F16 Silber Weltflugzeug US Air Force I Militär Krieg Geschichte Kampf Luftfahrt Münze • EUR 0,01 (2024)

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Verkäufer: lasvegasormonaco ✉️ (3.680) 99.6%, Artikelstandort: Manchester, Take a look at my other items, GB, Versand nach: WORLDWIDE, Artikelnummer: 266849617989 F16 Silber Weltflugzeug US Air Force I Militär Krieg Geschichte Kampf Luftfahrt Münze. Airbus Antonov Boeing Bombardier Douglas / McDonnell Douglas Embraer Ilyushin Tupolev. C-146A Wolfhound. C-145A Skytruck. C-135 Stratolifter. C-130J and C-130J-30 Super Hercules. C-130H, LC-130H, and WC-130H Hercules. F16 War Plane Coin This is a Silver Plated F-16 Plane Coin The top side has a US Flag with a Fighting Falcon logo of the F16 The other side has the underside of a plane The dimensions are 70mm x 50mm x 5mm It is solid metal and it weighs 33 grams In Excellent Condition A Beautiful coin and Magnificent Keepsake Souvenir Sorry about the poor quality photos. They dont do the item justice which looks a lot better in real life Like all my auctions...Bidding Starts at 1p :) Click Here to Check out my other Great Items! 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Thanks for Looking I have sold items to coutries such as Afghanistan * Albania * Algeria * American Samoa (US) * Andorra * Angola * Anguilla (GB) * Antigua and Barbuda * Argentina * Armenia * Aruba (NL) * Australia * Austria * Azerbaijan * Bahamas * Bahrain * Bangladesh * Barbados * Belarus * Belgium * Belize * Benin * Bermuda (GB) * Bhutan * Bolivia * Bonaire (NL) * Bosnia and Herzegovina * Botswana * Bouvet Island (NO) * Brazil * British Indian Ocean Territory (GB) * British Virgin Islands (GB) * Brunei * Bulgaria * Burkina Faso * Burundi * Cambodia * Cameroon * Canada * Cape Verde * Cayman Islands (GB) * Central African Republic * Chad * Chile * China * Christmas Island (AU) * Cocos Islands (AU) * Colombia * Comoros * Congo * Democratic Republic of the Congo * Cook Islands (NZ) * Coral Sea Islands Territory (AU) * Costa Rica * Croatia * Cuba * Curaçao (NL) * Cyprus * Czech Republic * Denmark * Djibouti * Dominica * Dominican Republic * East Timor * Ecuador * Egypt * El Salvador * 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* Sudan * Suriname * Svalbard (NO) * Swaziland * Sweden * Switzerland * Syria * Taiwan * Tajikistan * Tanzania * Thailand * Togo * Tokelau (NZ) * Tonga * Trinidad and Tobago * Tunisia * Turkey * Turkmenistan * Turks and Caicos Islands (GB) * Tuvalu * U.S. Minor Pacific Islands (US) * U.S. Virgin Islands (US) * Uganda * Ukraine * United Arab Emirates * United Kingdom * United States * Uruguay * Uzbekistan * Vanuatu * Vatican City * Venezuela * Vietnam * Wallis and Futuna (FR) * Yemen * Zambia * Zimbabwe and major cities such as Tokyo, Yokohama, New York City, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Mexico City, Osaka, Kobe, Kyoto, Manila, Mumbai, Delhi, Jakarta, Lagos, Kolkata, Cairo, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Moscow, Shanghai, Karachi, Paris, Istanbul, Nagoya, Beijing, Chicago, London, Shenzhen, Essen, Düsseldorf, Bogota, Lima, Bangkok, Johannesburg, East Rand, Chennai, Taipei, Baghdad, Santiago, Bangalore, Hyderabad, St Petersburg, Philadelphia, Lahore, Kinshasa, Miami, Ho Chi Minh City, Madrid, Tianjin, Kuala Lumpur, Toronto, Milan, Shenyang, Dallas, Fort Worth, Boston, Belo Horizonte, Khartoum, Riyadh, Singapore, Washington, Detroit, Barcelona,, Houston, Athens, Berlin, Sydney, Atlanta, Guadalajara, San Francisco, Oakland, Montreal, Monterey, Melbourne, Ankara, Recife, Phoenix/Mesa, Durban, Porto Alegre, Dalian, Jeddah, Seattle, Cape Town, San Diego, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Rome, Naples, Minneapolis, St. Paul, Tel Aviv, Birmingham, Frankfurt, Lisbon, Manchester, San Juan, Katowice, Tashkent, f*ckuoka, Baku, Sumqayit, St. Louis, Baltimore, Sapporo, Tampa, St. Petersburg, Taichung, Warsaw, Denver, Cologne, Bonn, Hamburg, Dubai, Pretoria, Vancouver, Beirut, Budapest, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Campinas, Harare, Brasilia, Kuwait, Munich, Portland, Brussels, Vienna, San Jose, Damman , Copenhagen, Brisbane, Riverside, San Bernardino, Cincinnati and Accra F-16 aircraft Also known as: Fighting Falcon Written and fact-checked by Last Updated: Aug 25, 2023 • Article History U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons flying in formation. F-16 See all media Category: Science & Tech Related Topics: fighter aircraft jet aircraft Recent News Aug. 25, 2023, 1:13 AM ET (AP) Biden's shift on F-16s for Ukraine came after months of internal debate Aug. 24, 2023, 7:46 PM ET (AP) US will start training Ukrainian pilots on F-16s at air base in Arizona See how F-16 Fighting Falcon performs a control-surface check before takeoff See how F-16 Fighting Falcon performs a control-surface check before takeoffSee all videos for this article F-16, also called Fighting Falcon, single-seat, single-engine jet fighter built by the General Dynamics Corporation (now part of the Lockheed Martin Corporation) for the United States and more than a dozen other countries. The F-16 originated in an order placed in 1972 for a lightweight cost-effective air-to-air fighter. Current models are also all-weather capable and effective for ground attack as well. The U.S. Air Force took first delivery in 1978. F-16 Fighting Falcon F-16 Fighting Falcon The F-16 is 49 feet (15 metres) long and has a wingspan of 31 feet (9.45 metres). It is powered by a single Pratt & Whitney or General Electric turbofan engine, which, with afterburning, can generate 23,000 to 29,000 pounds (102 to 130 kilonewtons) of thrust, accelerating the aircraft to more than twice the speed of sound. Weaponry includes a 20-mm rotary cannon as well as attachments under the wings and fuselage for a wide variety of bombs and missiles. With a typical combat load, the F-16 weighs approximately 23,000 pounds (10,000 kg), which is less than half the weight of the previous-generation F-4 Phantom II. NASA's Reduced Gravity Program provides the unique weightless or zero-G environment of space flight for testing and training of human and hardware reactions. NASA used the turbojet KC-135A to run these parabolic flights from 1963 to 2004. Britannica Quiz Man-Made Birds in the Sky See two F-16 Fighting Falcons flying in formation See two F-16 Fighting Falcons flying in formationSee all videos for this article The fuselage of the F-16 flares out at its juncture with the aluminum-alloy wings, giving the aircraft greater lift and stability at steep angles of attack. A computerized “fly-by-wire” stabilizing system issues continuous commands to control surfaces in the tail and wings, and a “heads-up-display” instrumentation system projects flying and combat data onto a transparent screen in front of the pilot. In addition, a highly sophisticated bomb-aiming system, using a laser range-finder and high-speed digital data processing, permits ordinary “dumb” bombs to be dropped with precision accuracy from low altitudes. Such structural and electronic innovations made the F-16 a highly capable and versatile aircraft. It has been built under license in Belgium, the Netherlands, Turkey, and South Korea and is the basis for Japan’s FS-X fighter. It 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 and in the Persian Gulf War of 1990–91. United States Air Force Article Talk Read Edit View history Tools From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For the civilian military department for air and space forces, see United States Department of the Air Force. For the song, see The U.S. Air Force (song). "USAF" redirects here. For other uses, see USAF (disambiguation). United States Air Force Emblem of the United States Air Force[1] Logo of the United States Air Force Founded 18 September 1947 (75 years, 11 months) (as independent service) 1 August 1907 (116 years, 1 month) (as Aeronautical Division, U.S. Signal Corps) Country United States Type Air force Size 328,820 active duty personnel 152,231 civilians[2] 69,056 reserve personnel[3] 110,000 air national guard personnel[4] 5,309 aircraft[5] 406 ICBMs[6] Part of United States Armed Forces Department of the Air Force Headquarters The Pentagon Arlington County, Virginia, United States Motto(s) "Aim High ... Fly-Fight-Win"[7] "Integrity first, Service before self, Excellence in all we do"[8] Colors Ultramarine blue, Golden yellow[9] March "The U.S. Air Force" Playi Anniversaries 18 September[10] Equipment List of equipment of the United States Air Force Engagements See list Website www.af.mil www.airforce.com Commanders Commander-in-Chief President Joe Biden Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall III Chief of Staff Gen Charles Q. Brown Jr. Vice Chief of Staff Gen David W. Allvin Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force CMSAF JoAnne S. Bass Insignia Flag Roundel "Hap" Arnold Symbol Aircraft flown Attack A-10, AC-130, MQ-9 Bomber B-1B, B-2, B-52H Electronic warfare E-3, E-4, E-8, E-9A, E-11A, EC-130H, EC-130J, EQ-4B Fighter F-15C/D, F-15E, F-15EX, F-16C/D, F-22, F-35A Helicopter CV-22, HH-60, MH-139, UH-1N Reconnaissance MC-12, RC-135S/U/V/W, RQ-4, RQ-11, RQ-170, RQ-180, RQ-20 Puma, U-2, U-28, WC-130, WC-135 Trainer A-29, T-1, T-6, T-38, T-41, T-51, T-53, TG-16, TH-1 Transport C-5M, C-12, C-17,CN-235, C-20, C-21, C-32, C-37, C-40, C-130, HC-130, LC-130, MC-130, C-146A, VC-25 Tanker KC-10, KC-135, KC-46, HC-130, MC-130 United States Armed Forces Executive departments Department of Defense Department of Homeland Security Staff Office of the Secretary of Defense Joint Chiefs of Staff Military departments Department of the Army Department of the Navy Department of the Air Force Military services United States Army United States Marine Corps United States Navy United States Air Force United States Space Force United States Coast Guard Command structure Unified combatant commands Combat support agencies vte The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States.[12] Originally created on 1 August 1907, as a part of the United States Army Signal Corps, the USAF was established as a separate branch of the United States Armed Forces in 1947 with the enactment of the National Security Act of 1947. It is the second youngest branch of the United States Armed Forces[a] and the fourth in order of precedence. The United States Air Force articulates its core missions as air supremacy, global integrated intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. The United States Air Force is a military service branch organized within the Department of the Air Force, one of the three military departments of the Department of Defense. The Air Force through the Department of the Air Force is headed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, who reports to the Secretary of Defense and is appointed by the President with Senate confirmation. The highest-ranking military officer in the Air Force is the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, who exercises supervision over Air Force units and serves as one of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As directed by the Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Air Force, certain Air Force components are assigned to unified combatant commands. Combatant commanders are delegated operational authority of the forces assigned to them, while the Secretary of the Air Force and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force retain administrative authority over their members. Along with conducting independent air operations, the United States Air Force provides air support for land and naval forces and aids in the recovery of troops in the field. As of 2017, the service operates more than 5,369 military aircraft[13] and 406 ICBMs.[14] The world's largest air force, it has a $156.3 billion budget[15] and is the second largest service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, with 329,614 active duty airmen,[16] 172,857 civilian personnel,[17] 69,056 reserve airmen,[18] and 107,414 Air National Guard airmen.[19] Mission, vision, and functions Missions According to the National Security Act of 1947 (61 Stat. 502), which created the USAF: In general, the United States Air Force shall include aviation forces both combat and service not otherwise assigned. It shall be organized, trained, and equipped primarily for prompt and sustained offensive and defensive air operations. The Air Force shall be responsible for the preparation of the air forces necessary for the effective prosecution of war except as otherwise assigned and, in accordance with integrated joint mobilization plans, for the expansion of the peacetime components of the Air Force to meet the needs of war. Section 9062 of Title 10 US Code defines the purpose of the USAF as:[20] to preserve the peace and security, and provide for the defense, of the United States, the Territories, Commonwealths, and possessions, and any areas occupied by the United States; to support national policy; to implement national objectives; to overcome any nations responsible for aggressive acts that imperil the peace and security of the United States. Core missions The five core missions of the Air Force have not changed dramatically since the Air Force became independent in 1947, but they have evolved and are now articulated as air superiority, global integrated ISR (intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance), rapid global mobility, global strike, and command and control. The purpose of all of these core missions is to provide what the Air Force states as global vigilance, global reach, and global power.[21] Air superiority Main article: Aerial warfare Air superiority is "that degree of dominance in the air battle of one force over another which permits the conduct of operations by the former and its related land, sea, air, and special operations forces at a given time and place without prohibitive interference by the opposing force" (JP 1-02).[22][23][24][25] The first F-35 Lightning II of the 33rd Fighter Wing arriving at Eglin AFB Offensive Counter-Air (OCA) is defined as "offensive operations to destroy, disrupt, or neutralize enemy aircraft, missiles, launch platforms, and their supporting structures and systems both before and after launch, but as close to their source as possible" (JP 1-02). OCA is the preferred method of countering air and missile threats since it attempts to defeat the enemy closer to its source and typically enjoys the initiative. OCA comprises attack operations, sweep, escort, and suppression/destruction of enemy air defense.[22] Defensive Counter-Air (DCA) is defined as "all the defensive measures designed to detect, identify, intercept, and destroy or negate enemy forces attempting to penetrate or attack through friendly airspace" (JP 1-02). In concert with OCA operations, a major goal of DCA operations is to provide an area from which forces can operate, secure from air and missile threats. The DCA mission comprises both active and passive defense measures. Active defense is "the employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy" (JP 1-02). It includes both ballistic missile defense and airborne threat defense and encompasses point defense, area defense, and high-value airborne asset defense. Passive defense is "measures taken to reduce the probability of and to minimize the effects of damage caused by hostile action without the intention of taking the initiative" (JP 1-02). It includes detection and warning; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear defense; camouflage, concealment, and deception; hardening; reconstitution; dispersion; redundancy; and mobility, counter-measures, and stealth.[22] Airspace control is "a process used to increase operational effectiveness by promoting the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace" (JP 1-02). It promotes the safe, efficient, and flexible use of airspace, mitigates the risk of fratricide, enhances both offensive and defensive operations, and permits greater agility of air operations as a whole. It both deconflicts and facilitates the integration of joint air operations.[22] Global integrated ISR Main article: Intelligence, surveillance, target acquisition, and reconnaissance Global integrated intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) is the synchronization and integration of the planning and operation of sensors, assets, and processing, exploitation, dissemination systems across the globe to conduct current and future operations.