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Thread: What is the OLDEST military aircraft type still in service

  1. #1
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    What is the OLDEST military aircraft type still in service

    I have wondered for quite a while now, and hoped some of you may answer it,

    I Love 1950s aircraft , especailly military, And i wondered , What is the OLDEST serving Aircraft type in the worlds airforces to date, ??
    I would really love to know, I even wonder if some airforces still have Mig 17's
    or something from that vintage,

    Any clues would be Most helpful
    thanks in anticipation
    Chris C
    coke cans a bottle tops

  2. #2
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    Boeing B-52 perhaps?

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    C47 (DC 3) somewhere in Africa perhaps?

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    Harvard IIB KF183 based at Boscombe Down with the ETPS

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    Quote Originally Posted by blurrkup View Post
    Harvard IIB KF183 based at Boscombe Down with the ETPS
    Is ETPS really considered to be airforce, as that's what is asked by the Original poster.

  6. #6
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    Ok, AIrforce, Govt Service , would be more apt,

    I suppose it was a interest in the Jet aircraft, do any countries in africa still
    use Migs 21 or earlier, or even older types, I know the C47 is still used,
    I bet theres some real gems out there in some of these small countries back and beyond,

    I recall some time ago Albania was trying to sell off there old Mig fleet,
    coke cans a bottle tops

  7. #7
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    I'm sure the RAF leased back some Hunters not so long ago for some training requirement. In fact the ETPS has been using one the last couple of years. Shame really as it used to have two T7's on it's strength.

    Are there any remaining Canbera's or have they now all be retired?

    Oh, and there are a couple of Andovers still soldiering on at Boscombe Down. Not that these are really in RAF use.

    Does thunder city count?
    Canopus photo gallery (last airworthy D.H. Comet)
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  8. #8
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    Interesting subject.

    But we can go older then the ETPS Harvard...

    The BBMF aircraft are technically serving types with the RAF and the Spitfire MKIIa P7350 rolled off the line in 1940.

    Can anyone go older then that?
    A future lost through a lack of vision!

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    The oldest Spitfire is the oldest individual fighter, but there's also a Hurricane, which although newer as an individual aircraft, is older as a type - which was what was originally asked.

    But we should define parameters. Do historic flights count?

    There may be some trainers or transports out there somewhere (most probably in Latin America, rather than Africa) of even older types.

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    Does India still operate the Breguet Br.1050 Alizé?
    -=*J33NELSON*=-

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    Does Mwxico still operate biplane trainers?

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    Quote Originally Posted by J33Nelson View Post
    Does India still operate the Breguet Br.1050 Alizé?
    no they have long retired and found in naval museum only

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    I too would have to say the venrable Douglas C-47/DC-3

    Regards
    Pioneer

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    PT-17 Stearmans in the Mexican AF.

    First flown in 1934!
    Last edited by Entropy; 21st June 2008 at 18:02.

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    According to Wiki (so you'll know how to interpret the list) the following countries still have the MiG-17 in their inventory:
    * Mali (also MiG-15UTI)
    * North-Korea (Shenyang F-5. Also MiG15UTI)
    * Sudan (Shengyang F-5)
    * Tanzania (Shengyang F-5)

  16. #16
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    This subject crops up every once in a while........

    First you have to define what you mean by 'service'........

    Still operational ?? (as opposed to historic/commemorative flights)

    With a military force ?? (as opposed to quasi-miltary like the Martin Baker trials Meteor etc)

    I think in previous threads on this subject, the consensus was the C-47 for piston and the T-33 for jets - as both are still in service with an air arm somewhere in the world.

    The Meteor & Canberra plus the MiG-15 were close 'seconds'

    Ken
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    Jungmann

    I helped my friend restore a Bucker Jungmann,
    (now sold to a german museum in flying order)

    and he told me that when the spanish airfroce released the casa Jungmanns
    after a while they recalled some back , and wanted to hold onto the ones they had, as there was nothing of its type that was as aerobatic as the old Jungmann as a trainer, for a introduction to flight for flight training,

    Is there any truth in this ??
    and does the Spanish airforce still use them, i remember it was not too long ago that the Spanish still used the Dornier 24 flying boat,

    and I wonder if India still uses the canberra ?
    coke cans a bottle tops

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by merkle View Post
    and I wonder if India still uses the canberra ?
    Still doesn't count - IIRC, Bolivia (and others ?) still use the T-33 - and it first flew before the Canberra.

