Aviation - INTRODUCTION
EARLY HISTORY
THE 19TH CENTURY
KITTY HAWK AND AFTER
HISTORIC HEADLINES
WORLD WAR I AND AFTER
WORLD WAR II
AFTER WORLD WAR II
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Airplane
HOW AN AIRPLANE FLIES
SUPERSONIC FLIGHT
AIRPLANE STRUCTURE
Wings
Tail Assembly
Landing Gear
Control Components
Instruments
PROPULSION
TYPES OF AIRPLANES
Land Planes
Carrier-Based Aircraft
Seaplanes
Amphibians
Vertical Takeoff and Landing Airplanes
Short Takeoff and Landing Airplanes
Space Shuttle
CLASSES OF AIRPLANES
Commercial Airplanes
Military Airplanes
General-Aviation Aircraft
HISTORY
The First Airplane Flight
Early Military and Public Interest
Planes of World War I
Development of Commercial Aviation
Aircraft Developments of World War II
The Jumbo Jet Era

Military Airplanes




Military Airplanes | Royal Air Force | British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders

British Military Plane

British Military Plane Military planes serve a variety of functions, including cargo transport, observation duties, training, and combat. Combat planes, such as the F-3 Fighter of the Royal Air Force of the United Kingdom (shown here), are generally designed to be fast, strong, and highly maneuverable.

Military aircraft are usually grouped into four categories: combat, cargo, training, and observation (see Military Aviation). Combat airplanes are generally either fighters or bombers, although some airplanes have both capabilities. Fighters are designed to engage in air combat with other airplanes, in either defensive or offensive situations. Since the 1950s many fighters have been capable of Mach 2+ flight (a Mach number represents the ratio of the speed of an airplane to the speed of sound as it travels through air). Some fighters have a ground-attack role as well and are designed to carry both air-to-air weapons, such as missiles, and air-to-ground weapons, such as bombs. Fighters include aircraft such as the Panavia Tornado, the Boeing F-15 Eagle, the Lockheed-Martin F-16 Falcon, the MiG-29 Fulcrum, and the Su-27 Flanker. (Military Airplanes, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders, Royal Air Force)

Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers

Stealth Aircraft The sharply angled sufaces of the F-117A stealth fighter, shown here in flight, help the plane elude detection by enemy radar. The F117-A is also equipped with electronic countermeasures to jam enemy radar, special paint that absorbs radar, and engine housings that mix cool air with the exhaust to decrease the plane's emission of infrared radiation.PNI/Rick Llinares/Check Six, 1995. (Military Airplanes, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders, Royal Air Force)

Bombers are designed to carry large air-to-ground-weapons loads and either penetrate or avoid enemy air defenses in order to deliver those weapons. Some well-known bombers include the Boeing B-52, the Boeing B-1, and the Northrop-Grumman B-2 stealth bomber. Bombers such as the B-52 are designed to fly fast at low altitudes, following the terrain, in order to fly under enemy radar defenses, while others, such as the B-2, may use sophisticated radar-defeating technologies to fly virtually unobserved.
F-15 Eagle Fighter

F-15 Eagle Fighter The F-15 Eagle, a United States fighter aircraft, soars above Bosnia and Herzegovina during a 1993 mission for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The F-15 Eagle was also used extensively during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. (Military Airplanes, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders)

Today’s military cargo airplanes are capable of carrying enormous tanks, armored personnel carriers, artillery pieces, and even smaller aircraft. Cargo planes such as the giant Lockheed C-5B and Boeing C-17 were designed expressly for such roles. Some cargo planes can serve a dual role as aerial gas stations, refueling different types of military airplanes while in flight. Such tankers include the Boeing KC-135 and KC-10. (Military Airplanes, Royal Air Force, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders)

Predator - military commanders

The Predator unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) is used primarily for reconnaissance. Its video and infrared cameras send images of battlefields or possible military targets to ground operators who relay the images in real time to battlefield or top military commanders. (Military Airplanes, Royal Air Force, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders)

All military pilots go through rigorous training and education programs using military training airplanes to prepare them to fly the high-performance aircraft of the armed forces. They typically begin the flight training in relatively simple, propeller airplanes and move into basic jets before specializing in a career path involving fighters, bombers, or transports. Some military trainers include the T-34 Mentor, the T-37 and T-38, and the Boeing T-45 Goshawk. (Military Airplanes, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders, Royal Air Force)

A final category of military airplane is the observation, or reconnaissance, aircraft. With the advent of the Lockheed U-2 spy plane in the 1950s, observation airplanes were developed solely for highly specialized missions. Lockheed’s SR-71, a two-seat airplane, uses specialized engines and fuel to reach altitudes greater than 25,000 m (80,000 ft) and speeds well over Mach 3. (Military Airplanes, Royal Air Force, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders)

Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) also were developed for reconnaissance in situations considered too dangerous for piloted aircraft or in instances where pilot fatigue would be a factor. UAVs include the Predator drone, made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., based in San Diego, California. These unpiloted aircraft are flown by software programs containing navigational instructions and operated from the ground. They relay video and infrared images in real time to military commanders, providing instantaneous views of battlegrounds during the day or at night. Some UAVs, known as Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicles (UCAVs), also carry weapons that can be fired by ground operators using the aircraft’s video and infrared cameras to locate their targets. (Military Airplanes, Royal Air Force, British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders)



Military Airplanes | Royal Air Force | British Military Plane - Aircraft - F-117A - Bombers, F-15 Eagle Fighter, Predator - Military Commanders