Military jets are fascinating. They are the fastest, most agile, and most potent aircraft globally. They have been a part of humanity’s imagination for generations and have been used to symbolize military might by many countries worldwide.
They have a long history, and they’re used in so many ways that it’s impossible to think of them as just one type of aircraft. Each one has its unique features and capabilities, and its history is fascinating enough to fill countless books.
- The F-14 Tomcat was a supersonic, twin-engine, variable-sweep wing fighter aircraft. The F-14 was the United States Navy’s primary maritime air superiority fighter, fleet defense interceptor, and tactical reconnaissance platform from 1974 to 2006. It later performed precision strike missions once it was integrated with the Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infrared for Night system. The F-14 saw combat in the Iran–Iraq War, the Bosnian War, and NATO intervention in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Although its intended replacement is the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, the Tomcat will remain in service until 2010 due to delays with the development of its successor.
- The F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). It was first flown on July 27, 197,2 and entered service in November 1974 with an initial cost of $10 million per plane.
- The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,500 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976
- The first jet was developed during World War II by the Germans. Hans von Ohain designed it. It was called Messerschmitt Me 262, and it could reach speeds up to 400 mph. The first jet to see combat was the de Havilland Vampire, which entered service with the RAF in 1945. It was powered by a turbojet engine and could fly up to 540miles per hour with a range of 825 miles.
- The fastest jet ever built is the SR-71 Blackbird, with an official maximum speed of Mach 3.3 or 2,193 mph or 3,529 km/h(three times to speed of sound). This plane was first flown in 1964 and served as an intelligence-gathering platform for the United States Air Force until 1990 when all remaining examples were retired from service. The Blackbird was capable of flying above 80,000 feet where it would be out of reach from any surface-to-air missiles used by enemy forces below on ground level terrain – making it one tough bird indeed! However, some newer models may have achieved even higher speeds in tests, but their manufacturers have never released this information due to security reasons.
- The largest jet ever built is the Antonov An225 Mriya cargo plane, which can carry up to 500 tons of cargo!
- They can take off from a carrier at 325 knots (or 374 miles per hour).
- They can withstand gravitational forces up to 9 Gs (9 times the normal force of gravity).
- The F-16 Fighting Falcon is capable of reaching speeds over 1,500 mph (or Mach 2).
- It costs around $40 million per plane to get one off the ground with fuel and ordnance on board.
- Both the Air Force and Navy use jets to refuel other military aircraft in mid-flight by pumping fuel through a hose that connects the two jets while flying side by side at approximately 400 knots (460 miles per hour.
- The F/A-18 Hornet, a supersonic airplane used by the US Navy and Marines, has been in service since 1983. The twin-engine fighter jet was designed to attack both air and ground targets. It can fly at speeds that exceed Mach 1.7 (1,200 mph), has a maximum altitude of 50,000 feet, and can carry weapons that weigh up to 18,000 pounds.
- The F-22 Raptor is a single-seat fighter jet with stealth capabilities. Its made entirely of composite materials—the fuel tank, for example, is part of the aircraft’s frame. It’s also equipped with an advanced computer system optimized for high-speed, high-altitude flight.
- The A-10 Thunderbolt II is known for its massive guns. Its fuselage is titanium to withstand direct hits from 23mm cannon fire. As far as firepower goes, its main guns can fire 70 rounds per second!
- The F-15 Eagle was the first fighter jet with a glass cockpit that could be operated without looking down at instruments or controls—which isn’t surprising considering how big it is: it’s 80 feet long and weighs over 30 tons!