The Century Formation


Lockheed’s C-130 Hercules, still going strong more than 50 years after its first flight.

Some Things are Simply timeless

This is a place where I will put brief articles about aircraft which, though having significant history to them already, are still leading very active working lives and look set to continue doing so for the foreseeable future.

These aircraft all still fly in significant numbers at least 50 years after their prototypes first flew and many of them are still developing and finding new users and new purposes.

The aircraft in this section of the blog are ones which I feel stand a real chance of still fulfilling practical purposes when their original design hits the century mark.

My Criteria for a Place in the Formation

As this list is strictly my own opinion, the criteria I use to include an aircraft on this list is designed to make the formation quite exclusive:

1: The original design must be at least 50 years old.

2: The aircraft is likely to still be serving practical purposes for the foreseeable future.

3: New variations on the aircraft are still being made 50 years after serial production started.

As much as I would like to include restored and preserved flying aircraft such as warbirds, I have excluded them on the grounds that they are representative of types which were withdrawn from practical service and then restored to airworthiness largely for entertainment purposes.

The Century Formation is all about continuity and consistency of practical service. These are timeless designs which have been continuously active long enough to make history and look set to stay around long enough to make plenty more of it.


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