Every kid at some point in their lives must have thought about growing up to be an air force pilot. Who could blame them?
With the cool, uniforms and the excitement of flying around in some of the coolest planes ever built. Here is a list of some of the best planes to every scale the skies.
1. McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle
In the early ’70’s flying was all about power and speed and the F-15 Eagle fit the bill to a tee.
Built with the latest technology and design, the Douglas F-15 Eagle was one of the fastest planes to ever be built of that generation. It could hit a height of 98,000 feet in less than 4 minutes which is remarkable even by today’s standards.
2. F-22 Raptor
One of the first planes to ever fully use stealth technology, the F-22 Raptor could evade radar. With its sleek design and powerful engine, the F-22 Raptor was no slouch in the skies either with some of the best manoeuvring capabilities ever seen on a plane.
The single seater, twin-engine plane was primarily designed to take on its rivals in the air, but had devastating ground targeting capabilities as well.
3. Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
With a name like Helldiver, you’re sure to get noticed and this plane surely did. Designed with retractable wings, the Curtis SB2C Helldiver could land in extremely tight spaces and paved the way for more compact planes in the future.
It was a dive bomber produced by the United States Air Force (USAF. during World War II. It has a unique tail wing design which gave it a nickname ‘Big-Tailed Beast’.
4. Albatros D.11
This plane designed during the first World War truly showed the capabilities of a flying craft. It was both lightweight and durable which made flying it a breeze.
It was one of the earliest fighter planes in World War and also the first specialized fighter plane in the German air service. The Albatros D.II had some specialized parts made from plywood which kept the weight low and manoeuvring high.
5. General Dynamic F-16 Fighting Falcon
The F-16 Fighting Falcon was a single-engine supersonic machine.It was the first aircraft in the USAF arsenal to make use of the relaxed static stability or fly-by-wire control system which added to its deft and agile movements in the air.
6. Northrup Grumman Global Hawk
The Global Hawk is an unmanned aerial vehicle typically used for surveillance by the USAF. It uses the latest surveillance systems such as synthetic aperture radar and electro-optical infrared sensors. It also costs roughly $222 million to make one of these.
It can hover at an altitude of 40,000 feet and can cover a distance of almost 40,000 sq miles in a single day.
7. MIG 15
One of the early successes of the Russian air fleet, the MIG 15 was designed to quick, nimble in the air and devastating.
It was produced in large numbers making it a common appearance above the skies in Russia. A large fuel tank and a powerful but efficient engine made it so that the plane could cover great distances on a single fuelling stop.
8. Mitsubishi Betty Bomber
Before Mitsubishi made cars and electronic, they were made to build bombers for the Japanese Air Force during World War II.
They carried out their tasks with terrific efficiency and accuracy and was a feared sight in the skies during WWII. More than 2500 were deployed by the Japanese and some models can still be seen in museums.
9. Fairchild Republica A-10 Thunderbolt II
The A-10 Thunderbolt II was a support aircraft that was deployed by the USAF. It created terror in the heart of its opposition due to its speed, power and destructive weapons systems. It provided other aircrafts assurances to fly longer distances with the Thunderbolt by its side.
10. SAAB 35 Draken
Developed in Sweden by SAAB, the 35 Draken was the first supersonic jet to be deployed by Western Europe. It was both, incredibly fast and powerful as well as had several nifty features such as radar and a camera.
11. MIG 17
Designed to be streamlined like a rocket, this Russian aircraft inspired many variations of its kinds. The MIG 17 was one of the most easily recognizable aeroplanes of its generation.
12. V-22 Osprey
We’re pretty sure the V in the V-22 Osprey stands for versatile. This amalgamation of designs can switch between a helicopter and a multi-engined aeroplane with a switch of a button. A favorite of versatile pilots.
13. Lockheed P-38 Lightning
Built specifically for long distances the Lockheed P-38 provided a comfortable ride for its passengers. It was known more for its amazing firepower than anything else.
14. Polikarpov I-16
The snub-nosed soviet fighter was the worlds first low wing cantilever monoplane fighter. It also had a retractable landing apparatus which made it unique in its own right.
Introduced in the 1930’s the Polikarpov I-16 formed the backbone of the Russain airforce during the Spanish Civil War
15. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
The P-40 Warhawk was known more for the imaginative manner in which it was designed than its actual flying capabilities.
16. Lockheed AC-130
A devastating aircraft that carried onboard M61 Vulcan cannons, Bofors 40mm autocannon, 105mm M102 cannon as well as an AGM 176 Griffin missile. If you see an AC-130 appearing, get out of the way.
17. Boeing B-52 Stratofortress
Commonly referred to as the B-52 Bomber the Boeing Stratofortress is a behemoth of a machine. It was built to carry a ton of equipment to the war zone.
18. Hawker Harrier
The first plane with the capability of taking off vertically the mechanics of which were later carried on to multiple aircrafts. It was primarily a shuttle for passengers between an aircraft carrier and shore.
19. Yakovlev Yak-9
Possibly the most reliable aeroplane for the Russians during the World War II, the Yak-9 played a crucial role in defending Russia when the Germans invaded in WWII.
20. Sopwith Camel
The name camel was derived due to the unusual hump on the fuselage of these planes. It was one of the oldest planes used by the allied forces in WWI.
21. Sukhoi SU-27
Russia’s answer to the American advancement in air warfare, it still remains one of the most popular aircraft in Russia.
Not as sleek as its predecessors, or the planes that came after it, the MIG-21 was still a popular American plane. It was popular despite the fact that it could only be flown an hour at a time before having to return to the ground.
24. Northrup Grumman B-2 Bomber
Looking like something out of a sci-fi film the B-2 Bomber was the worlds first stealth bomber. Invisible to radar the B-2 Bomber had a devastating effect on its enemy when used. This aeroplane will live in aircraft lore for centuries because of its unique design.
25. Lockheed U-2
This is probably the most famous spy plane to ever have been built. It came to attention during the Eisenhower administration after it was brought down by the Russian forces and its pilot captured during a spy mission.
26. Lockheed SR-71
The SR-71 is one of the fastest planes to have been built. It can easily go faster than three times the speed of sound. Capable of hitting Mach 3 the SR-71 can also climb to heights of over 85,000 feet. The plane has been dubbed the Blackbird due to the similar looks of a Blackbird in flight.