What was the most advanced aircraft for its time?


I say it was the SR-71 Blackbird. Mach 3.2+, 80,000 feet ceiling… and that was the early ’60s!
I realize now that it can be extremely difficult to name ONE plane as the “most advanced for its time.” So, what were some of the most advanced aircraft for their time?




I was going to say the same plane but you listed that one already. The Air Force decommissioned that plane back in the early 90’s but brought back into service. (I guess they realized they had nothing better) to replace it. If you were asking about today’s gen 5 fighters I would say the YF122 Raptor hands down and the B117 and B1B bombers.

Jim W

The Boeing B-52 long range heavy bomber. It is still in use. Then again in the 1930′s it was the ME 109, in the 1944 the P-51, in 1949, the F-86, in 1990 the B117.
In 1916 the Sopwith Camel or the Fokker triplane. Curse you Red Baron. Each aircraft in the military fleet was the most advanced for it’s time. In the 1860′s it was a hot air balloon.


That is pretty good answer, but here we come to a problem. To select one plane as advanced there are much more things to consider than speed and max altitude. Blackbird was extremely hard to control, even the best pilots had problems with it.

I watched show on Discovery Channel and Blackbird was among top 10 of its time but it finnished somewhere behind.

F-15 was a total innovation of its time as well P-51 in WW2.


I would have to say the wright flyer. to say any other aircraft was the most advanced for its time is mainly subjective but it is a fact that the wright flyer was the most advanced because it was the only one that existed.


concorde without doubt. the only passenger aircraft to go supersonic and stay in service without competition from any other aircraft builder. some say the tu144 but the Russians used indusrial espianage to get there first and it only lasted a few months before breaking up in mid flight.


I would say it was the B-49 Flying wing bomber of the late 1940s. It was ahead of it’s time, and the precursor to the B-2 Spirit Flying Wing bomber that is in operation today. Identical in wingspan both of these radical aircraft have seen their share of problems.
The original B-49 had stability problems thought to be insurmountable for it’s roll as a strategic bomber. The highly unstable B-2 flies only by the aid of a bank of computers that keep it stable in flight. The long range capability and small radar signature of the aircraft means it can strike anywhere in the world undetected. One plane can do the job that used to require a hole bunch of different aircraft in the support role.
The main problem with the B-2 is the cost. At almost two billion dollars a copy there were only 20 built.
It remains probably the most advanced and radical aircraft flying today.


Easy question, it was the CF-105 Avroe Arrow. It was years ahead of its time when it was produced in the 1950′s. Five Arrow’s flew. It was cancelled due to political reasons. When it was cancelled virtually all of Canada’s aerospace engineers moved south the the United States.

Most of these engineers produced aircraft such as the SR-71, F-18, and the Space Shuttle, at least two of the men occupied the position of President of McDonnel Douglas and the Vice President of NASA. Others went to lead other US corporations.

The canopy of the SR-71 was a copy of the Arrow’s canopy. The Arrow was a Mach 2.5 plus aircraft.

It was the death of a dream in Canada and the death of our aerospace industry.


For Civil Aviation: i’d say the 747, A320, Concorde. The 747 because in its time, there was nothing that size, it was 300% bigger than the next biggest plane to it and it used more powerful engines than any commercial jet at that time. The A320 because it brought in new things like Fly-by-wire which had never been used on commercial planes before then. The Concorde because it brought n supersonic flight.


How about the ME 262. Many say if Hitler would have recognized it’s potential, WWII might have been very different.


Either the DC-8 or Boeing 707. Both opened large scale jet travel to the public after the piston age in airliners. Long legs without refueling, and the ability finally to fly over bad weather instead of through it or around it Although the Comet and Avro Airliner flew earlier,neither was as good as the DC-8 or Boeing 707.

Ron B

Very tough question…I’d nominate the DC-3 just because many are still flying today and I would also vote for the F-14 because of having a truly successful (20 to 68 degrees) variable geometry wing and being armed with the Phoenix missile and AWG-9 Radar.


Do I dare mention the Spruce Goose which gave birth to the idea of giant cargo military planes. The C5 Galaxy resembles it very much. I know it didn`t fly very long at all, just like the wright brothers first flight.

Gervin D

F-14 Tomcat all the way i mean cmon it had 30 yrs of combat it shot down migs it carried the phoenix missles that could be shot 100 miles away .

Also the F-117 Nighthawk it was the very first stealth fighter which brang a new generation of stealth fighters like the F-22 and F-35

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