Modern Military Planes

Gaining exposure in the Korean War, and coming of age in Vietnam, advances in military aircraft, such as the jet engine, have enabled armed forces to fight faster, farther and with fewer lost pilots.

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Jets are one of the best tools that a military has at its disposal. They’re fast, fierce and effective. From reconnaissance to target engagement, these aircraft are 10 sophisticated assets.

In its first few years, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II set eight new aviation records, among them altitude (98,557 feet), speed (1,390 mph), and time to climb (9,000 feet in 34.5 seconds). Learn details about this popular and powerful aircraft.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

As the newest fighter in the U.S. Air Force's aerial arsenal, the F/A-22 Raptor incorporates the latest stealth technology along with a mind-boggling array of weapons and computer systems. Learn about this dual-purpose fighter jet and attack aircraft and see what sets it apart from the F-15.

By Gary Wollenhaupt

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An Apache helicopter went down near the Iraqi town of Taji yesterday -- it's the third helicopter to go down in Iraq in 10 days.

By Tom Harris

Floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee -- the F-15 is the Muhammad Ali of the skies. The military has been using this fighter jet since the '70s, and it still outmaneuvers the competition. Find out why this plane has a perfect combat record.

By Tom Harris

The Osprey is a unique aircraft. How does it work? And what has caused its recent failures? Get an in-depth look at the aircraft's systems and design.

By Craig Freudenrich, Ph.D.

Early unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) primarily carried out reconnaissance missions in war zones, but the Reaper packs some serious heat. Is there anything more foreboding than a drone with a Hellfire missile?

By Tom Scheve

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The thrilling roar of fighter jets performing a military flyover is now a common experience at many big events. In fact, the military approves most of the 850 or so flyover requests submitted annually. What does it take to arrange a flyover?

By Jacob Silverman

The Predator Unmanned Aerial Vehicle exemplifies the military trend toward high-tech, low-risk equipment. This remotely-operated spy plane offers the most bang for the human-safety buck.

By Robert Valdes & Desiree Bowie

F/A-18s are now the go-to jet for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. The reason? They're plenty fast, they can carry a dizzying array of bombs and missiles, they have amazing onboard electronics and they can be reconfigured to accomplish a range of missions. Check out these amazing military machines.

By Robert Valdes

If you're traveling during the winter time, there's a good chance that your flight may be delayed because the plane needs deicing. Why do they wait until the last minute to do this?

By Karen Kirkpatrick

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We know how drone strikes are supposed to work: After careful monitoring, the bad guy is targeted and taken out. The reality is often much hazier — and deadlier.

By Clint Pumphrey

The F-117A is purely an attack aircraft, and lacks the arms and maneuverability for dogfights. The nature of its mission and the characteristics of the aircraft demand extremely skilled, well-trained pilots. Learn about the Nighthawk Stealth fighter.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

The tiny but potent Douglas A-4 Skyhawk remained in continuous production for 25 years, longer than any other warplane. Learn how this tough and nimble fighter came to be famous more for its peacetime activities than for its military accomplishments.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

The Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird first flew in 1964, and since that time it has remained the world's fastest aircraft. Tanks in the inner wings and upper fuselage carry the 80,000 pounds of special, superheated fuel.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

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The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon had many advanced features, including a blended wing and fuselage, fly-by-wire controls, splendid visibility, and superb maneuverability. Read specifications and history of the popular F-16 Fighting Falcon.

By the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has called on NATO to impose a no-fly zone over Ukraine, but so far NATO has refused. Could a no-fly zone bring Putin's invasion to an end? How would it be enforced?

By Patrick J. Kiger