During the World War I, II and later in cold-war and gulf-war era, warplanes came to play increasingly important roles in determining the outcome of battles as well as being deterrents to aggression. The following 10 list of some of the most famous warplanes in the history of aviation.
10. Hawker Hurricane (Great Britain)
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–1940s that were designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd (now BAE Systems) for service with the Royal Air Force.
9. U-2 spy plane (United States)
The Lockheed U-2, nicknamed “Dragon Lady”, is an American single-jet engine, ultra-high altitude reconnaissance aircraft operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) and previously flown by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
8. B-52 Stratofortress (United States)
The Boeing B-52 Stratofortress is an American long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber. The B-52 was designed and built by Boeing, which has continued to provide support and upgrades. It has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1950s.
7. F-16 Fighting Falcon (United States)
The General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force.
F-16 has been sold to U.S. allies in the Middle East, where it proved very effective in air-to-air combat and ground attack in the Israeli-Syrian conflict of 1982, Pak-Afghan and Soviet conflict during cold-war in 1988, and in the Persian Gulf War of 1990–91. In terms of international sales, the F-16 is the fighter in greatest demand, and it is currently in the air forces of more than 20 countries.
6. MiG-21 fighter (Soviet Union)
The Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21 is a supersonic jet fighter and interceptor aircraft, designed by the Mikoyan-Gurevich Design Bureau in the Soviet Union. The MiG-21 was undoubtedly the most successful Cold Warfighter in terms of reach, operating in over 50 air forces around the globe and currently seeing production in China as F-7 – a licensed variant of the original MiG-21.
5. Tupolev Tu-95 bomber (Soviet Union/Russia)
The Tupolev Tu-95 is a large, four-engine turboprop-powered strategic bomber and missile platform. First flown in 1952, the Tu-95 entered service with the Soviet Union in 1956 and is expected to serve the Russian Air Force until at least 2040.
4. North American P-51 Mustang (United States)
The North American Aviation P-51 Mustang is an American long-range, single-seat fighter and fighter-bomber used during World War II and the Korean War, among other conflicts.
A veteran of World War II and the Korean War, North American Aviation’s P-51 Mustang was the first U.S. built fighter aeroplane to push its nose over Europe after the fall of France. Mustangs met and conquered every German plane from the early Junkers to the sleek, twin-jet Messerschmitt 262s.
3. Dassault-Breguet Mirage (France)
Mirage is a name given to several types of jet aircraft designed by the French company Dassault Aviation, some of which were produced in different variants. Most were supersonic fighters with delta wings.
A total 1 401 Mirage III/5/50, in 90 different versions, have been built since 1958. They have served in 21 countries around the world and clocked a combined 3 million flying hours.
2. Mitsubishi Zero (Empire of Japan)
The Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” is a long-range fighter aircraft manufactured by Mitsubishi Aircraft Company, a part of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, and operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy from 1940 to 1945.
The “Zero ” (was the official Allied reporting name) was considered the most capable carrier-based fighter in the world when it was introduced early in World War II, combining excellent manoeuvrability and very long range. The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service also frequently used it as a land-based fighter.
1. McDonnell Douglas/Boeing F-15 Eagle (United States)
The McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an American twin-engine, all-weather tactical fighter aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas to gain and maintain air supremacy in all aspects of aerial combat.
The F-15 is a twin-engine, all-weather fighter that is the backbone for the U.S. Air Force’s air superiority and homeland defence missions. Its proven design is undefeated in air-to-air combat, with more than 100 aerial combat victories. Its two engines provide 58,000 pounds of thrust, which enable the F-15 to exceed speeds of Mach 2.5.
Boeing has built more than 1,600 of the aircraft for six countries around the world providing unparalleled interoperability.