|Modern airplanes were the culmination of man's indomitable spirit and desire to conquer the skies. Once "flying" became a reality, more and more people wanted to experience the excitement of traveling to far-off places. The demand for commercial travel paved the way for the smooth transition from military to commercial aviation, creating a hugely profitable business. Aviation enthusiasts around the globe like to collect early and contemporary commercial aircraft models that demonstrate this interesting passage of history. Here at ModelPlanes.com, you can join these enthusiasts and have the thrill of owning detailed and accurate representations of history-making aircraft.
Era of Mass Commercial Aviation
The outbreak of World War II interrupted the just-burgeoning commercial air service industry. By 1947 all the basic technology essential to contemporary aviation had been developed - jet propulsion, streamlining, radar, and metallurgy. This was the time for these technologies to be put to work in the public sector. ModelPlanes.com has models from this transitional era that capture the growth of this fascinating aspect of aviation.
Perhaps the greatest example of this transition from military technology to commercial applications is the Boeing company, a minor military contractor that became the largest aircraft manufacturer in the world. Commercial jet transportation began in 1952, when the British Overseas Airways Company "Comet" first flew from London to Johannesburg. Though this service of the BOAC was short-lived, by 1960 several types of commercial jet aircraft were in service.
Today, virtually all commercial air routes are flown by jet or turboprop aircraft. The latest significant development in aviation has been the introduction of digital fly-by-wire control systems, which rely on computers and electronics rather than cables to operate aircraft control surfaces. You will find models of modern commercial aircraft prototypes here at ModelPlanes.com
Model Commercial Aircraft
Some of the most popular big model commercial airplanes
- Ford Trimotor - Known as the Tin Goose, this three-prop plane could hold eight passengers. Built from 1926 to 1933, it introduced America to commercial flight.
- S-42 Flying Boat - This is the first example of a flying boat ever built. First flying in March 1934, they were known as the Flying Clipper or the Pan Am Clipper. It could carry 37 passengers with a crew of four.
- Boeing 314 Clipper - This floating plane was the pinnacle of luxury flight anytime, anywhere. Only 12 were built; they could hold 40 passengers, and their seats converted into bunks. During World War II, they flew the likes of Frankling D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill.
- Martin 130 China Clipper - Another flying boat, this plane flew both passengers and mail over the Pacific Ocean in 1935. On its first flight, it carried over 110,000 pieces of mail. One is on display at the Almeda Naval Air Station.
- DC-3 (1935) - This two-prop, fixed-wing aircraft revolutionized passenger aircraft travel. The Douglas DC-3 was the first plane to fly cross-country.
- Lockheed Constellation - Produced in large numbers from 1943 to 1958, this plane served both civilian and military purposes. Known as a "Connie," this plane was the presidential aircraft for Dwight Eisenhower.
- Boeing 377M - Designed as a large transport plane, known as the Stratocruiser, this craft had military and commercial applications.
- Boeing 707M - This airplane was America's first jet airliner, inaugurating U.S. jet service in 1954. The engines were mounted on pylons under the wings.
- Boeing 727 - Built as a short-to medium-range jetliner, this second-generation jet aircraft had three engines, as was more economical for short runs than a 707.
- Boeing 737 - This short-range, small-capacity airliner has been in production continuously since 1967. Experiencing about three major re-designs, the 737 is still a venerable part of America's airlines.
- Boeing 747 - The most recognizable commercial aircraft in use today. It often utilizes a separation of business class and regular passengers.
- Boeing 757 - A dual-engine passenger plane with a narrow body, it is designed to fly high and far. It is a mid-range transcontinental aircraft.
- Boeing 767 - This passenger aircraft has a wide body and dual engines. It is especially popular for commercial applications.