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Successful aircraft types

Over the history of flight there have been a number of particularly successful aircraft types. Many measures of success are possible, including fitness to task, safety record, outstanding performance in any of several dimensions, longevity in service, or the sheer number produced. Many worthy aircraft designs, through one circumstance or another, have been commercial failures, or merely modest successes. A few of the most heavily produced aircraft in history are commonly dismissed as barely competent types that happened to be ordered in vast numbers simply because of circumstances. But in the main, the most-produced types listed below are regarded as ones of outstanding merit.

Civil airliners

  • Douglas DC-3:1935 to 1945, 13,400, including about 2500 built in the Soviet Union.
  • Boeing 737: over 5000 built from 1967, still in production.
  • Airbus A320 family: almost 3000 built from 1988, still in production.
  • Douglas DC-9: over 2400 of the DC-9/MD-80/MD-90 and Boeing 717 family of aircraft made from 1965 to date. Stil in production.
  • Fokker Friendship[?], 788 Friendships were delivered between 1958 and the mid 1980s, making it the most successful Western turboprop airliner to date.

General aviation



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