[22] An Air Force RQ-4 strategic reconnaissance aircraft Planning and directing is "the determination of intelligence requirements, development of appropriate intelligence architecture, preparation of a collection plan, and issuance of orders and requests to information collection agencies" (JP 2-01, Joint and National Intelligence Support to Military Operations). These activities enable the synchronization and integration of collection, processing, exploitation, analysis, and dissemination activities/resources to meet information requirements of national and military decision-makers.[22] Collection is "the acquisition of information and the provision of this information to processing elements" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to obtain required information to satisfy intelligence needs (via use of sources and methods in all domains). Collection activities span the Range of Military Operations (ROMO).[22] Processing and exploitation is "the conversion of collected information into forms suitable to the production of intelligence" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to transform, extract, and make available collected information suitable for further analysis or action across the ROMO.[22] Analysis and production is "the conversion of processed information into intelligence through the integration, evaluation, analysis, and interpretation of all source data and the preparation of intelligence products in support of known or anticipated user requirements" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to integrate, evaluate, and interpret information from available sources to create a finished intelligence product for presentation or dissemination to enable increased situational awareness.[22] Dissemination and integration is "the delivery of intelligence to users in a suitable form and the application of the intelligence to appropriate missions, tasks, and functions" (JP 2-01). It provides the ability to present information and intelligence products across the ROMO enabling understanding of the operational environment to military and national decision-makers.[22] Rapid global mobility Main articles: Airlift and Aerial refueling An Air Force KC-46 Pegasus refuels a C-17A Globemaster III Rapid global mobility is the timely deployment, employment, sustainment, augmentation, and redeployment of military forces and capabilities across the ROMO. It provides joint military forces the capability to move from place to place while retaining the ability to fulfill their primary mission. Rapid Global Mobility is essential to virtually every military operation, allowing forces to reach foreign or domestic destinations quickly, thus seizing the initiative through speed and surprise.[22] Airlift is "operations to transport and deliver forces and materiel through the air in support of strategic, operational, or tactical objectives" (Annex 3–17, Air Mobility Operations). The rapid and flexible options afforded by airlift allow military forces and national leaders the ability to respond and operate in a variety of situations and time frames. The global reach capability of airlift provides the ability to apply US power worldwide by delivering forces to crisis locations. It serves as a US presence that demonstrates resolve and compassion in humanitarian crisis.[22] Air refueling is "the refueling of an aircraft in flight by another aircraft" (JP 1-02). Air refueling extends presence, increases range, and serves as a force multiplier. It allows air assets to more rapidly reach any trouble spot around the world with less dependence on forward staging bases or overflight/landing clearances. Air refueling significantly expands the options available to a commander by increasing the range, payload, persistence, and flexibility of receiver aircraft.[22] Aeromedical evacuation is "the movement of patients under medical supervision to and between medical treatment facilities by air transportation" (JP 1-02). JP 4-02, Health Service Support, further defines it as "the fixed wing movement of regulated casualties to and between medical treatment facilities, using organic and/or contracted mobility airframes, with aircrew trained explicitly for this mission." Aeromedical evacuation forces can operate as far forward as fixed-wing aircraft are able to conduct airland operations.[22] Global strike Main articles: Strategic bombing and Nuclear warfare Global precision attack is the ability to hold at risk or strike rapidly and persistently, with a wide range of munitions, any target and to create swift, decisive, and precise effects across multiple domains.[22] An Air Force A-10 demonstrating close air support at Nellis AFB Strategic attack is defined as "offensive action specifically selected to achieve national strategic objectives. These attacks seek to weaken the adversary's ability or will to engage in conflict, and may achieve strategic objectives without necessarily having to achieve operational objectives as a precondition" (Annex 3–70, Strategic Attack).[22] Air Interdiction is defined as "air operations conducted to divert, disrupt, delay, or destroy the enemy's military potential before it can be brought to bear effectively against friendly forces, or to otherwise achieve JFC objectives. Air Interdiction is conducted at such distance from friendly forces that detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of friendly forces is not required" (Annex 3-03, Counterland Operations).[22] Close Air Support is defined as "air action by fixed- and rotary-winged aircraft against hostile targets that are in close proximity to friendly forces and which require detailed integration of each air mission with the fire and movement of those forces" (JP 1-02). This can be as a pre-planned event or on demand from an alert posture (ground or airborne). It can be conducted across the ROMO.[22] The purpose of nuclear deterrence operations (NDO) is to operate, maintain, and secure nuclear forces to achieve an assured capability to deter an adversary from taking action against vital US interests. In the event deterrence fails, the US should be able to appropriately respond with nuclear options. The sub-elements of this function are:[22] Test launch of a LGM-30 Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile from Vandenberg AFB Assure/Dissuade/Deter is a mission set derived from the Air Force's readiness to carry out the nuclear strike operations mission as well as from specific actions taken to assure allies as a part of extended deterrence. Dissuading others from acquiring or proliferating WMD and delivering them contributes to promoting security and is also an integral part of this mission. Moreover, different deterrence strategies are required to deter various adversaries, whether they are a nation state, or non-state/transnational actor. The Air Force maintains and presents credible deterrent capabilities through successful visible demonstrations and exercises that assure allies, dissuade proliferation, deter potential adversaries from actions that threaten US national security or the populations, and deploy military forces of the US, its allies, and friends.[22] Nuclear strike is the ability of nuclear forces to rapidly and accurately strike targets which the enemy holds dear in a devastating manner. If a crisis occurs, rapid generation and, if necessary, deployment of nuclear strike capabilities will demonstrate US resolve and may prompt an adversary to alter the course of action deemed threatening to our national interest. Should deterrence fail, the President may authorize a precise, tailored response to terminate the conflict at the lowest possible level and lead to a rapid cessation of hostilities. Post-conflict, regeneration of a credible nuclear deterrent capability will deter further aggression. The Air Force may present a credible force posture in either the Continental United States, within a theater of operations, or both to effectively deter the range of potential adversaries envisioned in the 21st century. This requires the ability to engage targets globally using a variety of methods; therefore, the Air Force should possess the ability to induct, train, assign, educate and exercise individuals and units to rapidly and effectively execute missions that support US NDO objectives. Finally, the Air Force regularly exercises and evaluates all aspects of nuclear operations to ensure high levels of performance.[22] Nuclear surety ensures the safety, security and effectiveness of nuclear operations. Because of their political and military importance, destructive power, and the potential consequences of an accident or unauthorized act, nuclear weapons and nuclear weapon systems require special consideration and protection against risks and threats inherent in their peacetime and wartime environments. In conjunction with other entities within the Departments of Defense or Energy, the Air Force achieves a high standard of protection through a stringent nuclear surety program. This program applies to materiel, personnel, and procedures that contribute to the safety, security, and control of nuclear weapons, thus assuring no nuclear accidents, incidents, loss, or unauthorized or accidental use (a Broken Arrow incident). The Air Force continues to pursue safe, secure and effective nuclear weapons consistent with operational requirements. Adversaries, allies, and the American people must be highly confident of the Air Force's ability to secure nuclear weapons from accidents, theft, loss, and accidental or unauthorized use. This day-to-day commitment to precise and reliable nuclear operations is the cornerstone of the credibility of the NDO mission. Positive nuclear command, control, communications; effective nuclear weapons security; and robust combat support are essential to the overall NDO function.[22] Command and control Main articles: Command and control, Air Operations Center, and Joint Force Air Component Commander Command and control is "the exercise of authority and direction by a properly designated commander over assigned and attached forces in the accomplishment of the mission. Command and control functions are performed through an arrangement of personnel, equipment, communications, facilities, and procedures employed by a commander in planning, directing, coordinating, and controlling forces and operations in the accomplishment of the mission" (JP 1-02). This core function includes all of the C2-related capabilities and activities associated with air, cyberspace, nuclear, and agile combat support operations to achieve strategic, operational, and tactical objectives.[22] Combined Air Operations Center at Al Udeid Air Base At the strategic level command and control, the US determines national or multinational security objectives and guidance, and develops and uses national resources to accomplish these objectives. These national objectives in turn provide the direction for developing overall military objectives, which are used to develop the objectives and strategy for each theater.[22] At the operational level command and control, campaigns and major operations are planned, conducted, sustained, and assessed to accomplish strategic goals within theaters or areas of operations. These activities imply a broader dimension of time or space than do tactics; they provide the means by which tactical successes are exploited to achieve strategic and operational objectives.[22] Tactical Level Command and Control is where individual battles and engagements are fought. The tactical level of war deals with how forces are employed, and the specifics of how engagements are conducted and targets attacked. The goal of tactical level C2 is to achieve commander's intent and desired effects by gaining and keeping offensive initiative.[22] History Main article: History of the United States Air Force The U.S. War Department created the first antecedent of the U.S. Air Force, as a part of the U.S. Army, on 1 August 1907, which through a succession of changes of organization, titles, and missions advanced toward eventual independence 40 years later. In World War II, almost 68,000 U.S. airmen died helping to win the war, with only the infantry suffering more casualties.[26] In practice, the U.S. Army Air Forces (USAAF) was virtually independent of the Army during World War II, and in virtually every way functioned as an independent service branch, but airmen still pressed for formal independence.[27] The National Security Act of 1947 was signed on 26 July 1947, which established the Department of the Air Force, but it was not until 18 September 1947, when the first secretary of the Air Force, W. Stuart Symington, was sworn into office that the Air Force was officially formed as an independent service branch.[28][29] The act created the National Military Establishment (renamed Department of Defense in 1949), which was composed of three subordinate Military Departments, namely the Department of the Army, the Department of the Navy, and the newly created Department of the Air Force.[30] Prior to 1947, the responsibility for military aviation was shared between the Army Air Forces and its predecessor organizations (for land-based operations), the Navy (for sea-based operations from aircraft carriers and amphibious aircraft), and the Marine Corps (for close air support of Marine Corps operations). The 1940s proved to be important for military aviation in other ways as well. In 1947, Air Force Captain Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier in his X-1 rocket-powered aircraft, beginning a new era of aeronautics in America.[31] Roundels that have appeared on U.S. military aircraft 1.) 5/1917–2/1918 2.) 2/1918–8/1919 3.) 8/1919–5/1942 4.) 5/1942–6/1943 5.) 6/1943–9/1943 6.) 9/1943–1/1947 7.) 1/1947– Antecedents The predecessor organizations in the Army of today's Air Force are: Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps (1 August 1907 – 18 July 1914) Aviation Section, Signal Corps (18 July 1914 – 20 May 1918) Division of Military Aeronautics (20 May 1918 to 24 May 1918) U.S. Army Air Service (24 May 1918 to 2 July 1926) U.S. Army Air Corps (2 July 1926 to 20 June 1941)[32] and U.S. Army Air Forces (20 June 1941 to 18 September 1947) 21st century During the early 2000s, two USAF aircraft procurement projects took longer than expected, the KC-X and F-35 programs. As a result, the USAF was setting new records for average aircraft age.[33] Since 2005, the USAF has placed a strong focus on the improvement of Basic Military Training (BMT) for enlisted personnel. While the intense training has become longer, it also has shifted to include a deployment phase. This deployment phase, now called the BEAST, places the trainees in a simulated combat environment that they may experience once they deploy. While the trainees do tackle the massive obstacle courses along with the BEAST, the other portions include defending and protecting their base of operations, forming a structure of leadership, directing search and recovery, and basic self aid buddy care. During this event, the Military Training Instructors (MTI) act as mentors and opposing forces in a deployment exercise.[34] In November 2022, the USAF announced that it will discontinue BEAST and replace it with another deployment training program called PACER FORGE.[35][36] In 2007, the USAF undertook a Reduction-in-Force (RIF). Because of budget constraints, the USAF planned to reduce the service's size from 360,000 active duty personnel to 316,000.[37] The size of the active duty force in 2007 was roughly 64% of that of what the USAF was at the end of the first Gulf War in 1991.[38] However, the reduction was ended at approximately 330,000 personnel in 2008 in order to meet the demand signal of combatant commanders and associated mission requirements.[37] These same constraints have seen a sharp reduction in flight hours for crew training since 2005[39] and the Deputy Chief of Staff for Manpower and Personnel directing Airmen's Time Assessments.[40] On 5 June 2008, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accepted the resignations of both the Secretary of the Air Force, Michael Wynne, and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, General T. Michael Moseley. In his decision to fire both men Gates cited "systemic issues associated with... declining Air Force nuclear mission focus and performance".