Here are 20 iconic planes from the past 50 years that every aviation fan should try to experience first-hand. The DHC-6, pictured, is a small, solid aircraft capable of landing on short runways.
Boeing 737 —
The Boeing 737 is the best-selling airliner ever. 9,000 of them, in their many variants, have been built since 1967.
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Boeing 747 —
Few aircraft have achieved the iconic status of the Boeing 747, commonly referred to as "Jumbo". In May 2016, hundreds of aviation fans turned out to watch the first ever 747-400 model move to its new home at Atlanta's Delta Flight Museum.
Boeing 747-8 —
Despite the fact that its latest iteration, the Boeing 747-8, hasn't exactly been a commercial success -- many airlines have started to pull earlier versions of it from service -- there are still many Jumbos around. This means there will be opportunities to fly on a Boeing 747 for decades to come.
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Ilyushin Il-76 —
The Il-76 is a reliable, solid, four-engined aircraft, able to operate from unpaved, short runways or to drop paratroopers and supplies in war zones.
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Antonov An-74 —
The Antonov An-74 and its predecessor, the An-72, are nicknamed Cheburashka because the engine configuration -- two jet engines mounted on top of the fuselage -- makes it look like a popular Soviet cartoon character of the same name.
BAe-146 / Avro RJ —
Pictured in 2009, a BAe 146-200, given by President Evo Morales to the Bolivian Air Force, flies over a military airport in La Paz, escorted by military aircraft.
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ATR 42 —
Pictured in Lagos in 2014, this Nigerian Airforce ATR 42-500 Maritime Patrol Aircraft was acquired to fight maritime crime.
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Airbus A320 —
"The A320 was Airbus' response to the Boeing 737 and, with its fly-by-wire and side stick controls, pioneered a new approach to commercial aircraft," says Andy Foster, senior lecturer in Air Transport Management at Cranfield University.
An-225 Mryia —
The biggest plane in the world, this six-engined giant was originally designed to carry the Soviet space shuttle on its back but was later reconverted to airlift cargo, a job it still performs today.
Ilyushin Il-96 —
The Ilyushin Il-96 (top) first flew in 1988. Although technically still in production, only 29 have ever been built.
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Airbus A340 —
The A340 is a four-engined long-haul airliner that was designed by Airbus in the 1980s to compete with the American-made models that dominated the market at the time.
Bombardier CRJ —
This aircraft family, which first took to the skies in 1991, made a big contribution to the popularization of the regional jet concept.
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Boeing 777 —
The Boeing 777 first flew in 1994 and has been a favorite with many airlines, including British Airways, Emirates and Air France.
Boeing 777X —
Boeing is already working on the Boeing 777X, which is meant to enter service in 2020 and will be the world's largest twin-engine jetliner.
Embraer E-Jet —
Robert W. Mann, a consultant and former airline planning executive, credits the E-Jet with bringing a "mainline look and feel" to the regional airline space at attractive unit costs.
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Antonov An-148/158 —
The first Antonov-158 takes off from the plant's aerodrome in Kiev during its first test-flight in April 2010.
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Airbus A380 —
This huge double-decker airliner has become an icon in its own right. Despite its size, the A380 is a quiet and amazingly maneuverable aircraft.
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Sukhoi Superjet 100 —
Manufactured in partnership with Alenia of Italy and several other foreign aerospace firms, the Superjet is a clean-sheet design that took its maiden flight in 2008.
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Boeing 787 —
To see how many 787 Dreamliners are up in the air at any one time -- and which airlines are flying them -- check out Boeing's Dreamliner tracker.
Airbus A350 XWB —
Launched in response to the success of the Boeing 787, the A350 is a wide-body long-haul airliner that holds between 280 and 400 passengers. Its maiden flight took place in 2013.
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Bombardier CSeries —
This family of aircraft, which includes the CS100 (pictured) and CS300 models, is Bombardier's attempt to break into the medium-sized airliner market and compete head-on with Boeing and Airbus.