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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.
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.