Twin-boom aircraft

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A de Havilland Vampire T11 of the UK Vampire Preservation Group at the 2010 Cotswold Air Show.
The IAI Heron is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that features a twin-boom configuration.

A twin-boom aircraft is characterised by two longitudinal booms (extended nacelle-like bodies) fixed to its main wing on either side of its centre line. The booms may contain ancillary items such as fuel tanks and/or provide a supporting structure for external ancillary items. Typically, twin tailbooms provide mounting points for one or more tail surfaces, although on some types such as the Rutan Model 72 Grizzly the booms run forward of the main wing. The twin-boom configuration is distinct from twin-fuselage designs.

Transport aircraft[edit]

The twin-boom configuration allows a cargo door or large access door to be placed in the back of the aircraft, free from obstruction by the tail assembly. Examples include the C-82 Packet, C-119 Flying Boxcar, Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy and Transavia PL-12 Airtruk.

Combat aircraft[edit]

The twin-boom configuration has been adopted by combat aircraft designers for several reasons:

General aviation[edit]

Some modern high-efficiency designs have twin booms which distribute the load along the wing span and/or stiffen the overall structure.

Examples include the Rutan Voyager, Rutan Model 72 Grizzly and the Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer.

List of twin-boom aircraft[edit]

Type Country Date Role Status Notes
Adam A700 USA 2003
Adam A500 USA 2002
Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy United Kingdom 1959 Transport
Bell XP-52 USA Fighter Prototype
Blohm & Voss BV 138 Germany 1937
Cessna Skymaster/O-2 Skymaster USA 1961
De Havilland Sea Vixen United Kingdom 1951 Fighter Production
De Havilland Vampire United Kingdom 1943 Fighter Production
De Havilland Venom United Kingdom 1952 Fighter Production
Dyle et Bacalan DB-70 France 1929 Airliner One built
Edgley Optica United Kingdom 1979 Observation
Fairchild C-82 Packet USA 1944
Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar USA 1947 Transport
FMA IA 67 Córdoba [citation needed]
Focke-Wulf Fw 189 Germany 1938
Fokker F.25 Germany 1946
Fokker G.I Netherlands 1937
Hanriot H.110 France 1933 Fighter
Hughes XF-11 USA 1946 Reconnaissance Prototype
IAI Heron Israel 1994 UAV
Lockheed P-38 Lightning USA 1939 Fighter Production
Nord Noratlas France 1949 Transport
North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco USA 1965
Northrop P-61 Black Widow USA 1942
PZL M-15 Belphegor Poland 1973
Rutan Voyager USA 1984
Saab 21 Sweden 1943
SAB AB-20 France 1932 Bomber One built
Sadler Vampire USA 1982
Savoia-Marchetti SM.91/SM.92 Italy 1943
Scaled Composites White Knight USA 2002
Rutan Model 72 Grizzly USA 1984
SIPA S-200 Minijet France 1952
SPCA 30 France 1931 Light bomber Prototype
Sukhoi Su-12 Soviet Union 1947
Sukhoi Su-80 Soviet Union 2001
Schwade Kampfeinsitzer Nr 2 [1]
Schweizer RU-38 Twin Condor USA 1995
Transavia PL-12 Airtruk Australia 1965
US Army RQ-7 Shadow USA 1991
Virgin Atlantic GlobalFlyer USA 2005


  1. ^ Green, W. and Swanborough, G.; The complete book of fighters, Salamander, 1994, Page 521.

See also[edit]