[41] Left unmentioned by Gates was that he had repeatedly clashed with Wynne and Moseley over other important non-nuclear related issues to the service.[41] This followed an investigation into two incidents involving mishandling of nuclear weapons: specifically a nuclear weapons incident aboard a B-52 flight between Minot AFB and Barksdale AFB, and an accidental shipment of nuclear weapons components to Taiwan.[42] To put more emphasis on nuclear assets, the USAF established the nuclear-focused Air Force Global Strike Command on 24 October 2008, which later assumed control of all USAF bomber aircraft.[43] On 26 June 2009, the USAF released a force structure plan that cut fighter aircraft and shifted resources to better support nuclear, irregular and information warfare.[44] On 23 July 2009, The USAF released their Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) Flight Plan, detailing Air Force UAS plans through 2047.[45] One third of the planes that the USAF planned to buy in the future were to be unmanned.[46] According to Air Force Chief Scientist, Greg Zacharias, the USAF anticipates having hypersonic weapons by the 2020s, hypersonic unmanned aerial vehicles (also known as remotely-piloted vehicles, or RPAs) by the 2030s and recoverable hypersonic RPAs aircraft by the 2040s.[47] Air Force intends to deploy a Sixth-generation jet fighter by the mid–2030s.[47] Conflicts The SR-71 Blackbird was a Cold War reconnaissance plane. The F-117 Nighthawk was a stealth attack aircraft (retired from service in April 2008). The United States Air Force has been involved in many wars, conflicts and operations using military air operations. The USAF possesses the lineage and heritage of its predecessor organizations, which played a pivotal role in U.S. military operations since 1907: Mexican Expedition[48] as Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps World War I[49] as Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps and United States Army Air Service World War II[49] as United States Army Air Forces Cold War[50][51][52] Korean War[53][54] Vietnam War[55][56] Contemporary Historical Examination of Current Operations (CHECO) Operation Eagle Claw (1980 Iranian hostage rescue)[57][58] Operation Urgent Fury (1983 US invasion of Grenada)[59][60] Operation El Dorado Canyon (1986 US Bombing of Libya)[61] Operation Just Cause (1989–1990 US invasion of Panama)[62] Gulf War (1990–1991)[63] Operation Desert Shield (1990–1991)[64] Operation Desert Storm (1991)[65] Operation Southern Watch (1992–2003 Iraq no-fly zone)[66] Operation Deliberate Force (1995 NATO bombing in Bosnia and Herzegovina)[67] Operation Northern Watch (1997–2003 Iraq no-fly zone)[68] Operation Desert Fox (1998 bombing of Iraq)[69][70][71] Operation Allied Force (1999 NATO bombing of Yugoslavia)[72] Afghanistan War (2001–2021)[73][74][75] Operation Enduring Freedom (2001–2014)[76] Operation Freedom's Sentinel (2015–2021)[77] Iraq War (2003–2011)[78][79] Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003–2010)[80] Operation New Dawn (2010–2011)[81][82] Operation Odyssey Dawn (2011 Libyan no-fly zone)[83][84][85] Operation Inherent Resolve (2014–present: intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) In addition since the USAF dwarfs all other U.S. and allied air components, it often provides support for allied forces in conflicts to which the United States is otherwise not involved, such as the 2013 French campaign in Mali.[86] Humanitarian operations A row of Douglas C-54 Skymasters during the Berlin Airlift in 1949 The USAF has also taken part in numerous humanitarian operations. Some of the more major ones include the following:[87] Berlin Airlift (Operation Vittles), 1948–1949 Operation Safe Haven, 1956–1957 Operations Babylift, New Life, Frequent Wind, and New Arrivals, 1975 Operation Provide Comfort, 1991 Operation Sea Angel, 1991[88] Operation Provide Hope, 1992–1993[89] Operation Provide Promise, 1992–1996[90] Operation Unified Assistance, December 2004 – April 2005 Operation Unified Response, 14 January 2010 – 22 March 2010[91] Operation Tomodachi, 12 March 2011 – 1 May 2011[92] Culture Various Air Force personnel pose during the Air Force's 74th birthday celebration at the Pentagon, 17 September 2021. The culture of the United States Air Force is primarily driven by pilots, at first those piloting bombers (driven originally by the Bomber Mafia), followed by fighters (Fighter Mafia).[93][94][95] In response to a 2007 United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates accepted in June 2009 the resignations of Secretary of the Air Force Michael Wynne and the Chief of Staff of the Air Force General T. Michael Moseley. Moseley's successor, General Norton A. Schwartz, a former airlift and special operations pilot was the first officer appointed to that position who did not have a background as a fighter or bomber pilot.[96] The Washington Post reported in 2010 that General Schwartz began to dismantle the rigid class system of the USAF, particularly in the officer corps.[97] In 2014, following morale and testing/cheating scandals in the Air Force's missile launch officer community, Secretary of the Air Force Deborah Lee James admitted that there remained a "systemic problem" in the USAF's management of the nuclear mission.[98] Daniel L. Magruder Jr. defines USAF culture as a combination of the rigorous application of advanced technology, individualism and progressive airpower theory.[99] Major General Charles J. Dunlap Jr. adds that the U.S. Air Force's culture also includes an egalitarianism bred from officers perceiving themselves as their service's principal "warriors" working with small groups of enlisted airmen either as the service crew or the onboard crew of their aircraft. Air Force officers have never felt they needed the formal social "distance" from their enlisted force that is common in the other U.S. armed services. Although the paradigm is changing, for most of its history, the Air Force, completely unlike its sister services, has been an organization in which mostly its officers fought, not its enlisted force, the latter being primarily a rear echelon support force. When the enlisted force did go into harm's way, such as crew members of multi-crewed aircraft, the close comradeship of shared risk in tight quarters created traditions that shaped a somewhat different kind of officer/enlisted relationship than exists elsewhere in the military.[100] Cultural and career issues in the U.S. Air Force have been cited as one of the reasons for the shortfall in needed UAV operators.[101] In spite of demand for UAVs or drones to provide round the clock coverage for American troops during the Iraq War,[102] the USAF did not establish a new career field for piloting them until the last year of that war and in 2014 changed its RPA training syllabus again, in the face of large aircraft losses in training,[103] and in response to a GAO report critical of handling of drone programs.[104] Paul Scharre has reported that the cultural divide between the USAF and US Army has kept both services from adopting each other's drone handing innovations.[105] Many of the U.S. Air Force's formal and informal traditions are an amalgamation of those taken from the Royal Air Force (e.g., dining-ins/mess nights) or the experiences of its predecessor organizations such as the U.S. Army Air Service, U.S. Army Air Corps and the U.S. Army Air Forces. Some of these traditions range from "Friday Name Tags" in flying units to an annual "Mustache Month". The use of "challenge coins" dates back to World War I when a member of one of the aero squadrons bought his entire unit medallions with their emblem,[106] while another cultural tradition unique to the Air Force is the "roof stomp", practiced by Airmen to welcome a new commander or to commemorate another event, such as a retirement. Organization Main articles: Structure of the United States Air Force and Department of the Air Force structure Organization of the United States Air Force within the Department of Defense Administrative organization The Department of the Air Force is one of three military departments within the Department of Defense, and is managed by the civilian Secretary of the Air Force, under the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense. The senior officials in the Office of the Secretary are the Under Secretary of the Air Force, four Assistant Secretaries of the Air Force and the General Counsel, all of whom are appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate. The senior uniformed leadership in the Air Staff is made up of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force and the Vice Chief of Staff of the Air Force.[107] The directly subordinate commands and units are named Field Operating Agency (FOA), Direct Reporting Unit (DRU), and the currently unused Separate Operating Agency. The Major Command (MAJCOM) is the superior hierarchical level of command. Including the Air Force Reserve Command, as of 30 September 2006, USAF has ten major commands. The Numbered Air Force (NAF) is a level of command directly under the MAJCOM, followed by Operational Command (now unused), Air Division (also now unused), Wing, Group, Squadron, and Flight.[107][108] Air Force structure and organization Headquarters, United States Air Force (HQ USAF): Major Commands Current commander Location of headquarters Air Combat Command (ACC) Gen Mark D. Kelly Langley Air Force Base, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia, U.S. Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Lt Gen Brian S. Robinson Randolph Air Force Base, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas, U.S. Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Gen Thomas A. Bussiere Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana, U.S. Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) Gen Duke Z. Richardson Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, U.S. Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) Lt Gen John P. Healy Robins Air Force Base, Georgia, U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) Lt Gen Tony D. Bauernfeind Hurlburt Field, Florida, U.S. Air Mobility Command (AMC) Gen Michael A. Minihan Scott Air Force Base, Illinois, U.S. Pacific Air Forces (PACAF) Gen Kenneth S. Wilsbach Hickam Air Force Base, Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam, Hawaii, U.S. United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa (USAFE-AFAFRICA) Gen James B. Hecker Ramstein Air Base, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany Direct Reporting Units Current commander Location of headquarters Air Force District of Washington (AFDW) Maj Gen Joel D. Jackson Andrews Air Force Base, Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, U.S. Air Force Operational Test and Evaluation Center (AFOTEC) Brig Gen Michael T. Rawls Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, U.S. United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) Lt Gen Richard M. Clark Air Force Academy, Colorado, U.S. The major components of the U.S. Air Force, as of 28 August 2015, are the following:[109] Active duty forces 57 flying wings and 55 non-flying wings nine flying groups, eight non-flying groups 134 flying squadrons Air Force Reserve Command 35 flying wings four flying groups 67 flying squadrons Air National Guard 87 flying wings 101 flying squadrons The USAF, including its Air Reserve Component (e.g., Air Force Reserve + Air National Guard), possesses a total of 302 flying squadrons.[110] Operational organization This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources in this section. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (January 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message) Main article: List of active United States Air Force aircraft squadrons The organizational structure as shown above is responsible for the peacetime organization, equipping, and training of air units for operational missions. When required to support operational missions, the Secretary of Defense (SECDEF) directs the Secretary of the Air Force (SECAF) to execute a Change in Operational Control (CHOP) of these units from their administrative alignment to the operational command of a Regional Combatant commander (CCDR).[111] In the case of AFSPC, AFSOC, PACAF, and USAFE units, forces are normally employed in-place under their existing CCDR. Likewise, AMC forces operating in support roles retain their componency to USTRANSCOM unless chopped to a Regional CCDR. Air Expeditionary Task Force "Chopped" units are referred to as forces. The top-level structure of these forces is the Air Expeditionary Task Force (AETF). The AETF is the Air Force presentation of forces to a CCDR for the employment of Air Power. Each CCDR is supported by a standing Component Numbered Air Force (C-NAF) to provide planning and execution of air forces in support of CCDR requirements. Each C-NAF consists of a Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) and AFFOR/A-staff, and an Air Operations Center (AOC). As needed to support multiple Joint Force Commanders (JFC) in the CCMD's Area of Responsibility (AOR), the C-NAF may deploy Air Component Coordinate Elements (ACCE) to liaise with the JFC. If the Air Force possesses the preponderance of air forces in a JFC's area of operations, the COMAFFOR will also serve as the Joint Forces Air Component Commander (JFACC). Commander, Air Force Forces The Commander, Air Force Forces (COMAFFOR) is the senior USAF officer responsible for the employment of air power in support of JFC objectives. The COMAFFOR has a special staff and an A-Staff to ensure assigned or attached forces are properly organized, equipped, and trained to support the operational mission. Air Operations Center The Air Operations Center (AOC) is the JFACC's Command and Control (C2) center. Several AOCs have been established throughout the Air Force worldwide. These centers are responsible for planning and executing air power missions in support of JFC objectives.[112] Air Expeditionary Wings/Groups/Squadrons The AETF generates air power to support CCMD objectives from Air Expeditionary Wings (AEW) or Air Expeditionary Groups (AEG). These units are responsible for receiving combat forces from Air Force MAJCOMs, preparing these forces for operational missions, launching and recovering these forces, and eventually returning forces to the MAJCOMs. Theater Air Control Systems control employment of forces during these missions. Personnel The classification of any USAF job for officers or enlisted airmen is the Air Force Specialty Code (AFSC). AFSCs range from officer specialties such as pilot, combat systems officer, special tactics, nuclear and missile operations, intelligence, cyberspace operations, judge advocate general (JAG), medical doctor, nurse or other fields, to various enlisted specialties. The latter range from flight combat operations such as loadmaster, to working in a dining facility to ensure that Airmen are properly fed. There are additional occupational fields such as computer specialties, mechanic specialties, enlisted aircrew, communication systems, cyberspace operations, avionics technicians, medical specialties, civil engineering, public affairs, hospitality, law, drug counseling, mail operations, security forces, and search and rescue specialties.[113] Beyond combat flight crew personnel, other combat USAF AFSCs are Special Tactics Officer,[114] Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD),[115] Combat Rescue Officer,[116] Pararescue,[117] Security Forces,[118] Combat Control,[119] Combat Weather, Tactical Air Control Party,[120] Special Operations Weather Technician,[121] and AFOSI agents. Nearly all enlisted career fields are "entry level", meaning that the USAF provides all training. Some enlistees are able to choose a particular field, or at least a field before actually joining, while others are assigned an AFSC at Basic Military Training (BMT). After BMT, new enlisted airmen attend a technical training school where they learn their particular AFSC. Second Air Force, a part of Air Education and Training Command, is responsible for nearly all enlisted technical training.