How Much Do You Know About the Aircraft of the World?


By: John Miller

6 Min Quiz

Image: youtube

About This Quiz

Take a break, step outside and peer into the heavens for a minute or two – chances are good that you’ll spot a silvery bird streaking through the skies above you. In this, the 21st century, airplanes are now so common that at any given moment, there are thousands of them rounding the Earth. But do you really know anything about famous and common aircraft?

What began as a dream in the Wright Brothers’ minds has become a reality around the globe. From small ultralight aircraft to shockingly large military jets, planes perform a mind-boggling number of vital tasks that even Orville and Wilbur couldn’t comprehend. Do you know how much it costs to make just one of the most popular airliners? Or the kind of cash that goes into building a presidential jet?

If you’ve ever taken a ride in a tiny plane into the Alaskan bush, there’s a good chance you were riding in a very common plane. Do you know which plane it was? And if you’ve ever taken a cross-country flight, you might know the name of the company that manufactured the plane – any ideas?

Of course, not all planes are for civilian purposes. Many of the most-manufactured planes ever were built for war. Do you think you can name these powerful machines of death and destruction?

Strap yourself into the cockpit and put on a helmet for good measure. It’s time for you to take our famous aircraft quiz!

The 172 Skyhawk is a common plane made by which company?

The Cessna 172 Skyhawk is one of the most numerous airplanes in the history of manufacturing. The little four-seat plane has been made since the 1950s, and more than 40,000 have been built.


In 1958, two men used a 172 Skyhawk and a clever refueling scheme to set the world flight-endurance record. How long were they in the air?

Robert Timm and John Cook kept their little Cessna in the air for nearly 65 days. That's nearly 20 days longer than the second-place record, which was set in 1949.


Which company makes an airliner called the "757"?

The 757 is an iconic airliner that was made by Boeing from 1981 to 2004. These are big planes that can carry up to 300 passengers for thousands of miles without refueling.


What best describes a famous plane called the "Spirit of St. Louis"?

In 1927, daring pilot Charles Lindberg flew the single-seat monoplane "Spirit of St. Louis" from New York to Paris, a distance of around 3,600 miles. It was the first nonstop transatlantic flight ever.


What was the maximum speed of the "Spirit of St. Louis," the small plane that carried Charles Lindbergh across the Atlantic Ocean?

The "Spirit of St. Louis" wasn't exactly a speedster, as it topped out at around 130 mph. It took Lindbergh around 34 hours to make the 3,600-mile journey.


What sort of plane did the ace pilot known as the Red Baron fly in WWI?

The Red Baron, Manfred von Richthofen, flew his last missions in a Fokker Dr.I. The plane had a triple-wing configuration at a top speed of around 115 MPH thanks to its 110hp engine.


What sort of plane is the North American B-25 Mitchell?

The B-25 was first introduced in 1941 as a bomber meant to beat back the Axis. Most of these medium bombers were deployed to the Pacific Theater to destroy Japanese targets.


What plane is currently used as Air Force One, which generally carries the U.S. president on long flights?

The president and his close advisors have room to stretch out on Air Force One, the call sign used for the presidential plane -- a Boeing VC-25A that is, of course, customized for technological and comfort purposes.


About how much did it cost to build one of the two Boeing VC-25 planes used as Air Force One?

No one said presidential planes come cheap. The heavily-modified VC-25s used for the president cost about $325 million, and it's equipped with all the luxuries of a regular home.


What sort of plane was the "Enola Gay," the first plane that dropped an atomic bomb on Japan during WWII?

During WWII, the B-29 Superfortress was one of the most advanced bits of weaponry ever to fly through the skies. A B-29 named the "Enola Gay" was the first ever to drop an atomic bomb in combat; the second was dropped by a lesser known B-29 named "Bockscar."


In 1909, a little plane called "Blériot XI" was the first to accomplish which feat?

In 1909, pilot Louis Blériot used the tiny Blériot X to make the first manned flight across the English Channel. The plane had a wooden propeller mounted on a 25hp engine.


In 2009, US Airways Flight 1549, piloted by Chesley Sullenberger, struck geese near New York and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River. What sort of plane was it?

Flight 1549 was crippled by the bird collision, so pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles ditched the huge Airbus A320-214 in the Hudson. Thanks to savvy piloting and luck, no one died in the crash, which made headlines around the world.


In March 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing after takeoff, sparking a search that continues. What sort of plane was it?

After the Boeing 777-200ER carrying more than 200 people went missing, governments in the area launched the longest and most expensive search in history. A few pieces of the craft were found in mid-2015, but until larger pieces of the plane are located, officials won't have an explanation for why the plane crashed.


What sort of plane did Amelia Earhart use to attempt to fly around the world?

In 1937, Earhart used a twin-engine Lockheed Model 10 Electra for her around-the-world flight. The propeller-driven plane was outdated by the time WWII rolled around, but the government still used many of them during the conflict.


Complete the name of this common plane: Piper PA-18 _____.

The Piper PA-18 Super Cub is an exceedingly popular monoplane that was first built in 1949. These little planes have relatively powerful 150hp engines and are very useful in areas with small landing strips.


What sort of plane was the Bell X-1?

The Bell X-1 was an experimental rocket plane that was used to break the sound barrier for the first time in 1947. The plane had an XLR-11 engine, which burned liquid oxygen, alcohol and water to create supersonic speeds.


What's the best description of the Cessna 180?

The Cessna 180 is a small civilian plane with a maximum of six seats. First built in the early '50s, it's a very common personal aircraft with a maximum speed of around 170 mph.


What is NOT an engine that's been used in the Boeing 757?

The Merlin was a little engine from the WWII era. The 757 is a huge plane that relies on either the Rolls-Royce RB211 or Pratt & Whitney PW2000 series turbofans.


What is the classification of the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver?

The U.S. used the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver as a naval dive bomber during WWII. It used a single 1,900hp radial engine to hit speeds of nearly 300 mph, and it could be armed with guns, rockets and bombs.


What's the wingspan of the common Cessna 172 Skyhawk?

The 172 Skyhawk is just a little plane that carries a maximum of four people. Its wingspan measures just a bit over 36 feet.


What kind of plane is the Chotia Weedhopper?

As you can probably tell from the name, the Chotia Weedhopper is an ultralight plane. During the 1970s, ultralight planes were all the rage … and the Weedhopper led the way thanks in large part due to its price tag of around $9,000.


What's a distinction of the Ilyushin Il-2 combat aircraft?

During WWII, the Soviets churned out tens of thousands of the Ilyushin Il-2 ground-attack plane. In the end, they built more than 36,000 of them, making it the most-produced combat aircraft ever.


During which conflict was the Sopwith Camel common?

The Sopwith Camel was a bi-plane fighter built by the British for World War I. It was the most successful (and iconic) fighter of the entire war, and helped bring down nearly 1,300 enemy planes.


When the Boeing 757 airliner was still in production, how much did it cost to buy one?

The 757 was a long-term investment for airlines all over the world. The initial investment of around $70 million was steep, but the craft's long life meant that it had the potential to earn back that amount and a whole lot more.


Which has a larger passenger capacity -- the Boeing 737 or 757?

The 757 is a very large plane meant to ferry hundreds of people long distances. The 737 carries roughly 200 passengers, tops.


A huge plane called Rutan Voyager was meant for what specific mission?

The Rutan Model 76 Voyager was designed to fly all the way around Earth without stopping or refueling. It took off in December 1986, and nine days later it landed safely after traveling nearly 26,400 miles … all the way around the planet.


What's the absolute maximum safe speed for a Cessna 172 Skyhawk?

The bitty 172 Skyhawk isn't meant to be a fast plane. And it should never exceed speeds of 188 mph, otherwise, you might regret it in crater-like fashion.


In 2005, pilot Steve Fossett flew the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer around the world. How long did it take him?

The Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer was built for speed. Fossett flew around the entire world in just 67 hours, at an average speed of nearly 370 MPH, a record that still stands.


What was the wingspan of the legendary Rutan Model 76 Voyager, which flew around the world without refueling?

The Voyager had a wingspan of more than 110 feet, wide enough to help the plane stay aloft at high altitudes. Empty, the plane weighed just over 2,000 pounds.


Which manufacturer produces a legendary plane called the Bonanza?

The Beechcraft Bonanza is six-seat, single-engine civilian plane that's been in continuous production longer than any other aircraft. More than 17,000 of this model have been created since 1947.


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