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.


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?

"Star Wars" at sea? That's sort of the promise of a new generation of laser-firing jets now being developed by the U.S. military.

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.

After the airplane was invented, it just took a few decades for the world's despots to realize air power could be used to terrorize civilian populations. Do no-fly zones succeed at protecting the innocent?

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.

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?

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?

The Mikoyan-Guryevich MiG-15 was a surprise when it appeared in combat during the Korean War. Read the details of the MiG-15 and learn how it shook the United States aviation industry out of its somewhat complacent state following World War II.

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.

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.

The North American F-86 Sabre was the beneficiary of German research on the advantages of the swept wing for high-speed jet aircraft. Read about the development and details of this amazingly fast and superbly maneuverable single-engine fighter.

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.

The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress has taken on many roles since its debut in 1952. The plane that started as a high-level nuclear bomber is now being considered for electronic countermeasures. Learn the long history of and specifications for the B-29.

In the 1970s, the Mikoyan-Guryevich MiG-21 was the Soviet equivalent of the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II. Learn the specifications of the MiG-21, the preferred tactics that the plane used in combat by the Soviets, and its weaknesses in dogfights.

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.

The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle features a combination of inspired engineering and sophisticated on-board computers. Its large wings and powerful engines give tremendous agility and a remarkable climb rate. Learn about the dominant F-15 Eagle.

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.

The Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit is known as the most expensive bomber ever, at $2.2 billion each. It has evolved into a low-level weapon to destroy enemy battle potential by using precision-guided munitions. Read about this versatile, pricey bomber.

The Grumman EA-6B Prowler is a perfect symbol of the Jet Age's remarkable syntheses of engines, airframes, and electronics. Learn the Prowler's specifications, and how new technologies allow the Prowler and similar planes to stay in operation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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