[122][123] Training programs vary in length; for example, 3M0X1 (Services) has 31 days of tech school training, while 3E8X1 (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) is one year of training with a preliminary school and a main school consisting of over ten separate divisions, sometimes taking students close to two years to complete. Officer technical training conducted by Second Air Force can also vary by AFSC, while flight training for aeronautically-rated officers conducted by AETC's Nineteenth Air Force can last well in excess of one year.[124] USAF rank is divided between enlisted airmen, non-commissioned officers, and commissioned officers, and ranges from the enlisted Airman Basic (E-1) to the commissioned officer rank of General (O-10), however in times of war officers may be appointed to the higher grade of General of the Air Force. Enlisted promotions are granted based on a combination of test scores, years of experience, and selection board approval while officer promotions are based on time-in-grade and a promotion selection board. Promotions among enlisted personnel and non-commissioned officers are generally designated by increasing numbers of insignia chevrons.[125] Commissioned officer rank is designated by bars, oak leaves, a silver eagle, and anywhere from one to five stars.[126] General of the Air Force Henry "Hap" Arnold is the only individual in the history of the US Air Force to attain the rank of five-star general.[127] As of 30 June 2017, 70% of the Air Force is White, 15% Black and 4.8% Asian. The average age is 35 and 21% of its members are female.[128] Commissioned officers Main article: United States Air Force officer rank insignia The commissioned officer ranks of the USAF are divided into three categories: company grade officers, field grade officers, and general officers. Company grade officers are those officers in pay grades O-1 to O-3, while field grade officers are those in pay grades O-4 to O-6, and general officers are those in pay grades of O-7 and above. Air Force officer promotions are governed by the Defense Officer Personnel Management Act of 1980 and its companion Reserve Officer Personnel Management Act (ROPMA) for officers in the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard. DOPMA also establishes limits on the number of officers that can serve at any given time in the Air Force. Currently, promotion from second lieutenant to first lieutenant is virtually guaranteed after two years of satisfactory service. The promotion from first lieutenant to captain is competitive after successfully completing another two years of service, with a selection rate varying between 99% and 100%. Promotion to major through major general is through a formal selection board process, while promotions to lieutenant general and general are contingent upon nomination to specific general officer positions and subject to U.S. Senate approval. During the board process, an officer's record is reviewed by a selection board at the Air Force Personnel Center at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. At the 10 to 11-year mark, captains will take part in a selection board to major. If not selected, they will meet a follow-on board to determine if they will be allowed to remain in the Air Force. Promotion from major to lieutenant colonel is similar and occurs approximately between the fourteen year and the fifteen year mark, where a certain percentage of majors will be in zone (i.e., "on time") or above zone (i.e., "late") for promotion to lieutenant colonel. This process will repeat at the 18-year mark to the 21-year mark for promotion to full colonel. The Air Force has the largest ratio of general officers to total strength of all of the U.S. Armed Forces and this ratio has continued to increase even as the force has shrunk from its Cold War highs.[129] US DoD pay grade Special grade[b] O-10 O-9 O-8 O-7 O-6 O-5 O-4 O-3 O-2 O-1 NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 Insignia Service dress uniform (Class A) Title General of the Air Force General Lieutenant general Major general Brigadier general Colonel Lieutenant colonel Major Captain First lieutenant Second lieutenant Abbreviation[c] GAF Gen Lt Gen Maj Gen Brig Gen Col Lt Col Maj Capt 1st Lt 2d Lt Warrant officers Main article: Warrant officer (United States) § Air Force Although provision is made in Title 10 of the United States Code for the Secretary of the Air Force to appoint warrant officers, the Air Force does not currently use warrant officer grades, and, along with the Space Force, are the only U.S. Armed Services not to do so. The Air Force inherited warrant officer ranks from the Army at its inception in 1947. The Air Force stopped appointing warrant officers in 1959,[131] the same year the first promotions were made to the new top enlisted grade, Chief Master Sergeant. Most of the existing Air Force warrant officers entered the commissioned officer ranks during the 1960s, but small numbers continued to exist in the warrant officer grades for the next 21 years. The last active duty Air Force warrant officer, CWO4 James H. Long, retired in 1980 and the last Air Force Reserve warrant officer, CWO4 Bob Barrow, retired in 1992.[132] Upon his retirement, he was honorarily promoted to CWO5, the only person in the Air Force ever to hold this grade.[131] Since Barrow's retirement, the Air Force warrant officer ranks, while still authorized by law, are not used. Enlisted airmen Pararescuemen and a simulated "survivor" watch as an HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter comes in for a landing Main article: United States Air Force enlisted rank insignia Enlisted airmen have pay grades from E-1 (entry level) to E-9 (senior enlisted).[133] While all USAF personnel, enlisted and officer, are referred to as airmen, in the same manner that all Army personnel, enlisted and officer, are referred to as soldiers, the term also refers to the pay grades of E-1 through E-4, which are below the level of non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Above the pay grade of E-4 (i.e., pay grades E-5 through E-9) all ranks fall into the category of NCO and are further subdivided into "NCOs" (pay grades E-5 and E-6) and "senior NCOs" (pay grades E-7 through E-9); the term "junior NCO" is sometimes used to refer to staff sergeants and technical sergeants (pay grades E-5 and E-6).[134] The USAF is the only branch of the U.S. military where NCO status is achieved when an enlisted person reaches the pay grade of E-5. In all other branches, NCO status is generally achieved at the pay grade of E-4 (e.g., a corporal in the Army[d] and Marine Corps, Petty Officer Third Class in the Navy and Coast Guard). The Air Force mirrored the Army from 1976 to 1991 with an E-4 being either a senior airman wearing three stripes without a star or a sergeant (referred to as "buck sergeant"), which was noted by the presence of the central star and considered an NCO. Despite not being an NCO, a senior airman who has completed Airman Leadership School can be a supervisor according to the AFI 36–2618.[135] US DoD pay grade Special E-9 E-8 E-7 E-6 E-5 E-4 E-3 E-2 E-1 NATO code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1 Insignia No insignia Title Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chairman Chief Master Sergeant of the Air Force Senior Enlisted Advisor to the Chief of the National Guard Bureau Command Chief Master Sergeant Chief master sergeant[e] Senior master sergeant[e] Master sergeant[e] Technical sergeant Staff sergeant Senior Airman Airman First Class Airman Airman basic Abbreviation SEAC CMSAF SEANGB CCC/CCM CMSgt SMSgt MSgt TSgt SSgt SrA A1C Amn AB Uniforms Main article: Uniforms of the United States Air Force The first USAF dress uniform, in 1947, was dubbed and patented "Uxbridge blue" after "Uxbridge 1683 blue", developed at the former Bachman-Uxbridge Worsted Company.[137] The current service dress uniform, which was adopted in 1994, consists of a three-button coat with decorative pockets, matching trousers, and either a service cap or flight cap, all in Shade 1620, "Air Force blue" (a darker purplish-blue).[138] This is worn with a light blue shirt (shade 1550) and shade 1620 herringbone patterned necktie. Silver "U.S." pins are worn on the collar of the coat, with a surrounding silver ring for enlisted airmen. Enlisted airmen wear sleeve rank on both the jacket and shirt, while officers wear metal rank insignia pinned onto the epaulet loops on the coat, and Air Force blue slide-on epaulet loops on the shirt. USAF personnel assigned to base honor guard duties wear, for certain occasions, a modified version of the standard service dress uniform that includes silver trim on the sleeves and trousers, with the addition of a ceremonial belt (if necessary), service cap with silver trim and Hap Arnold Device (instead of the seal of the United States worn on the regular cap), and a silver aiguillette placed on the left shoulder seam and all devices and accoutrements. The Airman Combat Uniform (ACU) in the Operational Camouflage Pattern (OCP) replaced the previous Airman Battle Uniform (ABU) on 1 October 2018.[139][140] Awards and badges Main articles: Awards and decorations of the United States Air Force and Badges of the United States Air Force In addition to basic uniform clothing, various badges are used by the USAF to indicate a billet assignment or qualification-level for a given assignment. Badges can also be used as merit-based or service-based awards. Over time, various badges have been discontinued and are no longer distributed. Training See also: Air Force Specialty Code U.S. Air Force trainee demonstrating a butt stroke on a strike dummy as part of Basic Military Training. All enlisted Airmen attend Basic Military Training (BMT) at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for 7+1⁄2 weeks.[141] Individuals who have prior service of over 24 months of active duty in the other service branches who seek to enlist in the Air Force must go through a 10-day Air Force familiarization course rather than enlisted BMT, however prior service opportunities are severely limited.[142][143] Officers may be commissioned upon graduation from the United States Air Force Academy, upon graduation from another college or university through the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program, or through the Air Force Officer Training School (OTS). OTS, located at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama since 1993, in turn encompasses two separate commissioning programs: Basic Officer Training (BOT), which is for officer candidates for the Regular Air Force and the Air Force Reserve; and the Academy of Military Science (AMS), which is for officer candidates of the Air National Guard. The Air Force also provides Commissioned Officer Training (COT) for officers of all three components who are direct-commissioned into medicine, law, religion, biological sciences, or healthcare administration. COT is fully integrated into the OTS program and today encompasses extensive coursework as well as field exercises in leadership, confidence, fitness, and deployed-environment operations. Air Force Fitness Test USAF Airmen training at Lackland AFB Main article: United States Air Force Fitness Assessment The US Air Force Fitness Test (AFFT) is designed to test the abdominal circumference, muscular strength/endurance and cardiovascular respiratory fitness of airmen in the USAF. As part of the Fit to Fight program, the USAF adopted a more stringent physical fitness assessment; the new fitness program was put into effect on 1 June 2010. The annual ergo-cycle test which the USAF had used for several years had been replaced in 2004. In the AFFT, Airmen are given a score based on performance consisting of four components: waist circumference, the sit-up, the push-up, and a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) run. Airmen can potentially earn a score of 100, with the run counting as 60%, waist circumference as 20%, and both strength tests counting as 10% each. A passing score is 75 points. Effective 1 July 2010, the AFFT is administered by the base Fitness Assessment Cell (FAC), and is required twice a year. Personnel earning a score over 90% may test once a year. Additionally, only meeting the minimum standards on each one of these tests will not get you a passing score of 75%, and failing any one component will result in a failure for the entire test.[144] Aircraft inventory Main article: List of active United States Air Force aircraft The U.S. Air Force has a total force of 5,217 aircraft as of June 2021. Of these, 4,131 are in active service.[145] Until 1962, the Army and Air Force maintained one system of aircraft naming, while the U.S. Navy maintained a separate system. In 1962, these were unified into a single system heavily reflecting the Army and Air Force method. For more complete information on the workings of this system, refer to United States military aircraft designation systems. The various aircraft of the Air Force include: A – Attack A-10 Thunderbolt II ground-attack aircraft The attack aircraft[146] of the USAF are designed to attack targets on the ground and are often deployed as close air support for, and in proximity to, U.S. ground forces. The proximity to friendly forces require precision strikes from these aircraft that are not always possible with bomber aircraft. Their role is tactical rather than strategic, operating at the front of the battle rather than against targets deeper in the enemy's rear. Current USAF attack aircraft are operated by Air Combat Command, Pacific Air Forces, and Air Force Special Operations Command. On 1 August 2022, USSOCOM selected the Air Tractor-L3Harris AT-802U Sky Warden as a result of the Armed Overwatch program, awarding an indefinite quantity contract (IDIQ) to deliver as many as 75 aircraft.[147] A-10C Thunderbolt II A-29 Super Tucano[148] AC-130J Ghostrider[149] OA-1K Sky Warden[150] B – Bomber B-2 Spirit stealth bomber US Air Force bombers are strategic weapons, primarily used for long range strike missions with either conventional or nuclear ordnance. Traditionally used for attacking strategic targets, today many bombers are also used in the tactical mission, such as providing close air support for ground forces and tactical interdiction missions.[151] All Air Force bombers are under Global Strike Command.[152] The service's B-2A aircraft entered service in the 1990s, its B-1B aircraft in the 1980s and its current B-52H aircraft in the early 1960s. The B-52 Stratofortress airframe design is over 60 years old and the B-52H aircraft currently in the active inventory were all built between 1960 and 1962. The B-52H is scheduled to remain in service for another 30 years, which would keep the airframe in service for nearly 90 years, an unprecedented length of service for any aircraft. The B-21 is projected to replace the B-52 and parts of the B-1B force by the mid-2020s.