The 21 Most Produced Aircraft of All Time (Take a Guess)
Calling all aircraft trivia buffs – what are the most produced aircraft of all time? Consider about both fixed wing and rotor craft from both the civil and military sectors worldwide. Then gather your pilot pals around, make your guesses and then read on to discover how many of the top twenty-one aircraft you named.
21. North American T-6 Texan
The United States military used the advanced single-engine North American T-6 Texan to train United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) pilots during the World War II era. Some of the 15,495 planes produced were also used as trainers by the United States Navy and the United Kingdom’s Royal Air Force. Production started in 1937 and ran into the 1950s.
20. North American P-51 Mustang
Another North American offering during the World War II and post-war era was the P-51 Mustang. This long-range single-seat fighter/bomber was flown in the Korean War as well. A total of 15,586 P-51s were produced between 1940 and 1951.
19. Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a well-armed World War II fighter outfitted with eight .50 caliber machine guns and the capability to carry five-inch rockets. Between 1942 and 1945, Republic built 15,660 P-47s.
18. Bell UH-1 “Huey” Iroquois
The Bell UH-1 “Huey” Iroquois was the first of the Huey line of helicopters. It was built as a medical evacuation and utility chopper for the United States Army. More than 16,000 Hueys were constructed between 1959 and 1987.
17. Douglas DC-3
The Douglas DC-3 was originally intended as an airliner but after just 607 airliner variants were built, the DC-3 was re-tasked to serve in a military transport roll and the rest of the 16,079 DC-3s built between 1935 and 1952 did just that.
16. Yakovlev Yak-9
The Soviet Union introduced the Yakovlev Yak-9 fighter in 1942 to combat the German Focke-Wulf Fw 190 and Messerschmitt Bf 109. Production continued through 1948, and a total of 16,769 single-engine, single-seat Yak-9s were built during that time.
15. Beechcraft Bonanza
The Beechcraft Bonanza may not hold the record for most produced aircraft, but it does win for longest continuous production. The Bonanza started production in 1947 and has continued uninterrupted through today. So far more than 17,000 of the low-wing six-seater Bonanzas have been built for general aviation use.
14. Mil Mi-8 / Mi-17
One of the most produced helicopters of all time is the Soviet Mil Mi-8 and its variant the Mi-17. The Mi-8 has been in production since 1961 with more than 17,000 aircraft produced. The Mi-8 can be used as an armed gunship, airborne command post, or reconnaissance platform although its most common use is for transport.
13. Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15
The Soviet Union’s Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 holds the title of the most produced jet with more than 18,000 coming off the lines during the production run from 1947 into the 1950s. One of the first swept-wing jets, the MiG-15 was used in combat over Korea.
12. Antonov An-2 / An-3
The Antonov An-2 and An-3 single-engine bi-plane started production in 1947 and is still in production today. Its durability and lifting power continue to make it a popular choice for use on poor runways like those found in the forestry and agriculture environment it was originally developed for. More than 18,000 planes have been produced so far.
11. Consolidated B-24 Liberator
The most produced multi-engine aircraft and heavy bomber is the Consolidated B-24 Liberator. Between 1940 and 1945, a total of 18,482 bombers were produced for the United States and Allied military. The B-24 was used extensively in all theaters of operation during World War II.
10. Polikarpov Po-2
An old Soviet military biplane design comes in at #10 with somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 planes produced from 1928 to 1952. This most produced biplane was multirole and used for training, reconnaissance, and ground attack.
9. Focke-Wulf Fw 190
Germany’s World War II fighter, the Focke-Wulf Fw 190 was built between 1939 and 1945. Total production count was 20,051.
8. Piper J-3 Cub
The Piper J-3 Cub holds the title of most produced fabric-covered monoplane and comes in as the eighth most produced aircraft overall. Production lasted from 1938 until 1947 and resulted in 20,191 new aircraft.
7. Supermarine Spitfire/Seafire
A military fighter from the United Kingdom, the Supermarine was built for World War II with a production run lasting from 1938 to 1948. The total Supermarine build tally is 22,685 of which 20,351 were the land-based Spitfire model and the remaining 2,334 were the naval carrier-capable Seafire configuration.
6. Cessna 182 Skylane
The Cessna 182 has been in production since 1956, and more than 23,237 of the utility planes have been built thus far.
5. Cessna 150 / 152
The Cessna 150 / 152 is the most produced two-seat civil aircraft. Over 31,500 of these two-seat tricycle-gear utility trainers were built during the 28-year run from 1958 to 1986.
4. Piper PA-28 Series
The ubiquitous Piper PA-28 Series was sold under many names including the Archer, Cadet, Cherokee, Dakota, Pilot, and Warrior. All told, over 32,778 planes in this utility trainer series have been produced with production still ongoing.
3. Messerchmitt Bf 109
Germany’s Messerchmitt Bf 109 Luftwaffe fighter ranks as the third most produced aircraft of all time. A total of 34,852 planes were built between 1936 and 1958. It is still the most-produced single-seat and fighter aircraft.
2. Ilyushin II-2 Shturmovik
Coming in at number two is the former Soviet Union’s Ilyushin II-2. Production was fierce during the four-year run from 1941 to 1945 with 36,183 of these ground attack planes coming off the line. It was not until the 2000s that our #1 aircraft surpassed the production numbers of the Ilyushin II-2, though the Ilyushin II-2 still holds the titles of most-produced low-wing and combat aircraft.
1. Cessna 172 Skyhawk
Cessna held multiple slots on this top 22 list, and they take crown with the Cessna 172 being the single most produced aircraft of all time. More than 44,000 172s have been produced since production first began in 1956. This high-wing utility trainer aircraft is one of the most common trainer aircraft and is popular among general aviation pilots.
- PilotMall.com Editor