OK, i have 3 favorite airliners. I won’t get into the biz jets or general aviation.
For some reason the MD-11F is one that does it for me. I live right in the approach path for 9R at Philly International and i often see UPS MD-11s lumbering above my house (the planes sometimes are in the process of lowering the landing gear as they fly over me). I love the 3 engines, the winglets, and the fully deployed flaps–those flaps seem to really extend at a big angle. Plus, this plane is pretty damn gigantic. The UPS MD-11s are typically coming in from Cologne, Louisville, or sometimes Oakland i believe.
I’m curious how other people feel about the MD-11. Do you guys think the tail section with the engine sticking thru it is ugly? Personally i am impressed that they could pull it off without having to use an S-duct.
I also am fond of the A330-200. I see them landing in Philly a lot and they really look graceful and majestic on approach. They have really nice, clean lines. Also, i prefer the sharp angled winglets that are used on the A330, MD-11, and 744. For some reason those big blended winglets you see on the new 737s and retrofitted 757s are kind of “stupid” looking in my opinion, although i know they are more efficient (so they can’t really be “stupid” if they are an improvement lol). But the A332 just all-in-all looks fantastic on approach in my opinion, really a beauty to watch.
In fact, today i was driving up I-95 to downtown Philly right around 3 pm. On approach to 27R i first saw a US Airways 332, and this was immediately followed by British Airways’ 772. I must say i thought the 332 was more impressive looking. In the interest of full disclosure, i should explain that the 772 wasn’t an LR or anything sexy like that. But the 332 just seemed more graceful and majestic on short final. As an American i would prefer this was not the case, but having seen both of those aircraft landing so much i gotta hand it to Airbus.
Finally, the 747-400 (and by extension the 748) was and still is just incredible. We don’t even have any scheduled 744 service into Philly right now (British Airways used to bring one in daily but went to the 777, and Lufthansa was using one on occasion in summer 2005 but they normally use an A340) so when i am lucky enough to see a 744 charter flight, diversion, or cargo freighter doing contract work into the PHL UPS hub, it really makes my day.