobatics and nerves), but boy was it worth it.

about three other rides:

P-2V Neptune (USN): The bow observer station seat can slide forward on rails far enough forward that the only thing forward of your butt is clear perspex. YOU ARE SUPERMAN (even if only lumbering along at 180KTAS)!! Very cool view.

Canadair Argus (CAF): There is nothing like the roar of FOUR Wright R3370 radials roarin’ along at takeoff. Sweet, sweet, sweet, sweet! 115/145 smells good too.

Cessna 421 Golden Eagle: simply classy; from takeoff to landing. (And good looking to boot)

I get to see those getting built here at work…always wanted to fly in one.

Nothing fantastic…

CC-130 Hercules (Quite the ship),
Bellanca Scout (What a craft!),
and my favourite, the “SGS 2-33 A” by Schweizer.

I know the plane, it’s a modern variation of the F27. My Dad used to fly F27s for a regional airline in Minneapolis, but I’ve never been on one, myself.

My son and I flew in a glider. He was about 2, I think, and I was given a gift certificate for Father’s Day. We were towed up, and when the pilot released the cable…just the sound of wind swooshing by. Way cool.

The landing was on skids, and it looked like we were going to run out of grass and into the cornfield, but we came to a stop about 30 feet short.

Oh, yeah, I’ve got a video of the whole thing from a camera in the cockpit.