[153] B-1B Lancer[154] B-2A Spirit[155] B-52H Stratofortress[156] B-21 Raider[157] C – Transport A C-17 Globemaster III, the USAF's newest and most versatile cargo aircraft Transport aircraft are typically used to deliver troops, weapons and other military equipment by a variety of methods to any area of military operations around the world, usually outside of the commercial flight routes in uncontrolled airspace. The workhorses of the USAF airlift forces are the C-130 Hercules, C-17 Globemaster III, and C-5 Galaxy. The CV-22 is used by the Air Force for special operations. It conducts long-range, special operations missions, and is equipped with extra fuel tanks and terrain-following radar. Some aircraft serve specialized transportation roles such as executive or embassy support (C-12), Antarctic support (LC-130H), and AFSOC support (C-27J and C-146A). Although most of the US Air Force's cargo aircraft were specially designed with the Air Force in mind, some aircraft such as the C-12 Huron (Beechcraft Super King Air) and C-146 (Dornier 328) are militarized conversions of existing civilian aircraft. Transport aircraft are operated by Air Mobility Command, Air Force Special Operations Command, and United States Air Forces in Europe – Air Forces Africa. C-5M Galaxy[158][159] C-12C, C-12D, C-12F and C-12J Huron[160] C-17A Globemaster III[161][162] C-130H, LC-130H, and WC-130H Hercules C-130J and C-130J-30 Super Hercules C-135 Stratolifter C-145A Skytruck C-146A Wolfhound CV-22B Osprey E – Special Electronic E-3 Sentry airborne warning and control system The purpose of electronic warfare is to deny the opponent an advantage in the EMS and ensure friendly, unimpeded access to the EM spectrum portion of the information environment. Electronic warfare aircraft are used to keep airspaces friendly, and send critical information to anyone who needs it. They are often called "the eye in the sky". The roles of the aircraft vary greatly among the different variants to include electronic warfare and jamming (EC-130H), psychological operations and communications (EC-130J), airborne early warning and control (E-3), airborne command post (E-4B), ground targeting radar (E-8C), range control (E-9A), and communications relay (E-11A, EQ-4B). E-3B, E-3C and E-3G Sentry E-4B "Nightwatch" E-8C JSTARS E-9A Widget E-11A EC-130H Compass Call EC-130J Commando Solo EQ-4B Global Hawk F – Fighter F-22 Raptor stealth air superiority fighter The fighter aircraft of the USAF are small, fast, and maneuverable military aircraft primarily used for air-to-air combat. Many of these fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, and some are dual-roled as fighter-bombers (e.g., the F-16 Fighting Falcon); the term "fighter" is also sometimes used colloquially for dedicated ground-attack aircraft, such as the F-117 Nighthawk. Other missions include interception of bombers and other fighters, reconnaissance, and patrol. The F-16 is currently used by the USAF Air Demonstration squadron, the Thunderbirds, while a small number of both man-rated and non-man-rated F-4 Phantom II are retained as QF-4 aircraft for use as full-scale aerial targets (FSATs) or as part of the USAF Heritage Flight program. These extant QF-4 aircraft are being replaced in the FSAT role by early model F-16 aircraft converted to QF-16 configuration. The USAF had 2,025 fighters in service as of September 2012.[163] F-15C and F-15D Eagle F-15E Strike Eagle F-15EX Eagle II[164] F-16C, F-16D, and F-16V Fighting Falcon F-22A Raptor F-35A Lightning II H – Search and rescue These aircraft are used for search and rescue and combat search and rescue on land or sea. The HC-130N/P aircraft are being replaced by newer HC-130J models. HH-60W are replacement aircraft for "G" models that have been lost in combat operations or accidents. New HH-60W helicopters are under development to replace both the "G" and "W" model Pave Hawks. The Air Force also has four HH-60U "Ghost Hawks", which are converted "M" variants. They are based out of Area 51.[165] HC-130N and HC-130P Combat King HC-130J Combat King II HH-60G, HH-60U and HH-60W Pave Hawk K – Tanker KC-10 Extender tri-jet air-to-air tanker The USAF's KC-135 and KC-10 aerial refueling aircraft are based on civilian jets. The USAF aircraft are equipped primarily for providing the fuel via a tail-mounted refueling boom, and can be equipped with "probe and drogue" refueling systems. Air-to-air refueling is extensively used in large-scale operations and also used in normal operations; fighters, bombers, and cargo aircraft rely heavily on the lesser-known "tanker" aircraft. This makes these aircraft an essential part of the Air Force's global mobility and the U.S. force projection. The KC-46A Pegasus began to be delivered to USAF units starting in 2019. KC-10A Extender KC-46A Pegasus KC-135R and KC-135T Stratotanker M – Multi-mission An MC-12W Liberty at Beale AFB Specialized multi-mission aircraft provide support for global special operations missions. These aircraft conduct infiltration, exfiltration, resupply, and refueling for SOF teams from improvised or otherwise short runways. The MC-130J is currently being fielded to replace "H" and "P" models used by U.S. Special Operations Command. The MC-12W is used in the "intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance" (ISR) role. Initial generations of RPAs were primarily surveillance aircraft, but some were fitted with weaponry (such as the MQ-1 Predator, which used AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles). An armed RPA is known as an "unmanned combat aerial vehicle" (UCAV). MC-12W Liberty MC-130H Combat Talon II MC-130J Commando II MQ-1B Predator MQ-9B Reaper MQ-9 unmanned aerial vehicle O – Observation These aircraft are modified to observe (through visual or other means) and report tactical information concerning composition and disposition of forces. The OC-135 is specifically designed to support the Treaty on Open Skies by observing bases and operations of party members under the 2002-signed treaty. OC-135B Open Skies R – Reconnaissance Lockheed U-2 spy plane The reconnaissance aircraft of the USAF are used for monitoring enemy activity, originally carrying no armament. Although the U-2 is designated as a "utility" aircraft, it is a reconnaissance platform. The roles of the aircraft vary greatly among the different variants to include general monitoring, ballistic missile monitoring (RC-135S), electronic intelligence gathering (RC-135U), signal intelligence gathering (RC-135V/W), and high altitude surveillance (U-2) Several unmanned remotely controlled reconnaissance aircraft (RPAs), have been developed and deployed. Recently, the RPAs have been seen to offer the possibility of cheaper, more capable fighting machines that can be used without risk to aircrews. RC-135S Cobra Ball RC-135U Combat Sent RC-135V and RC-135W Rivet Joint RQ-4B Global Hawk RQ-11 Raven RQ-170 Sentinel U-2S "Dragon Lady" RQ-170 Sentinel stealth unmanned aerial vehicle reconnaissance aircraft T – Trainer The Air Force's trainer aircraft are used to train pilots, combat systems officers, and other aircrew in their duties. T-1A Jayhawk T-6A Texan II T-38A, (A)T-38B and T-38C Talon T-41D Mescalero T-51A T-53A Kadet II TC-135W TE-8A JSTARS TH-1H Iroquois TU-2S Dragon Lady TG – Trainer gliders Several gliders are used by the USAF, primarily used for cadet flying training at the U.S. Air Force Academy. TG-15A TG-15B TG-16 U – Utility Utility aircraft are used basically for what they are needed for at the time. For example, a Huey may be used to transport personnel around a large base or launch site, while it can also be used for evacuation. These aircraft are all around use aircraft. U-28A Draco UH-1N Iroquois UV-18B Twin Otter V – VIP staff transport VC-25A (Air Force One) flying over Mount Rushmore in 2001. These aircraft are used for the transportation of Very Important Persons (VIPs). Notable people include the president, vice president, cabinet secretaries, government officials (e.g., senators and representatives), the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other key personnel. VC-25A (two used as Air Force One) C20B Gulfstream III, C20H Gulfstream IV C-21A Learjet C-32A and C-32B (used as Air Force Two) C-37A Gulfstream V and C-37B Gulfstream G550 C-40B and C-40C W – Weather reconnaissance A WC-130J Hercules from the 53rd Weather Reconnaissance Squadron These aircraft are used to study meteorological events such as hurricanes and typhoons. WC-130J Hurricane Hunter WC-135C and WC-135W Constant Phoenix Undesignated foreign aircraft CN-235-100[166] (427th Special Operations Squadron) Grob G 120TP[167] Mil Mi-17[167][168] (OPFOR training) See also Air & Space Forces Association Air Force Combat Ammunition Center Air Force Knowledge Now Airman's Creed Civil Air Patrol Company Grade Officers' Council Department of the Air Force Police Future military aircraft of the United States List of military aircraft of the United States List of military aircraft of the United States (1909–1919) List of undesignated military aircraft of the United States List of United States Air Force installations List of United States Airmen List of U.S. Air Force acronyms and expressions National Museum of the United States Air Force Structure of the United States Air Force United States Air Force Band United States Air Force Chaplain Corps United States Air Force Combat Control Team United States Air Force Medical Service United States Air Force Thunderbirds Women in the United States Air Force Notes After the United States Space Force, founded in 2019 Reserved for wartime use only. 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Academics CiNii Artists MusicBrainzMuseum of Modern Art People Trove Other SNACIdRef Categories: United States Air ForceMilitary units and formations established in 1947The PentagonUniformed services of the United StatesUnited States Department of Defense1947 establishments in the United StatesCollier Trophy recipientsUnited States Armed Forces service branches airplane aircraft Also known as: aeroplane, plane Written by , See All Fact-checked by Last Updated: Article History Air New Zealand Limited Air New Zealand Limited See all media Category: Science & Tech Key People: Igor Sikorsky Howard Hughes Charles Lindbergh Olive Ann Beech Jacqueline Cochran Related Topics: C-47 seaplane Concorde DC-3 Boeing 367-80 airplane, also called aeroplane or plane, any of a class of fixed-wing aircraft that is heavier than air, propelled by a screw propeller or a high-velocity jet, and supported by the dynamic reaction of the air against its wings. For an account of the development of the airplane and the advent of civil aviation see history of flight. (Read Orville Wright’s 1929 biography of his brother, Wilbur.) The essential components of an airplane are a wing system to sustain it in flight, tail surfaces to stabilize the wings, movable surfaces to control the attitude of the plane in flight, and a power plant to provide the thrust necessary to push the vehicle through the air. Provision must be made to support the plane when it is at rest on the ground and during takeoff and landing. Most planes feature an enclosed body (fuselage) to house the crew, passengers, and cargo; the co*ckpit is the area from which the pilot operates the controls and instruments to fly the plane. Principles of aircraft flight and operation Aerodynamics An aircraft in straight-and-level unaccelerated flight has four forces acting on it. (In turning, diving, or climbing flight, additional forces come into play.) These forces are lift, an upward-acting force; drag, a retarding force of the resistance to lift and to the friction of the aircraft moving through the air; weight, the downward effect that gravity has on the aircraft; and thrust, the forward-acting force provided by the propulsion system (or, in the case of unpowered aircraft, by using gravity to translate altitude into speed). Drag and weight are elements inherent in any object, including an aircraft. Lift and thrust are artificially created elements devised to enable an aircraft to fly. Hindenburg zeppelin crashing, 1937 Britannica Quiz Transportation and Technology Firsts Quiz Understanding lift first requires an understanding of an airfoil, which is a structure designed to obtain reaction upon its surface from the air through which it moves. Early airfoils typically had little more than a slightly curved upper surface and a flat undersurface. Over the years, airfoils have been adapted to meet changing needs. By the 1920s, airfoils typically had a rounded upper surface, with the greatest height being reached in the first third of the chord (width). In time, both upper and lower surfaces were curved to a greater or lesser degree, and the thickest part of the airfoil gradually moved backward. As airspeeds grew, there was a requirement for a very smooth passage of air over the surface, which was achieved in the laminar-flow airfoil, where the camber was farther back than contemporary practice dictated. Supersonic aircraft required even more drastic changes in airfoil shapes, some losing the roundness formerly associated with a wing and having a double-wedge shape. By moving forward in the air, the wing’s airfoil obtains a reaction useful for flight from the air passing over its surface. (In flight the airfoil of the wing normally produces the greatest amount of lift, but propellers, tail surfaces, and the fuselage also function as airfoils and generate varying amounts of lift.) In the 18th century the Swiss mathematician Daniel Bernoulli discovered that, if the velocity of air is increased over a certain point of an airfoil, the pressure of the air is decreased. Air flowing over the curved top surface of the wing’s airfoil moves faster than the air flowing on the bottom surface, decreasing the pressure on top. The higher pressure from below pushes (lifts) the wing up to the lower pressure area. Simultaneously the air flowing along the underside of the wing is deflected downward, providing a Newtonian equal and opposite reaction and contributing to the total lift. Get a Britannica Premium subscription and gain access to exclusive content. The lift an airfoil generates is also affected by its “angle of attack”—i.e., its angle relative to the wind. Both lift and angle of attack can be immediately, if crudely, demonstrated, by holding one’s hand out the window of a moving automobile. When the hand is turned flat to the wind, much resistance is felt and little “lift” is generated, for there is a turbulent region behind the hand. The ratio of lift to drag is low. When the hand is held parallel to the wind, there is far less drag and a moderate amount of lift is generated, the turbulence smooths out, and there is a better ratio of lift to drag. However, if the hand is turned slightly so that its forward edge is raised to a higher angle of attack, the generation of lift will increase. This favourable increase in the lift-to-drag ratio will create a tendency for the hand to “fly” up and over. The greater the speed, the greater the lift and drag will be. Thus, total lift is related to the shape of the airfoil, the angle of attack, and the speed with which the wing passes through the air. Weight is a force that acts opposite to lift. Designers thus attempt to make the aircraft as light as possible. Because all aircraft designs have a tendency to increase in weight during the development process, modern aerospace engineering staffs have specialists in the field controlling weight from the beginning of the design. In addition, pilots must control the total weight that an aircraft is permitted to carry (in passengers, fuel, and freight) both in amount and in location. The distribution of weight (i.e., the control of the centre of gravity of the aircraft) is as important aerodynamically as the amount of weight being carried. Thrust, the forward-acting force, is opposed to drag as lift is opposed to weight. Thrust is obtained by accelerating a mass of ambient air to a velocity greater than the speed of the aircraft; the equal and opposite reaction is for the aircraft to move forward. In reciprocating or turboprop-powered aircraft, thrust derives from the propulsive force caused by the rotation of the propeller, with residual thrust provided by the exhaust. In a jet engine, thrust derives from the propulsive force of the rotating blades of a turbine compressing air, which is then expanded by the combustion of introduced fuel and exhausted from the engine. In a rocket-powered aircraft, the thrust is derived from the equal and opposite reaction to the burning of the rocket propellant. In a sailplane, height attained by mechanical, orographic, or thermal techniques is translated into speed by means of gravity. Acting in continual opposition to thrust is drag, which has two elements. Parasitic drag is that caused by form resistance (due to shape), skin friction, interference, and all other elements that are not contributing to lift; induced drag is that created as a result of the generation of lift. Parasitic drag rises as airspeed increases. For most flights it is desirable to have all drag reduced to a minimum, and for this reason considerable attention is given to streamlining the form of the aircraft by eliminating as much drag-inducing structure as possible (e.g., enclosing the co*ckpit with a canopy, retracting the landing gear, using flush riveting, and painting and polishing surfaces). Some less obvious elements of drag include the relative disposition and area of fuselage and wing, engine, and empennage surfaces; the intersection of wings and tail surfaces; the unintentional leakage of air through the structure; the use of excess air for cooling; and the use of individual shapes that cause local airflow separation. Induced drag is caused by that element of the air deflected downward which is not vertical to the flight path but is tilted slightly rearward from it. As the angle of