Voters choose 16 in best aircraft challenge

March 28, 2013

showdown Click to see the latest bracket in the Best Aircraft Showdown.

The dust has settled on the second round of the AOPA Best Aircraft Showdown, sponsored by Aero-Space Reports, and we’re down to 16. Popular general aviation aircraft including the Cessna 172, the Beechcraft Baron, the Cirrus SR22, and the Piper Cherokee Six are among those still in the running.

In the Eastern bracket, voters were definitive about their picks. The Cessna 172 made easy work of the Pitts Special, with voters choosing the former with more than twice as many picks. Voters chose the Piper Super Cub over the Cessna 208 Caravan two to one. There’s a lot of love for the Douglas DC-3, which also had more than double the votes of its competitor, the Beechcraft King Air. Also receiving more than double the votes was the Spitfire over the Cessna 150/152.

Moving over to the Southeastern bracket, there was only one race that was even close. The Beechcraft Baron managed to eke out a victory over the Citabria/Decathlon. The PBY Catalina didn’t stand a chance against the F4U Corsair, which was chosen more than two to one. The Globe Swift couldn’t stand up to the de Havilland Beaver, which was the overwhelmingly popular pick from round two voting. And voters were all over the Beechcraft Staggerwing, choosing it over the Vans RV-6.

In the Western bracket picks were split, with two closer races. It was good news for AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines, whose Beechcraft A36 Bonanza was a huge favorite against the Cessna Citation Mustang. The Bell 47 helicopter managed a close win over the Cessna 120/140. Another close win was the Cirrus SR22 over the Vans RV-10, while the Piper J-3 Cub was the pick over the Mooney M20.

Jumping over to the Southwestern bracket, the poor AirCam never had a chance against the Cessna 182. And while the Piper PA-32 series was able to beat out the Luscombe 8, the Piper PA-24 Comanche couldn’t close the deal against the Pilatus PC-12. The Boeing Stearman was the overwhelming favorite against the BD-5 Microjet.

Voting on the remaining 16 aircraft will run March 30 and 31, with picks for the chosen eight on April 1 and 2. Which aircraft will join the P-51 Mustang in the AOPA Best Aircraft Showdown Hall of Fame? You can help decide— vote for your favorite!

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Benét Wilson

Benét J. Wilson | AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor

AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.