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Updated by alexanderpask on Feb 16, 2020
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10 weirdest and largest aircraft manufacturers you've never heard of!

You've probably heard of Boeing and Airbus, but you likely haven't heard of any other aircraft manufacturers! Some of these sell aircraft globally, and to international clients, but others merely serve a small part of the market.

1

Gulfstream

Gulfstream

According to International Aviation HQ, Gulfstream are the second largest private jet manufacturer in the world. According to International Aviation HQ, Gulfstream has a high chance of becoming the world's leading private jet manufacturer in the world!

Gulfstream currently produce a variety of aircraft for celebrities and businessmen alike.

2

Textron Aviation

Textron Aviation

You have likely never heard of Textron Aviation. But you have certainly heard of its most famous brand- Cessna. However, this is not all of the brands Textron owns, with the other two major ones being Hawker and Beechcraft.

These aircraft are all produced separately and are designed separately, as if they were different companies owned by different entities. However, they just operate under the Textron umbrella.

3

Embraer

Embraer

Embraer is one of those companies that you've heard of, you just can't necessarily put a brand to the name.

Embraer is a Brazilian aircraft manufacturer who mainly focus on building reliable short haul and regional aircraft. However, the aircraft manufacturer also produces military aircraft and business jets based off the designs of their civilian, commercial aircraft.

4

Bombardier

Bombardier

Bombardier are the Canadian equivalent of Embraer.

They are best known for their A220/C Series family of aircraft which are used by many international airlines, such as Swiss, Air Baltic, Korean Air and Lufthansa. Sadly however, Bombardier sold its stake in the family in early 2020 due to financial difficulties.

Bombardier too produce business jets and military aircraft, which as based off the designs of their commercial aircraft

5

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin

Lockheed Martin were once well known in the industry for their incredibly advanced commercial aircraft as well as their military aircraft. Their only real problem was that their technology was too advanced for its time.

Lockheed (one of the precursor companies to Lockheed Martin) produced L-1011 Tristar. A true marvel of aviation, even if it were to be produced today! The Tristar was so advanced that it was even able to land itself without pilot assistance- in the 1970's!

However, the aircraft was seemingly too advanced. The aircraft was involved in five fatal accidents, which led to many airlines retiring their fleet- although only one of the crashes was due to the aircraft itself.

Now, Lockheed Martin produces only military aircraft such as the C-130 Hercules and the F-35.

6

Boeing

Boeing

Boeing held the title of largest aircraft manufacturer, almost uncontested for almost all of the 21st Century.

Until the beginning of 2020, that had been true, until Airbus stole this title from them. This was due to a plethora of problems, including the 737 MAX incident.

Whilst Boeing is most famous for producing air icons like the 747, 787 and 737, they, like every other aircraft manufacturer, produce military aircraft and business jets.

For the military side of things, Boeing produce the F-15, Chinook and C-5 Galaxy, which are in service with many air forces in the world. On the business side of things, the aircraft manufacturer produces what it calls "BBJs" or "Boeing Business Jets". These aircraft are essentially their normal commercial aircraft, but with extra fuel tanks and a business jet-style interior.

7

Airbus

Airbus

Airbus had been Boeing's only real contender for the crown for about 20 years (since Boeing acquired McDonnell Douglas). Airbus acquired the title at the start of 2020 after Airbus delivered more aircraft than it ever had, and Boeing had failed to deliver more 737 MAXs due to the current grounding of the 737 MAX.

Airbus is a consortium of European aircraft manufacturers who banded together to fight Boeing, rather than being picked off, one by one, as Boeing had been doing throughout the 50's, 60's and 70's.

Since then, Airbus has produced several iconic aircraft, such as the Concorde (its predecessors did anyway), the A350 and the A380. Currently, Airbus is working on building better quality aircraft, with longer ranges, that are more efficient, and even electric aircraft!

Like Boeing, Airbus also produces military aircraft, such as the A-400 Atlas, the Eurofighter Typhoon and the C295 Spartan. Which are currently employed by all major European air forces and many Middle Eastern and other country's air forces also!

Airbus also copies Boeing in many ways. Airbus also produces its own corporate/business jets, which are called "ACJs" for short or "Airbus Corporate Jets". Just like Boeing, they are exactly the same as their commercial counterparts, except having more fuel tanks and a business jet interior.

8

Dassault

Dassault

Not much is known about Dassault outside of France. Dassault only produce business jets and military fighters.

The most famous Dassault fighter is either the Rafale or the Mirage 2000, which were both designed to combat Russian threats either during or after the Cold War.

Dassault's most famous business jet is the Falcon 8x

9

Learjet

Learjet

Learjet was once the largest private jet manufacturer in the world. The Learjet name (and founder's name- Bill Lear) was ingrained in every aviators brains. If you were anyone in the aviation or business world, you flew a Learjet.

But then, technology caught up with Learjet, and other aircraft manufacturers, such as Textron and Gulfstream took over and out competed Learjet from the market. Today, Learjet is but a shell of its former glory.

However, some people hope that Learjet will return to conquer the aviation industry once again.

10

Pilatus

Pilatus

Pilatus is one of the few European aircraft manufacturers that isn't in the Airbus consortium.

Pilatus is a pioneer when it comes to turboprop aircraft, mainly because of the fact that it has never decided to work with jet aircraft, and as such, has been left behind in many respects. But, this has allowed it to dominate the turboprop aircraft market, marketing their aircraft to private pilots and businessmen flying regionally.