Without a doubt...the Super Tucano... It's like a modern day P-51 Mustang...dead sexy too... I wish the Army would purchase something like this in small quantities. It would prove invaluable in a counterinsurgency fight like in Afghanistan. In my experience the only "useful" CAS we ever got on station was A-10's...because they could fly low and slow. A little turboprop fighter like this in a direct support role would kick some butt....
That's easy Junkers JU-52-3M. If it can fit inside you can leave with it. And the first dependable transport to make airborne operations possible. A very close second, the ME-262. An airborne shark, pure genius from end to end.
Out of the planes I could actually afford to own and fly... Mooney M20J with a LoPresti cowl and other speed mods. I like it because it's the product of continuous improvement on a base design that was supposed to be fast, efficient, and economical to operate.
Plane if I won the lottery... TBM-850
Any plane? Hmm, that's a tough one. So many planes to do so many different jobs. Concorde. It's still the fastest, we've only gone backwards since then.
Grew up in central Illinois on my grandparent's farm. My parents were engineers but we all helped out when Grandpa needed help.
I remember being about 12 out on the tractor moving hog houses one spring when I heard this "noise". I look up and it's an F-4 down on the deck hauling ass. Then the "sound" hit! Fuck... seems the pretty boy McDonald Douglas test pilots were out playing with the latest F-15 when the boys at the Illinois Air Guard decided to fuck up their day. I stopped the tractor and watched the dogfight for who knows how long. Chaff packs all over the farm. It reminded me of the air battles in Red Dawn except this one was REAL! Real planes anyway. ANG Commander was a friend of my Dad's. Top Gun graduate and Vietnam vet. Would buzz the house on a regular basis in all kinds of cool toys
Tough call. My tops are the P-38 Lightning, Huey, A-10 Warthog and C-47. Probably the C-47/DC-3, just a beautiful plane. There is one that flies cargo from the local airport here out to the Bahamas. It has a very distinct sound and I usually go check it out when its flying over. Theyre AK tough, seem simple and reliable if they're still being used for real work around the world. Really cool plane.
The damage occurred when she was flying a mission over Baghdad on 7 April 2003. "We did our job with the guys there on the ground, and as we were on our way out is when I felt the jet get hit. It was pretty obvious — it was loud... I lost all hydraulics instantaneously, and the jet rolled left and pointed toward the ground, which was an uncomfortable feeling over Baghdad. It didn't respond to any of my control inputs." She tried several procedures to get the aircraft under control, none of which worked; last, she put the plane into manual reversion, meaning she was flying the aircraft without hydraulics. The aircraft immediately responded. "The jet started climbing away from the ground, which was a good feeling because there was no way I wanted to eject over Baghdad." With some technical advice from her flight leader, Lieutenant Colonel Turner, she flew the injured plane for an hour back to the air base. "The jet was performing exceptionally well. I had no doubt in my mind I was going to land that airplane." Landing was tricky: "When you lose all the hydraulics, you don't have speed brakes, you don't have brakes, and you don't have steering."[SUP][/SUP]
Kim Campbell's A-10 suffered extensive damage.
For this action in aerial combat she was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross.[SUP][/SUP]
On the ground it was discovered that her A-10 had sustained damage to one engine and to the redundant hydraulic systems, disabling the flight controls, landing gear and brakes, and horizontal stabilizer. A detailed inspection revealed hundreds of holes in the airframe and that large sections of the stabilizer and hydraulic controls were missing.[SUP][/SUP]
"She's one of the few pilots who ever landed the A-10 in the manual mode," said General Richard Myers, USAF, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.[SUP][/SUP]