There are plenty of model aircraft on the market, including those that are priced temptingly low. Granted, low-end budget models may be fine for some people, but true collectors and discerning aviators who are purchasing models to display want exquisite replicas of the real craft right down to the little details.
What to look for in a quality aircraft model
If you’re on the hunt for a high-quality collectible model aircraft that will withstand the test of time, but you don’t know where to start, here are the key qualities and features to look for:
- Made with fine materials
- Built to scale
- Limited edition (for collectability)
To make it even easier, at Pilot Mall, we’ve done the quality control for you. For our High Flying Models collection, we sourced a full line of mahogany wood models built to scale and handcrafted with impeccable attention to detail.
Each piece includes a limited edition numbered metal base plate signifying its exclusivity and collectability.
Plus, your model will ship in a secure, foam fitted shipping box for maximum protection.
All that’s left to do is choose your favorite aircraft.
Aircraft Models for Student Pilots
Ask a pilot about what plane they first started flying in, and you’ll instantly see their eyes light up. The memories we make in our trainer aircraft last a lifetime. No matter what other planes we go on to fly, that first one will always hold a special place in our hearts.
If you‘re looking for a meaningful gift for a student pilot who’s about to get their certificate, a model of their trainer aircraft is a memorable choice.
Cessna Aircraft Models
Cessna has been a prolific producer of some of the best trainer aircraft for more than half a century. With the Cessna 150 / 152, the 182 Skylane, and the 172 Skyhawk ranking high on the list of the 21 most produced aircraft of all time (the Skyhawk is actually #1), odds are that you or a pilot friend had you first time at the controls aboard a Cessna.
Piper Aircraft Models
Cessna may hold the #1 most produced aircraft slot, but both of Piper’s top two trainer planes are in the top 10 of historical production. New pilots won’t be training in the J3 Cub since production ended in 1947, but the PA-28 Cherokee series is still in production and remains a staple in countless flight training programs.
Model Aircraft Airline Pilot Retirement Gift
The day a commercial airline pilot lands their final flight is often bittersweet. Help them ring in the next chapter of life while celebrating and honoring their airline days with models of the aircraft they’ve flown throughout their career.
Here are some of our most popular airline jet models and favorite liveries:
- Airbus A350-900 Delta Air Lines
- Boeing 757-200 Delta Air Lines
- Boeing 777-200 Continental Airlines
- McDonnell Douglas DC-10 National Airlines
Best Model Military Planes
The militaries of the world have been responsible for driving and inspiring many of the technological advancements in aircraft design. Starting with WWI era planes, each new generation of military aircraft pushed existing design envelopes in the quest to out-engineer the competition.
The full lineup of military models in the High Flying Models collection is too extensive to list here, so we’ll just share the ten most popular designs:
- Grumman HU-16 Albatross “Hemisphere Dancer”
- Boeing B-1B Lancer
- Northrop T-38A Talon U.S. Air Force
- Grumman F6F Hellcat
- General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper with armament
- Pilatus PC-12 U-28A military
- Lockheed Martin F-35C JSF/CV
- Boeing PT-17 Stearman
- Lockheed C-141 Starlifter
- McDonnell Douglas KC-10A Extender Gray
Model Jet Aircraft
If you’re the proud owner of a private jet, what better way to savor your pride and joy every day than to add an elegant, scale model of the jet to your desk or office shelf?
Each of these models is handcrafted to reflect the quality and elegance of your real-world jet:
Rotor aircraft pilots (both military and civilian) aren’t left out when it comes to high-end models. Our craftsmen have built a limited edition series of some of the most well-known helicopters as well.
- Sikorsky Black Hawk
- Bell 206 JetRanger
- Boeing CH-47D Chinook
- Bell AH-1W Super Cobra
- Boeing AH-64 Apache Longbow
- Bell UH-1D Iroquois
- Sikorsky MH-53J Pave Low
- Sikorsky HH-3F Pelican
- Boeing AH-64D Apache Longbow (Full Armament)
Models of Famous Historical Aircraft
They’re the aircraft of legends, those that we haven’t flown but that we’ve read about in the history books or seen on the news. Chronicle the history of flight along the shelves of your aviation inspired office or pilot home starting with these civilian and military standouts:
- Virgin Galactic White Knight Two carrying SpaceShipTwo
- Space Shuttle Endeavour Orbiter OV-105
- Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress “Memphis Belle”
- Bell X-1 “Glamourous Glennis”
- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Hold’n My Own)
- Space Shuttle Endeavour with Booster
- Consolidated B-24J Liberator “Witchcraft”
- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk (Lope’s Hope)
- Lockheed C-130 Fat Albert U.S. Navy Blue Angels
- Vought F4U-1A Corsair “Pappy Boyington”
- Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “Reluctant Dragon”
- Lockheed Vega “Amelia Earhart”
- Space Shuttle F/S Atlantis
- Fokker Dr. I
- North American B-25B Mitchell “Doolittle Raiders”
- Boeing X-37B Orbital Space Shuttle
- Lockheed EC-121 Warning Star “WV-2 Willie Victor”
- Republic P-47 Thunderbolt (Tarheel Hal)
Your Next Aircraft-Focused Reads
Want to continue the aircraft history lesson and learn about some of the most extreme aircraft in the world? Here’s a curated reading list for you:
- The 9 Largest Aircraft of the World: How Many Can You Name?
- The 5 Smallest Aircraft in the World (and the Stories Behind Them)
- The 11 Fastest Planes in the World [#11 Hasn’t Been Produced Yet]
It’s your turn
We’d love to hear from you. Which model aircraft are already in your personal collection and how do you display them? What new models are you looking forward to adding next?
Interested in other gift ideas? Try checking out these Bomber Jackets!