July 26, 2013
By Dan Namowitz
Visually distinctive features of an aircraft—a plane spotter’s bread and butter—are usually explained by the aircraft’s specialized purpose. Tundra tires on bush planes and freight-haulers shaped like flying boxes are two examples. Need a better one? OK, the Space Shuttle, but if we limit our search to suborbitals, it’s hard to top the S-64 helicopter for pairing a profile with a purpose. This aircraft is the heavy-lift Erickson Air Crane, linking a lust for lugging lug large loads with the panache to place them precisely in position.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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