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Latest Military Aircraft News

    Saving a Plane That Saves Lives - The Thunderbolt faces the budget ax as 15 Air Force bands play on.
    China Building Aircraft Runway in Disputed Spratly Islands - Satellite images released Thursday show a strip expected to be able to handle fighter jets and surveillance aircraft under construction in the South China Sea.
    U.S. Drone Kills a Top Figure in Al Qaeda’s Yemen Branch - The drone strike killed Ibrahim al-Rubeish, an ideologue and spokesman for Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who had been a prisoner at Guantánamo Bay.
    Drone Strikes in Yemen Said to Set a Dangerous Precedent - A study of American drone strikes in Yemen concludes that the Obama administration has not followed its own rules to avoid civilian casualties.
    Terrorism Case Renews Debate Over Drone Hits - An American once considered a possible target to be killed in Pakistan is in custody in the United States, bolstering an argument that it is feasible to capture terrorism suspects, even in remote parts of the world.
    The Enola Gay: A Minor Mystery, Solved! - Finding a missing piece of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
    France: India Agrees to Buy 36 Rafale Fighter Jets - The transaction was announced Friday by Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India during a state visit to France, even as the two countries continue to work on a stalled larger deal.
    Why Pilots Still Matter - Fully automated planes are a long way in the future.

 

Introduction to Military Aircraft

Military aircraft designed primarily for attacking strategic enemy targets and to gain air superiority. The bomber is designed to attack ground targets using bombs and air to surface missiles. Fighters in comparison are small, fast, and maneuverable and are the means by which air forces achieve superiority in the air. The term military aircraft also encompasses helicopters, reconnaissance, tankers and supply aircraft.

Key dates

1907: US Army specification far 2 seater military airplane with top speed of 64kph (40mph) and a range of 200km (125 miles).

1910: First demonstration of projectiles being dropped from a military aircraft.

1910: German patent taken out for a device allow fixed machine gun from an airplane.

1912: First British armed aircraft, Vickers FB1 ordered by Admiralty. Royal Flying Corps formed.

1913: First aerial combat takes place in Mexican civil War.

1914: First World War begins heralding a new era in aviation.

1915: Aerial bombardment of London by Zeppelin LZ-38. First flight of the all metal Junkers J1

1916: The emergence of Fighter aces begins

1917: First ever land on a ship under way carried out by E. H. Dunning in a Sopwith Pup.

1921: First sinking of a battle ship by an aircraft.

1922: This aircraft carrier USS Langley enters service.

1930: Frank Whittle a 23 year old RAF officer patents the jet engine.

1935: A prototype Douglas DC3 flies for the first time

1939: The second World War begins. The world's first jet aircraft the prototype Heinkle Hr-178 flies

1941: Carrier launched attack on Pearl Harbor. The He-280 becomes the first operational jet fighter.

1942: Me-262 exceeds 539 mph in test flights.

1944: The first V2 missiles are fired at London. The first Japanese Kamikaze mission are carried out.

1945: The B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.

1947: The Bell X-1 flown by Chuck Yeager breaks the sound barrier.

1950: A Mig-15 and F-80 Shooting Star carry out the first all jet combat.

1953: Scott Crossfield exceeds Mach 2 in a Douglas D-558-2.

1959: Gary Powers flying a U2 is shot down over the USSR.

1965: SR-71 Blackbird exceeds Mach 3.