Capabilities of airliners (was recoverable flight attitudes)

From: (Steve Lacker)
Organization: Applied Research Laboratories
Date:         23 Feb 95 02:12:21 
Followups:    1
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Hello, all. I'm normally a lurker on this group because it fascinates
me, but I have no background or training in aircraft design, nor am I
a pilot.

After following the thread on recoverable flight attitudes, I started
wondering (for about the thousandth time) what particular airliners
throughout the history of flying were known for truly exceptional
flying qualities. I know that is somewhat difficult to define, but
lets just say that 'good' in this context means 'more nimble' or
'fighter-like'. Things like good pitch rate, roll rate, and planes
that pilots simply liked to fly. Obviously, since even I had heard of
Tex Johnston's stunt with the Dash 80, the 707 and 720 probably fall
in this category. I've known one pilot who absolutely loved the 727,
and despised it when he was 'promoted' to the DC-10. What about the
old-timers like the DC-3 versus the Convair 240/340/440, or the DC-7C
versus the Super Constellation? Do any of the current generation birds
have outstandingly good reputations yet? ( I don't particularly *want*
to know about any outstandingly bad reputations, I'm travelling
week-after-next ;-)

Waiting for the Pop Quiz answer also...