attack increases, so does drag; at a critical point, the angle of attack can become so great that the airflow is broken over the upper surface of the wing, and lift is lost while drag increases. This critical condition is termed the stall. Supermarine Spitfire Supermarine Spitfire Lift, drag, and stall are all variously affected by the shape of the wing planform. An elliptical wing like that used on the Supermarine Spitfire fighter of World War II, for example, while ideal aerodynamically in a subsonic aircraft, has a more undesirable stall pattern than a simple rectangular wing. The aerodynamics of supersonic flight are complex. Air is compressible, and, as speeds and altitudes increase, the speed of the air flowing over the aircraft begins to exceed the speed of the aircraft through the air. The speed at which this compressibility affects an aircraft is expressed as a ratio of the speed of the aircraft to the speed of sound, called the Mach number, in honour of the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach. The critical Mach number for an aircraft has been defined as that at which on some point of the aircraft the airflow has reached the speed of sound. F-86 F-86 At Mach numbers in excess of the critical Mach number (that is, speeds at which the airflow exceeds the speed of sound at local points on the airframe), there are significant changes in forces, pressures, and moments acting on the wing and fuselage caused by the formation of shock waves. One of the most important effects is a very large increase in drag as well as a reduction in lift. Initially designers sought to reach higher critical Mach numbers by designing aircraft with very thin airfoil sections for the wing and horizontal surfaces and by ensuring that the fineness ratio (length to diameter) of the fuselage was as high as possible. Wing thickness ratios (the thickness of the wing divided by its width) were about 14 to 18 percent on typical aircraft of the 1940–45 period; in later jets the ratio was reduced to less than 5 percent. These techniques delayed the local airflow reaching Mach 1.0, permitting slightly higher critical Mach numbers for the aircraft. Independent studies in Germany and the United States showed that reaching the critical Mach could be delayed further by sweeping the wings back. Wing sweep was extremely important to the development of the German World War II Messerschmitt Me 262, the first operational jet fighter, and to postwar fighters such as the North American F-86 Sabre and the Soviet MiG-15. These fighters operated at high subsonic speeds, but the competitive pressures of development required aircraft that could operate at transonic and supersonic speeds. The power of jet engines with afterburners made these speeds technically possible, but designers were still handicapped by the huge rise in drag in the transonic area. The solution involved adding volume to the fuselage ahead of and behind the wing and reducing it near the wing and tail, to create a cross-sectional area that more nearly approximated the ideal area to limit transonic drag. Early applications of this rule resulted in a “wasp-waist” appearance, such as that of the Convair F-102. In later jets application of this rule is not as apparent in the aircraft’s planform. Devices for aerodynamic control In some flight conditions—descent, preparing to land, landing, and after landing—it is desirable to be able to increase drag to decelerate the aircraft. A number of devices have been designed to accomplish this. These include speed brakes, which are large flat-plate areas that can be deployed by the pilot to increase drag dramatically and are most often found on military aircraft, and spoilers, which are surfaces that can be extended on the wing or fuselage to disrupt the air flow and create drag or to act in the same manner as ailerons. Drag can also be provided by extension of the landing gear or, at the appropriate airspeeds, deployment of the flaps and other lift devices. Lift and drag are roughly proportional to the wing area of an aircraft; if all other factors remain the same and the wing area is doubled, both lift and drag will be doubled. Designers therefore attempt to minimize drag by keeping the wing area as small as possible, while enhancing lift with certain types of trailing-edge flaps and leading-edge slats, which have the ability to increase wing area mechanically. (These devices also alter the camber of the wing, increasing both lift and drag.) A passenger in an aft window seat of a modern airliner can observe the remarkable way in which the wing quite literally transforms itself from a smooth, slim, streamlined surface into almost a half-circle of surfaces by the deployment of a formidable array of lift- and drag-inducing devices. Flaps are extensions of the trailing edge of the wing and can be deflected downward as much as 45°. Many flaps effectively increase wing area, adding to lift and to drag. The angle to which the flaps are deployed determines the relative amount of additional lift or drag obtained. At smaller angles, lift is typically increased over drag, while at greater angles, drag is dramatically increased over lift. Flaps come in a wide variety of types, including the simple split flap, in which a hinged section of the undersurface of the trailing edge of the wing can be extended; the Fowler flap, which extends the wing area by deploying on tracks, creating a slotted effect; and the Kreuger flap, which is a leading-edge flap often used in combination with Fowler or other trailing-edge flaps. Various modern proprietary systems of multiple slotted flaps are used in conjunction with leading-edge slats and flaps, all specially designed to suit the flight characteristics of the particular airplane. Leading-edge flaps alter the camber of the wing and provide additional lift; leading-edge slats are small cambered airfoil surfaces arranged near the leading edge of the wing to form a slot. Air flows through the slot and over the main wing, smoothing out the airflow over the wing and delaying the onset of the stall. Leading-edge slots, which can be either fixed or deployable, are spanwise apertures that permit air to flow through a point behind the leading edge and, like the slat, are designed to smooth out the airflow over the wing at higher angles of attack. The deployment of these devices can be varied to suit the desired flight regime. For takeoff and in the approach to landing, their deployment is generally to provide greater lift than drag. In flight or after touchdown, if rapid deceleration is desired, they can be deployed in a manner to greatly increase drag. Primary flight controls All four forces—lift, thrust, drag, and weight—interact continuously in flight and are in turn affected by such things as the torque effect of the propeller, centrifugal force in turns, and other elements, but all are made subject to the pilot by means of the controls. Elevator, aileron, and rudder controls The pilot controls the forces of flight and the aircraft’s direction and attitude by means of flight controls. Conventional flight controls consist of a stick or wheel control column and rudder pedals, which control the movement of the elevator and ailerons and the rudder, respectively, through a system of cables or rods. In very sophisticated modern aircraft, there is no direct mechanical linkage between the pilot’s controls and the control surfaces; instead they are actuated by electric motors. The catch phrase for this arrangement is “fly-by-wire.” In addition, in some large and fast aircraft, controls are boosted by hydraulically or electrically actuated systems. In both the fly-by-wire and boosted controls, the feel of the control reaction is fed back to the pilot by simulated means. In the conventional arrangement the elevator, attached to the horizontal stabilizer, controls movement around the lateral axis and in effect controls the angle of attack. Forward movement of the control column lowers the elevator, depressing the nose and raising the tail; backward pressure raises the elevator, raising the nose and lowering the tail. Many modern aircraft combine the elevator and stabilizer into a single control surface called the stabilator, which moves as an entity to control inputs. The ailerons are movable surfaces hinged to the trailing edge of each wing, which move in the opposite direction to control movement around the aircraft’s longitudinal axis. If the pilot applies left pressure to the control column (stick or wheel), the right aileron deflects downward and the left aileron deflects upward. The force of the airflow is altered by these control changes, causing the left wing to lower (because of decreased lift) and the right wing to rise (because of increased lift). This differential in lift causes the aircraft to turn to the left. The rudder is a vertical surface, and it controls movement around the aircraft’s vertical axis. It does not cause the aircraft to turn; instead, it counteracts the adverse yaw (rotation around the vertical axis) produced by the ailerons. The lowered wing has both decreased lift and decreased drag; the raised wing has both increased lift and increased drag. The added drag of the raised wing tries to pull the nose of the aircraft toward it (i.e., away from the direction of the turn). Pressure on the rudder is used to counter this adverse yaw. Because the turn results in a net decrease in lift, application of elevator pressure is necessary. Thus, a turn is the result of the combined inputs of the ailerons, rudder, and elevator. Trim tabs are used by the pilot to relieve the requirement of maintaining continuous pressure on the controls. These are smaller surfaces inset into the rudder, elevator, and ailerons, which can be positioned by mechanical or electrical means and which, when positioned, move the control surface to the desired trimmed position. Trimming the aircraft is a continual process, with adjustments necessary for changes to the flight or power controls that result in changes in speed or attitude. Thrust controls turbojet turbojet The pilot controls thrust by adjustment of the control levers for the engine. In an aircraft with a reciprocating engine these can consist of a throttle, mixture control (to control the ratio of fuel and air going to the engine), and propeller control as well as secondary devices such as supercharger controls or water-alcohol injection. In a turbojet engine, the principal control is the throttle, with auxiliary devices such as water injection and afterburners. With water injection, a water-alcohol mixture is injected into the combustion area to cool it, which allows more fuel to be burned. With afterburners, fuel is injected behind the combustion section and ignited to increase thrust greatly at the expense of high fuel consumption. The power delivered by reciprocating and jet engines is variously affected by airspeed and ambient air density (temperature, humidity, and pressure), which must be taken into consideration when establishing power settings. In a turboprop engine, power is typically set by first adjusting the propeller speed with a propeller lever and then adjusting fuel flow to obtain the desired torque (power) setting with the power lever. Propellers Propellers are basically rotating airfoils, and they vary in type, including two-blade fixed pitch, four-blade controllable (variable) pitch, and eight-blade contrarotating pitch. The blade angle on fixed-pitch propellers is set for only one flight regime, and this restriction limits their performance. Some fixed-pitch propellers can be adjusted on the ground to improve performance in one part of the flight regime. Variable-pitch propellers permit the pilot to adjust the pitch to suit the flight condition, using a low pitch for takeoff and a high pitch for cruising flight. Most modern aircraft have an automatic variable-pitch propeller, which can be set to operate continuously in the most efficient mode for the flight regime. If an engine fails, most modern propellers can be feathered (mechanically adjusted) so that they present the blade edgewise to the line of flight, thereby reducing drag. In large piston engine aircraft, some propellers can be reversed after landing to shorten the landing run. (Jet engines have thrust reversers, usually incorporating a noise-suppression system, to accomplish the same task.) Instrumentation The pilot also has an array of instruments by which to check the condition of flight, the engine, and other systems and equipment. In small private aircraft, the instrumentation is simple and may consist only of an altimeter to register height, an airspeed indicator, and a compass. The most modern commercial air transports, in contrast, have fully automated “glass co*ckpits” in which a tremendous array of information is continually presented on cathode-ray tube displays of the aircraft’s height, attitude, heading, speed, cabin pressure and temperature, route, fuel quantity and consumption, and the condition of the engines and the hydraulic, electrical, and electronic systems. These displays also provide readouts for both routine and emergency checklists. Aircraft are also provided with inertial guidance systems for automatic navigation from point to point, with continuous updating for changing weather conditions, beneficial winds, or other situations. co*ckpits have become so automated that training emphasis is focused on “resource management” to assure that the crew members keep alert and do not become complacent as their aircraft flies automatically from one point to the next. This array of instrumentation is supplemented by vastly improved meteorological forecasts, which reduce the hazard from weather, including such difficult-to-predict elements as wind shear and microburst. In addition, the availability of precise positioning from Earth-orbiting satellites makes navigation a far more exact science. Sophisticated defogging and anti-icing systems complement instrumentation for operation in adverse weather. NASA's Reduced Gravity Program provides the unique weightless or zero-G environment of space flight for testing and training of human and hardware reactions. NASA used the turbojet KC-135A to run these parabolic flights from 1963 to 2004. Britannica Quiz Man-Made Birds in the Sky Flight simulators flight simulator flight simulator There are three factors that force the increased use of flight simulators in training: the complexity of larger aircraft, the expense of their operation, and the increased complexity of the air-traffic control environment in which they operate. Modern simulators duplicate aircraft exactly in terms of co*ckpit size, layout, and equipment. They also duplicate the external environment and create a realistic sense of flying by means of the three-axis motion platform on which they are placed. Perhaps the most important use of flight simulators is to train crews in emergency situations, so that they can experience firsthand situations that could not safely be demonstrated in actual flight training. However, the simulator is also far less expensive than using actual aircraft for routine transition and proficiency training. So realistic is simulator training that airline crews are sometimes qualified on a new aircraft in a simulator prior to ever flying the aircraft itself. Types of aircraft There are a number of ways to identify aircraft by type. The primary distinction is between those that are lighter than air and those that are heavier than air. Lighter-than-air airship airship Aircraft such as balloons, nonrigid airships (blimps), and dirigibles are designed to contain within their structure a sufficient volume that, when filled with a gas lighter than air (heated air, hydrogen, or helium), displaces the surrounding ambient air and floats, just as a cork does on the water. Balloons are not steerable and drift with the wind. Nonrigid airships, which have enjoyed a rebirth of use and interest, do not have a rigid structure but have a defined aerodynamic shape, which contains cells filled with the lifting agent. They have a source of propulsion and can be controlled in all three axes of flight. Dirigibles are no longer in use, but they were lighter-than-air craft with a rigid internal structure, which was usually very large, and they were capable of relatively high speeds. It proved impossible to construct dirigibles of sufficient strength to