    Ken
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by merkle View Post
    I helped my friend restore a Bucker Jungmann,
    (now sold to a german museum in flying order)

    and he told me that when the spanish airfroce released the casa Jungmanns
    after a while they recalled some back , and wanted to hold onto the ones they had, as there was nothing of its type that was as aerobatic as the old Jungmann as a trainer, for a introduction to flight for flight training,

    Is there any truth in this ??
    and does the Spanish airforce still use them, i remember it was not too long ago that the Spanish still used the Dornier 24 flying boat,

    and I wonder if India still uses the canberra ?
    Not too long? The last Dornier was retired 40 years ago. The good old Jungmann is a myth, still flying in the Fundación Infante de Orleans, civilian of course.

    http://www.fio.es/

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    Lebanon is still hopeful of making a few of the Hunters airworthy this year.

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    The South African Airforce has a considerable number of DC-3/C-47's on their inventory. These are not hangar queens, but are used as transports, with a few used as maritime patrol aircraft with updated electronics/radar. So they still fulfill vital airforce roles and duties.

    Now I know that they have been extensively modernised with turboprops and aerodynamic changes amongst others. But surely the manufacturers plate is still the same?

    So I'd guess that it would most likely be a DC-3/C47 somewhere.....most of them are on their way to their 70th birthday!!!
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    Last edited by wilhelm; 23rd June 2008 at 13:36.

  22. #22
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    The An-2 is still in widespread use over Russia, civilian and to a lesser extent military. The replacement for the An-2 was put forward a few years back, the An-28 but was not successful in replacing the old biplane. More recently the An-3 was proposed with a new turboprop engine replacing the old radial but the simple easy to fix low speed An-2 has soldiered on and is a standard mail plane in Siberia and above the arctic circle even today.

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    Mexico still has PT13 and PT17s flying as a sort of Historical Flight and for training purposes at it's pilot/officer academy, and Colombia still has PT17s listed as part of it's basic training fleet. Since the Stearman 75 (both are the factory designations for the PT13 and -17, the difference between the two is the engine) first flew in 1934 and the DC3 in 1935, the Stearmans are as far as I know the oldest type still in some sort of operational service.

    Most ancient jet aircraft still in service are probably the Bolivian T-33s, with a whoa-cool runner up by China's remaining JJ-5s. And style points go to Israel for still whistling around with upgraded and renamed CM170s.
    Regards,

    Arthur
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
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    Doesn't DPRK still operate a few An-2s?
    Smert spionem

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vatche View Post
    Lebanon is still hopeful of making a few of the Hunters airworthy this year.
    Have they found some qualified pilots?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pioneer View Post
    I too would have to say the venrable Douglas C-47/DC-3

    Regards
    Pioneer
    That is a pretty safe bet although there may be a few T-6 Texans still flying somewhere. Of course it depends on what you mean by oldest? Is it oldest design? Oldest airframes? In either case the C-47 is an excellent candidate since some of the ones still in service are WW II vintage airframes. Production ended IIRC in 1946..

    How about the T-33 Shooting Star? Not quite as old as the C-47 but not exactly a spring chicken either.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Doesn't DPRK still operate a few An-2s?
    So does Poland, the Baltic States, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, China (Y-5) and probably quite a few other countries. It's not that old (first flight in 1947) and has yet to be replaced by something as rugged and useful. People usually get Red Baron delusions because it's a biplane. The better informed actually realise that it's more of a DHC3 Otter with a very low wing loading.
    Regards,

    Arthur
    The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.
    Bertrand Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by qwerty View Post
    That is a pretty safe bet although there may be a few T-6 Texans still flying somewhere. Of course it depends on what you mean by oldest? Is it oldest design? Oldest airframes? In either case the C-47 is an excellent candidate since some of the ones still in service are WW II vintage airframes. Production ended IIRC in 1946..

    How about the T-33 Shooting Star? Not quite as old as the C-47 but not exactly a spring chicken either.
    Is no-one reading my posts????

    I said on 21 June......

    I think in previous threads on this subject, the consensus was the C-47 for piston and the T-33 for jets - as both are still in service with an air arm somewhere in the world.

    But.... we can go round in circles and discuss it some more - before arriving at the same conclusion..

    Ken
    Flanker Freak & Russian Aviation Enthusiast.
    Flankers (& others) website at :-
    http://flankers.co.uk/

  29. #29
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    The H-13 (Bell 47) Sioux and DHC-2 Beaver both predate the An-2 and they're still in military service.

    Logan Hartke

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flanker_man View Post
    Is no-one reading my posts????

    I said on 21 June......

    I think in previous threads on this subject, the consensus was the C-47 for piston and the T-33 for jets - as both are still in service with an air arm somewhere in the world.

    Ken
    No one is reading mine either! The PT-17 is older then the DC-3/C-47!

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