Back in 2006 I participated in an Aircraft Size Comparison thread on the Keypublishing forums. Here, users posted photographs of military planes next to each other to give an idea of scale. Due to a lack of similar content, I decided to re-scale drawings of aircraft profile illustrations found online to the correct lengths and formulate a chart for those interested in all the varied shapes and sizes of aircraft designs. Initially, I started this by compiling a chart for the fighters and then made one for helicopters. Then, I made adjustments to the charts as a response to the feedback from those in the forum.
A Decade Passes
Ten years later I discovered that people were sharing my charts on Reddit. Inspired by the new attention, I updated the fighters to include top speeds to experiment by including other data visually on the chart, as well as adding in some newly developed aircraft which were not on earlier versions.
I went ahead and fulfilled requests for other kinds of military aircraft on comparisons, and in 2016 made comparisons for Attack/Trainers, Bombers, Maritime Patrol, Electronic/Early Warning, X-Planes and Transport aircraft. The vertical format shifted to a landscape one as this made it easier for viewers to compare with less scrolling required.
One thing has always received attention. The man used for scale, impaled on the lengthy pitot tube of the YF-107 Ultra Saber.
The poor little guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Others would show up time and time again as an easter egg in the comparisons, though usually in a better condition!
The aircraft charts were being received positively by the communities. Consequently I made an effort to include popular requests and even made some one off comparisons for folks that wanted to see specific aircraft from particular nations or forces. Years later, the size comparisons continue to be shared regularly on social media.
It’s great to see all the appreciation for the charts. Below you can see all the aircraft size comparison charts together. Notice the many differences in design, scale and the sheer quantity of aircraft types that have been built.
Click the images to view in a larger size, they are not available for commercial purposes