withstand routine operation under all weather conditions, and most suffered disaster, either breaking up in a storm, as with the U.S. craft Shenandoah, Akron, and Macon, or through ignition of the hydrogen, as with the German Hindenburg in 1937. Heavier-than-air This type of aircraft must have a power source to provide the thrust necessary to obtain lift. Simple heavier-than-air craft include kites. These are usually a flat-surfaced structure, often with a stabilizing “tail,” attached by a bridle to a string that is held in place on the ground. Lift is provided by the reaction of the string-restrained surface to the wind. Searcher UAV Searcher UAV unmanned aerial vehicle unmanned aerial vehicle Another type of unmanned aircraft is the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly called drones or sometimes remotely piloted vehicles (RPVs). These aircraft are radio-controlled from the air or the ground and are used for scientific and military purposes. Airplane in the sky with a trace of steam contrail. More From Britannica What Is Known (and Not Known) About Contrails Unpowered manned heavier-than-air vehicles must be launched to obtain lift. These include hang gliders, gliders, and sailplanes. glider glider Hang gliders are aircraft of various configurations in which the pilot is suspended beneath the (usually fabric) wing to provide stability and control. They are normally launched from a high point. In the hands of an experienced pilot, hang gliders are capable of soaring (using rising air columns to obtain upward gliding movement). Gliders are usually used for flight training and have the capability to fly reasonable distances when they are catapulted or towed into the air, but they lack the dynamic sophistication of sailplanes. These sophisticated unpowered craft have wings of unusually high aspect ratio (that is, a long wing span in proportion to wing width). Most sailplanes are towed to launch altitude, although some employ small, retractable auxiliary engines. They are able to use thermals (currents more buoyant than the surrounding air, usually caused by higher temperature) and orographic lift to climb to higher altitude and to glide for great distances. Orographic lift results from the mechanical effect of wind blowing against a terrain feature such as a cliff. The force of the wind is deflected upward by the face of the terrain, resulting in a rising current of air. ultralight aircraft ultralight aircraft Ultralights, which were originally merely hang gliders adapted for power by the installation of small engines similar to those used in chain saws, have matured into specially designed aircraft of very low weight and power but with flying qualities similar to conventional light aircraft. They are intended primarily for pleasure flying, although advanced models are now used for training, police patrol, and other work, including a proposed use in combat. Watch the “Gossamer Albatross” the first human-powered plane crossing the English Channel in 1979 Watch the “Gossamer Albatross” the first human-powered plane crossing the English Channel in 1979 See all videos for this article Experimental craft have been designed to make use of human and solar power. These are very lightweight, sophisticated aircraft, designed with heavy reliance on computers and using the most modern materials. Paul MacCready of Pasadena, California, U.S., was the leading exponent of the discipline; he first achieved fame with the human-powered Gossamer Condor, which navigated a short course in 1977. Two of his later designs, the human-powered Gossamer Albatross and the solar-powered Solar Challenger, successfully crossed the English Channel. Others in the field have carried on MacCready’s work, and a human-powered helicopter has been flown. Solar-powered aircraft are similar to human-powered types, except that they use solar panels to convert the Sun’s energy directly to power an electric motor. Civil aircraft All nonmilitary planes are civil aircraft. These include private and business planes and commercial airliners. Beechcraft Baron Beechcraft Baron Private aircraft are personal planes used for pleasure flying, often single-engine monoplanes with nonretractable landing gear. They can be very sophisticated, however, and may include such variants as: “warbirds,” ex-military planes flown for reasons of nostalgia, ranging from primary trainers to large bombers; “homebuilts,” aircraft built from scratch or from kits by the owner and ranging from simple adaptations of Piper Cubs to high-speed, streamlined four-passenger transports; antiques and classics, restored older aircraft flown, like the warbirds, for reasons of affection and nostalgia; and aerobatic planes, designed to be highly maneuverable and to perform in air shows. Gulfstream G450 Gulfstream G450 Business aircraft are used to generate revenues for their owners and include everything from small single-engine aircraft used for pilot training or to transport small packages over short distances to four-engine executive jets that can span continents and oceans. Business planes are used by salespeople, prospectors, farmers, doctors, missionaries, and many others. Their primary purpose is to make the best use of top executives’ time by freeing them from airline schedules and airport operations. They also serve as an executive perquisite and as a sophisticated inducement for potential customers. Other business aircraft include those used for agricultural operations, traffic reporting, forest-fire fighting, medical evacuation, pipeline surveillance, freight hauling, and many other applications. One unfortunate but rapidly expanding segment of the business aircraft population is that which employs aircraft illegally for transporting narcotics and other illicit drugs. A wide variety of similar aircraft are used for specialized purposes, like the investigation of thunderstorms, hurricane tracking, aerodynamic research and development, engine testing, high-altitude surveillance, advertising, and police work. Boeing 737 Boeing 737 Commercial airliners are used to haul passengers and freight on a scheduled basis between selected airports. They range in size from single-engine freight carriers to the Airbus A380 and in speed from below 200 miles per hour to supersonic, in the case of the Anglo-French Concorde, which was in service from 1976 to 2003. Aircraft configurations Wing types Aircraft can also be categorized by their configurations. One measure is the number of wings, and the styles include monoplanes, with a single wing (that is, on either side of the fuselage); biplanes, with two wings, one atop the other; and even, though rarely, triplanes and quadplanes. A tandem-wing craft has two wings, one placed forward of the other. Concorde Concorde The wing planform is the shape it forms when seen from above. Delta wings are formed in the shape of the Greek letter delta (Δ); they are triangular wings lying at roughly a right angle to the fuselage. The supersonic Concorde featured delta wings. Swept wings are angled, usually to the rear and often at an angle of about 35°. Forward swept wings also are used on some research craft. Some aircraft have wings that may be adjusted in flight to attach at various angles to the fuselage; these are called variable incidence wings. Variable geometry (swing) wings can vary the sweep (i.e., the angle of a wing with respect to the plane perpendicular to the longitudinal axis of the craft) of their wings in flight. These two types have primarily military applications, as does the oblique wing, in which the wing is attached at an angle of about 60° as an alternative to the standard symmetrical wing sweep. M2-F2 lifting-body research vehicle M2-F2 lifting-body research vehicle Another configuration limited to military craft is the so-called flying wing, a tailless craft having all its elements encompassed within the wing structure (as in the Northrop B-2 bomber). Unlike the flying wing, the lifting-body aircraft (such as the U.S. space shuttle) generates lift in part or totally by the shape of the fuselage rather than the wing, which is severely reduced in size or altogether absent. Takeoff and landing gear Boeing 747 Boeing 747 Another means of categorizing aircraft is by the type of gear used for takeoff and landing. In a conventional aircraft the gear consists of two primary wheels under the forward part of the fuselage and a tailwheel. The opposite configuration is called a tricycle gear, with a single nose wheel and two main wheels farther back. An aircraft with two main undercarriage assemblies in the fuselage and wing tip protector wheels is said to have bicycle gear. Large aircraft, such as the Boeing 747, incorporate multiple bogies (several wheels arranged in a variety of configurations) in their landing gear to spread out the weight of the aircraft and to facilitate stowage after retraction in flight. A few aircraft use skis or other structures to allow takeoff from or landing in water. These include floatplanes, which are fitted with pontoons for operation on water; flying boats, in which the fuselage also serves as a hull for water travel; and amphibians, which are equipped to land on and take off from both land and water. The demands placed on naval planes used on aircraft carriers require a heavier structure to withstand the stresses of catapult launches and landings abruptly terminated by arresting gear. Landing-gear mechanisms are also reinforced, and a tail hook is installed to engage the arresting gear, a system that is also used for land-based heavy military aircraft. The mode of takeoff and landing also differs among aircraft. Conventional craft gather speed (to provide lift) on an airfield prior to liftoff and land on a similar flat surface. A variety of means have been used in the design of aircraft intended to accomplish short takeoffs and landings (STOL vehicles). These range from optimized design of the wing, fuselage, and landing gear as in the World War II Fieseler Storch (which featured Handley Page automatic slots, extendable flaps, and a long-stroke undercarriage) to the combination of generous wing area, large flap area, and the use of large propellers to direct airflow over the wing as in the prewar Crouch-Bolas, or even such specialized innovations as large U-shaped channels in the wings as with the Custer Channel Wing aircraft. Vertical-takeoff-and-landing (VTOL) vehicles include the helicopter, tilt rotors, and “jump jets,” which lift off from the ground in a vertical motion. Single-stage-to-orbit (SSTO) aircraft can take off and land on conventional runways but can also be flown into an orbital flight path. Propulsion systems The engines used to provide thrust may be of several types. Reciprocating engines Often an internal-combustion piston engine is used, especially for smaller planes. They are of various types, based on the arrangement of the cylinders. Horizontally opposed engines employ four to six cylinders lying flat and arrayed two or three on each side. In a radial engine the cylinders (ranging from 5 to as many as 28, depending on engine size) are mounted in a circle around the crankshaft, sometimes in banks of two or more. Once the dominant piston-engine type, radials are now in only limited production; most new requirements are met by remanufacturing existing stock. Four to eight cylinders may be aligned one behind the other in an in-line engine; the cylinders may be upright or inverted, the inverted having the crankshaft above the cylinders. V-type in-line engines, with the cylinders arranged in banks of three, four, or six, also are used. An early type of engine in which the propeller is affixed to the body of the cylinders, which rotate around a stationary crankshaft, is the rotary engine. Modern rotary engines are patterned after the Wankel principle of internal-combustion engines. Automobile and other small engines are modified for use in homebuilt and ultralight aircraft. These include two-stroke, rotary, and small versions of the conventional horizontally opposed type. Early in aviation history, most aircraft engines were liquid-cooled, first by water, then by a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, the air-cooled rotaries being an exception. After Charles Lindbergh’s epic transatlantic flight in 1927, a trend began toward radial air-cooled engines for reasons of reliability, simplicity, and weight reduction, especially after streamlined cowlings (covers surrounding aircraft engines) were developed to smooth out air flow and aid cooling. Designers continued to use liquid-cooled engines when low frontal drag was an important consideration. Because of advances in engine cooling technology, there has emerged a minor trend to return to liquid-cooled engines for higher efficiency. Jet engines The gas turbine engine has almost completely replaced the reciprocating engine for aircraft propulsion. Jet engines derive thrust by ejecting the products of combustion in a jet at high speed. A turbine engine that passes all the air through the combustion chamber is called a turbojet. Because its basic design employs rotating rather than reciprocating parts, a turbojet is far simpler than a reciprocating engine of equivalent power, weighs less, is more reliable, requires less maintenance, and has a far greater potential for generating power. It consumes fuel at a faster rate, but the fuel is less expensive. In simplest terms, a jet engine ingests air, heats it, and ejects it at high speed. Thus in a turbojet, ambient air is taken in at the engine inlet (induction), compressed about 10 to 15 times in a compressor consisting of rotor and stator blades (compression), and introduced into a combustion chamber where igniters ignite the injected fuel (combustion). The resulting combustion produces high temperatures (on the order of 1,400 to 1,900 °F [760 to 1,040 °C]). The expanding hot gases pass through a multistage turbine, which turns the air compressor through a coaxial shaft, and then into a discharge nozzle, thereby producing thrust from the high-velocity stream of gases being ejected to the rear (exhaust). turbofan turbofan A turbofan is a turbine engine having a large low-pressure fan ahead of the compressor section; the low-pressure air is allowed to bypass the compressor and turbine, to mix with the jet stream, increasing the mass of accelerated air. This system of moving large volumes of air at a slower speed raises efficiency and cuts both fuel consumption and noise. turboprop engine driving a single rotation propeller turboprop engine driving a single rotation propeller A turboprop is a turbine engine connected by a reduction gearbox to a propeller. Turboprop engines are typically smaller and lighter than a piston engine, produce more power, and burn more but cheaper fuel. Propfans, unducted fan jet engines, obtain ultrahigh bypass airflow using wide chord propellers driven by the jet engine. Rockets are purely reactive engines, which usually use a fuel and an oxidizing agent in combination. They are used primarily for research aircraft and as launch vehicles for spacecraft and satellites. ramjet ramjet A ramjet is an air-breathing engine that, after being accelerated to high speeds, acts like a turbojet without the need for a compressor or turbine. A scramjet (supersonic combustion ramjet) is an engine designed for speeds beyond Mach 6, which mixes fuel into air flowing through it at supersonic speeds; it is intended for hypersonic aircraft. Engine placement Aircraft types can also be characterized by the placement of their power plants. An aircraft with the engine and propeller facing with the line of flight is called a tractor type; if the engine and the propeller face opposite the line of flight, it is a pusher type. (Both pusher propellers and canard surfaces were used on the Wright Flyer; these have now come back into vogue on a number of aircraft. Canards are forward control surfaces and serve to delay the onset of the stall. Some aircraft also have forward wings, which provide lift and delay the stall, but these are not control surfaces and hence not canards.) Jet engines are variously disposed, but the most common arrangement is to have them placed underneath the wing in nacelles suspended on pylons or placed on stub fixtures at the rear of the fuselage. Supersonic and hypersonic aircraft are usually designed with the engine as an integral part of the