Top Ten Military Planes, Past and Present (Watch)


Which planes throughout military aviation history are the most iconic, successful, and well designed?

This video gives the top ten fixed wing aircraft used primarily for military purposes:

  • Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor – multi-role, thrust vector fighter with the ability to evade enemy radar systems. It is a single seat, twin engine, all weather stealth tactical fighter with a maximum speed of Mach 2.5.

  • Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk –  the first operational stealth plane. Pilots of this aircraft were known as “Bandits” and assigned Bandit numbers such as “Bandit 25” referring to the sequential order of their first flight in the Nighthawk.
  • Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 – the US responded to this swept-wing craft by producing the F-86 Sabre. The MiG was one of the first aircraft to reach high transonic speeds.

  • Grumman F-14 Tomcat – top jet of the US Navy for over 30 years from the 1970s. Variable sweep-wing and twin tail design gave it the ability to reach speeds twice the speed of sound.
  • McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II – a fighter and a bomber, this two-seater twin engine could hold 18,000 lbs on nine external hardpoints. It was used by three branches of the United States military.
  • Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird – reaches an altitude of 85,000 feet and speed of Mach 3. Fastest plane ever built.
  • McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle – most successful military fighter with a record of over 100 victories. An Eagle landed with only one wing after a mid-air collision in 1983.
  • Supermarine Spitfire – the superstar of the Battle of Britain. Could climb to an altitude of four miles in nine minutes.

  • North American P-51 Mustang – was built by the North American Aviation for the Royal Air Force at their request. It was used as both a bomber and a fighter-bomber. After WWII, it was utilized by over 25 nations in a military capacity.
  • Boeing B-2 Stratofortress – a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber with eight turbojet engines. This massive beast was built to carry the most deadly payload – nuclear weapons.

Jinny McCormick

Jinny McCormick is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE