What is the most important/most influential airliner? I tried to include everything big.



The Connie, with its long distance capability and pressurized cabin, was the first widely used commercial aircraft to introduce people to the comfort available when flying at the flight levels. The Connie also introduced long distance, affordable flight to the masses.


I thought the DC-6 and DC-7 accomplished this. Plus introduced the traveling public the transoceanic flights that lead to the death of cruise ships as a means to travel from North America to Europe, thus leading to the wonderful " cruise " industry we know today.

My vote would be the **707 **- which opened up the world to the masses.


Both Johnny Come Latelies compared to the Connie, introduced in 1943 as the C-69 and first flown by TWA in 1945.

If the military variants of the DC-6 and -7 are discounted, I believe there were more of the Connies built than the other two combined.


…and here I was thinkin’ it was the 747 that did this! :confused:


…and it was super-sweet looking to boot!


Actually, it was jets in general that allowed the masses to fly cheaper, especially 707 and, the DC8.

The 747 did increase the ability of the airlines to decrease air fares. … 3c4en.html
Relevant portion:

War again encouraged the rapid growth of air transportation. Indeed, it was only after World War II that air transportation became the dominant mode of long-haul passenger travel in developed country markets. In 1956, more people traveled on intercity routes by air than by Pullman car (sleeper) and coach class trains combined in the US. In 1958, airlines carried more passengers than ocean liners across the Atlantic for the first time. Even more momentous, in October 1958, the Boeing 707 took its maiden commercial flight. The 707 was not first jetliner, but it was the first successful one. The 707 and other early jets, especially the Douglas DC-8, doubled the speed of air transportation and radically increased the productivity of airlines (Davies, 1964) which enabled fares to fall. Just a few years after the 707s debut, jet service had been extended to most major world markets [Figure: Pan Am Jet Service].



All great planes - I think we are talking ’ just ’ apples here as the three come out of the same requirment for long range military transport.

The funny think about this poll is that you can pick a civilian airliner and create a good case that “it” was the one the most influenced civilian aviation.

Boeing 247 and DC-3 are the foundations
DC-6 / 7 and Constellation open up the oceans
Comet brings in the jet age
707 opens up the world
747 brings economies of scale
Concorde bring supersonic flight to a few
Dash’s / Fokkers / ATR’s bring airtravel to smaller centers
Canadiar / Embraer make regional travel faster

and everything in between - a very evolutionary topic


Actually, the Connie design began in 1939 to meet a requirement from Howard Hughes and TWA for a long distance airliner. The start of WWII prevented Lockheed from delivering any of the aircraft to TWA as they were all converted to military variants for the Army Air Corps.

In 1943 when the first Connie took to the skies, the only other US manufactured, pressurized, long range aircraft being built was the B-29!

Thank Kelly Johnson!


JHEM, I take it you really like the Connie. :slight_smile:


Let’s not forget the pressurized Boeing 307 (C-75) Stratoliner. It first flew in 1938 and was put into transcon service (not non-stop) in 1940 by TWA. Not very influential, albeit, it was the civilian version of the B-17C with regard to wings and tail assemblies. Boeing employees restored one and it was flown to IAD and is on display at the Udvar-Hazy wing of the Smithsonian Air Museum.



I voyed for the 747 but there is one that is not on your list that I would have voted for before that one and it is the 727.

The 727 ia an awesome airplane. Very fast airplane!



Don’t forget the the 727 and 737 are directly derived from the 707!


Ya think?? :wink: