Most Underrated Aircraft

The most underrated aircraft ever built that may have been successful OR unsuccessful.

The Top Ten

1 Fokker 70

At least 500 should have been made. Period. - KC-9

This aircraft should be one of the most successful aircraft ever made. They are cheap, have new engines, modern technology and an exceptional safety record, with 0 fatalities. Also, there were aircraft still on order, but Fokker went defunct, and the aircraft were never built. At the time it entered revenue service in 1995, it was not challenged very much, but today, would be challenged, mainly by Embraer E-Jets and CRJ-NG aircraft. Rekkof, a new startup company is looking to restart a new F70 production line, which could lead to success. - KC-9

2 Airbus A310

Yes, this plane has crashed a lot. However, most crashes were with 3rd world airlines, or other poor carriers. When in service with airlines like Delta, Pan Am and Lufthansa, the aircraft was very safe. It has fairly modern equipment, good engines, and lower costs for purchases and matenence compared to other wide bodies. It also would be excellent for lower capacity Trans-Atlantic routes or U. S TRANSCON routes. - KC-9

3 Antonov AN-28

If it were produced in a country like Canada or a manufacturer like Embraer, This aircraft would have insane sales. It is built in Poland today, but is only built for Air Forces (including USAF). It has crashed a lot, but viewing all the accidents, almost all were caused by pilot error or awful matenence. - KC-9

4 McDonnell Douglas DC-9

Yes, the DC-9 has crashed a lot, but it flew on scheduled commercial service in the US for an amazing 49 years! 1 major airline, Delta kept it in service until 2014. Most crashes of the DC-9 have been caused by pilot error, poor matenence, and not to mention the last DC-9 crash with a major airline was 20 years ago (USair, Charlotte), and was due to nothing other that pilot error.P. S boeing, it's time for the DC-9NG... - KC-9

5 Dassault Mercure

Only 12 of these were built. The main problem was it's very short range (only 500mi). Air Inter was the only airline to fly it, and over the course of it's operational service, there was not a single accident or incidents. If Dassault had equipped it with an engine like the RR RB211, it could still be in service today, and maybe even an Mercure NG, or re-engined version. - KC-9

6 Yakovlev Yak-40

The fact it was built in Russia held it from success in "Western countries". If a country like Germany (Dornier, possibly) decided to step up, and offer a western version of this aircraft, it would be a huge seller. American airlines would be all over the aircraft. - KC-9

7 Nord 260

This little known turboprop aircraft was built in 1960, and eventually led to the more successful Nord 262. A scarce 9 aircraft were built, with only 1 commercial airline (Windr√łe) flying the aircraft, along with the French air Force. Today, 1 aircraft is still flying with a charter airline, and at least 1 is preserved in airworthy condition. Despite low sales, the aircraft was relatively rugged, but was little known by Major carriers worldwide. A combination or poor advertisement, and focusing on a project that almost failed too, led to the disappointment of the Nord 260. - KC-9

8 Ilyushin IL-96

4 engines is the main disappointment for the IL-96. Although the aircraft has had U. S made engines, it was still a disappointment. As it is modern, the IL-96 is held back because of it's 4 engines, like the A340. However, Ilyushin has been looking into a Twinjet version of the IL-96, with Russian engines or possible Pratt & Whitney Engines, or both (2 variants). In order for this aircraft to leave this list, a 2 engine version must be produced. - KC-9

9 Vickers Viscount

Despite some success, 445 built is a surprisingly low number for the world's first commercial turboprop. Many large airlines did not purchase the aircraft, mainly because of the cost, and went for aircraft like the Convair 240-680 family or L-188 electra. A lower cost by Vickers could have resulted in a very successful aircraft, and the possibility of a few still flying today. - KC-9

10 Boeing 717

The Contenders

11 Boeing 307 Stratoliner

Despite being launched over 70 years ago, this aircraft should have had many more sales than it did, mainly because of it's pressurized cabin. A fair amount of airlines showed interest, but only Pan Am and TWA ordered new airplanes. A handful of airlines did purchase used aircraft from those airlines in the late 50's and 60's such as Royal Air Lao, Aigle Azur, Aerovias Ecuatorianas, Quaker City Airways and Cambodia Air Commercial. They flew those aircraft for a fair period of time, until the last one was retired in the early 80's (1982 or 83). Today only 1 full aircraft exists and is preserved in Washington DC. - KC-9

12 Tupolev Tu-204
13 Norhtrop YF-23 Black Widow II

Built in 1990, the YF-23 black widow lost its competition with the famous FA-22 raptor fighter. The plane earned its name due to the red hourglass on its underbelly. There were only 2 YF-23s built and have been shipped to museums, one to the national museum of the united states air force in Dayton, Ohio, and the other used to be at the western museum of flight until it was used as a display model for a YF-23 based bomber.

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