undersurface of the fuselage, while in some special military stealth applications, the engine is entirely submerged within the wing or fuselage structure. Materials and construction Early technology For reasons of availability, low weight, and prior manufacturing experience, most early aircraft were of wood and fabric construction. At the lower speeds then obtainable, streamlining was not a primary consideration, and many wires, struts, braces, and other devices were used to provide the necessary structural strength. Preferred woods were relatively light and strong (e.g., spruce), and fabrics were normally linen or something similarly close-weaved, not canvas as is often stated. As speeds advanced, so did structural requirements, and designers analyzed individual aircraft parts for both strength and wind resistance. Bracing wires were given a streamlined shape, and some manufacturers began to make laminated wood fuselages of monocoque construction (stresses carried by the skin) for greater strength, better streamlining, and lighter weight. The 1912 record-setting French Deperdussin racers, the German Albatros fighters of World War I, and the later American Lockheed Vega were among the aircraft that used this type of construction. Aircraft made of wood and fabric were difficult to maintain and subject to rapid deterioration when left out in the elements. This, plus the need for greater strength, led to the use of metal in aircraft. The first general use was in World War I, when the Fokker aircraft company used welded steel tube fuselages, and the Junkers company made all-metal aircraft of dual tubing and aluminum covering. During the period from 1919 through 1934, there was a gradual trend to all-metal construction, with some aircraft having all-metal (almost always of aluminum or aluminum alloy) structures with fabric-covered surfaces, and others using an all-metal monocoque construction. Metal is stronger and more durable than fabric and wood, and, as the necessary manufacturing skills were developed, its use enabled airplanes to be both lighter and easier to build. On the negative side, metal structures were subject to corrosion and metal fatigue, and new procedures were developed to protect against these hazards. A wide variety of aluminum alloys were developed, and exotic metals like molybdenum and titanium were brought into use, especially in vehicles where extreme strength or extraordinary thermal resistance was a requirement. As aircraft were designed to operate at Mach 3 (three times the speed of sound) and beyond, a variety of techniques to avoid the effects of aerodynamic heating were introduced. These include the use of fuel in the tanks as a “heat sink” (to absorb and dissipate the generated heat), as well as the employment of exotic materials such as the advanced carbon-carbon composites, silicon carbide ceramic coatings, titanium-aluminum alloys, and titanium alloys reinforced with ceramic fibres. Additionally, some designs call for the circulation of very cold hydrogen gas through critical areas of aerodynamic heating. Current trends in aircraft design and construction Witness the designing and construction of an Airbus A350 aircraft Witness the designing and construction of an Airbus A350 aircraft See all videos for this article While the basic principles of flight that the Wright brothers applied still pertain, there have been enormous changes over the years to the means by which those principles are understood and applied. The most pervasive and influential of these changes is the broad variety of applications of computer technology in all aspects of aviation. A second factor has been the widespread development of the use of composite materials in aircraft structures. While these two elements are the results of advances in engineering, they are also indirectly the product of changing social and legal considerations. The social issues are manifold and include the increasing global interdependence of business, the unprecedented political revolutions in every part of the world, and the universal human desire for travel. In addition, concerns have grown about the environmental impact of airplanes, especially in regards to the burning of fuel and its contribution to global warming. All these issues come at a time when fuel prices have increased. As a result, both computers and composite materials are necessary to create lighter, stronger, safer, more fuel-efficient aircraft. The legal issues are equally complex, but for the purposes of this section revolve around two elements. The first of these is that the design, test, and certification of an aircraft has become such an extraordinarily costly project that only the most well-funded companies can undertake the development of even relatively small aircraft. For larger aircraft it is now common practice for several manufacturers, often from different countries, to ally themselves to underwrite a new design. This international cooperation was done most successfully first with the Anglo-French Concorde supersonic transport and has since been evident in a number of aircraft. A component of this process is the allocation of the production of certain elements of the aircraft in certain countries, as a quid pro quo for those countries not developing indigenous aircraft of a similar type. The second legal element is that the potential of very large damages being awarded as a result of liability in the event of a crash has forced most aircraft companies to cease the manufacture of the smaller types of personal aircraft. The reason for this is that the exposure to damages from a large number of small single-engine planes is greater than the exposure from the equivalent market value of a few larger planes, because the larger planes generally have better maintenance programs and more highly trained pilots. The practical effect of this has been an enormous growth in the home-built aircraft industry, where, ironically, the use of computers and composites have effected a revolution that has carried over to the commercial aircraft industry. Use of computers Since the mid-1960s, computer technology has been continually developed to the point at which aircraft and engine designs can be simulated and tested in myriad variations under a full spectrum of environmental conditions prior to construction. As a result, practical consideration may be given to a series of aircraft configurations, which, while occasionally and usually unsuccessfully attempted in the past, can now be used in production aircraft. These include forward swept wings, canard surfaces, blended body and wings, and the refinement of specialized airfoils (wing, propeller, and turbine blade). With this goes a far more comprehensive understanding of structural requirements, so that adequate strength can be maintained even as reductions are made in weight. airplane co*ckpit airplane co*ckpit Complementing and enhancing the results of the use of computers in design is the pervasive use of computers on board the aircraft itself. Computers are used to test and calibrate the aircraft’s equipment, so that, both before and during flight, potential problems can be anticipated and corrected. Whereas the first autopilots were devices that simply maintained an aircraft in straight and level flight, modern computers permit an autopilot system to guide an aircraft from takeoff to landing, incorporating continuous adjustment for wind and weather conditions and ensuring that fuel consumption is minimized. In the most advanced instances, the role of the pilot has been changed from that of an individual who continuously controlled the aircraft in every phase of flight to a systems manager who oversees and directs the human and mechanical resources in the co*ckpit. The use of computers for design and in-flight control is synergistic, for more radical designs can be created when there are on-board computers to continuously adapt the controls to flight conditions. The degree of inherent stability formerly desired in an aircraft design called for the wing, fuselage, and empennage (tail assembly) of what came to be conventional size and configurations, with their inherent weight and drag penalties. By using computers that can sense changes in flight conditions and make corrections hundreds and even thousands of times a second—far faster and more accurately than any pilot’s capability—aircraft can be deliberately designed to be unstable. Wings can, if desired, be given a forward sweep, and tail surfaces can be reduced in size to an absolute minimum (or, in a flying wing layout, eliminated completely). Airfoils can be customized not only for a particular aircraft’s wing or propeller but also for particular points on those components. Use of composite materials The use of composite materials, similarly assisted in both design and application by the use of computers, has grown from the occasional application for a nonstructural part (e.g., a baggage compartment door) to the construction of complete airframes. These materials have the additional advantage in military technology of having a low observable (stealth) quality to radar. Some aircraft of composite materials began to appear in the late 1930s and ’40s; normally these were plastic-impregnated wood materials, the most famous (and largest) example of which is the Duramold construction of the eight-engine Hughes flying boat. A few production aircraft also used the Duramold construction materials and methods. During the late 1940s, interest developed in fibreglass materials, essentially fabrics made up of glass fibres. By the 1960s, enough materials and techniques had been developed to make more extensive use possible. The term “composite” for this method of construction indicates the use of different materials that provide strengths, light weight, or other functional benefits when used in combination that they cannot provide when used separately. They usually consist of a fibre-reinforced resin matrix. The resin can be a vinyl ester, epoxy, or polyester, while the reinforcement might be any one of a variety of fibres, ranging from glass through carbon, boron, and a number of proprietary types. To these basic elements, strength is sometimes added by the addition of a core material, making in effect a structural sandwich. A core can be made up of a number of plastic foams (polystyrene, polyurethane, or others), wood, honeycombs (multicellular structures) of paper, plastic, fabric or metal, and other materials. The desired final shape, in terms of both external appearance and the internal structure required for adequate strength, of a component made of composite materials can be arrived at by a variety of means. The simplest is the laying up of fibreglass sheets, much as is done in building a canoe, impregnating the sheets with a resin, and letting the resin cure. More sophisticated techniques involve fashioning the material into specific shapes by elaborate machinery. Some techniques require the use of male or female molds or both, while others employ vacuum bags that allow the pressure of the atmosphere to press the parts into the desired shape. The use of composite materials opened up whole new methods of construction and enabled engineers to create less expensive, lighter, and stronger parts of more streamlined shapes than had previously been feasible with wood or metal. Like the computer, the use of composites has spread rapidly throughout the industry and will be developed even further in the future. The coincident arrival of the new technology in computers and composite materials influenced commercial air transportation, where aircraft larger than the Airbus A380 and faster than the Concorde are not only possible but inevitable. In the field of business aircraft, the new technologies have resulted in a host of executive aircraft with the most modern characteristics. These include the uniquely configured Beech Starship, which is made almost entirely of composite materials, and the Piaggio Avanti, which also has a radical configuration and employs primarily metal construction but includes a significant amount of composite material. Commercial air transports are using composite materials in increasing amounts and may ultimately follow the pattern of the military services, where large aircraft like the Northrop B-2 are made almost entirely of advanced composite materials. The previously mentioned legal considerations, combined with the advances in computers and composites, has completely revised the role of the homebuilt aircraft. While the homebuilt aircraft has always been a part of the aviation scene (the Wright Flyer was in fact a “homebuilt”), the designs were for years typically quite conventional, often using components from existing aircraft. Since the emergence of the Experimental Aircraft Association (founded 1953) in the United States, the homebuilt movement has operated in advance of the aviation industry, pioneering the use of computers and composites and, especially, radical configurations. While there are many practitioners in the field, one man, the American designer Burt Rutan, epitomized this transition of the homebuilt movement from backyard to leading-edge status. Rutan, of Mojave, California, had a long series of successful designs, which reached the highest degree of recognition with the Voyager aircraft, in which his brother Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager made a memorable nonstop, nonrefueled flight around the world in 1986. Three other areas of civil aviation have benefited enormously from these advances in technology. The first of these are vertical-takeoff-and-landing aircraft, including helicopters. The second are sailplanes, which have reached new levels in structural and aerodynamic refinement. The third are the wide variety of hang gliders and ultralight aircraft, as well as the smaller but more sophisticated aircraft that depend on human or solar power. Each of these has been vastly improved by contemporary advances in design and construction, and each holds great promise for the future. The F-16 is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics for the United States Air Force (USAF). It has been used by 25 other nations and is one of the most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service1 The F-16 has an internal cannon and 11 hardpoints for mounting weapons and other equipment. It can fly faster than twice the speed of sound and has a frameless bubble canopy for good visibility23 F-16 Fighting Falcon Jet Fighter - Authentic and Fully Operational Rare Opportunity to Own a Genuine F-16 Multirole Aircraft - Low Hours and Mint Condition F-16 Supersonic Fighter - The Ultimate Collector’s Item for Aviation Enthusiasts Own a Piece of History with this F-16 Combat Veteran - Ready to Fly F-16 Single-Engine Fighter - The Most Versatile and Maneuverable Aircraft Ever Built List of aircraft by date and usage category Article Talk Read Edit View history Tools From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page. (Learn how and when to remove these template messages) This article possibly contains original research. (August 2016) This article does not cite any sources. (May 2015) This article contains embedded lists that may be poorly defined, unverified or indiscriminate. (August 2016) This is a list of aircraft by date and usage. The date shown is the introduction of the first model of a line but not the current model. For instance, while "the most popular" aircraft, such as Boeing 737 and 747 were introduced in 1960x, their recent models were revealed in the 21st century. Civil aircraft Main article: List of civil aircraft Civil air transport Main article: List of light transport aircraft Main article: List of regional airliners Civil air transport 1903–1919 1920–1939 1940–1969 1970–present Airco DH.4A Airco DH.9C Airco DH.16 BAT F.K.26 Blériot-SPAD S.27 Curtiss Eagle Farman F.50P Farman F.60 Goliath Grahame-White Charabanc Junkers F.13 Nieuport-Delage NiD 30 Potez SEA VII Sopwith Wallaby Westland Limousine Airspeed Envoy Albatros L 73 ANEC III Armstrong Whitworth Argosy Armstrong Whitworth Atalanta Armstrong Whitworth Ensign Avro 618 Ten Avro 642 Eighteen BFW M.20 Blériot-SPAD S.33 Blériot-SPAD S.46 Blériot-SPAD S.56 Boeing 40 Boeing 80 Boeing 247 Boeing 307 Stratoliner Boeing 314 Breguet 26T Breguet 280T Breguet 393T Bristol Ten-seater Consolidated Commodore Consolidated Fleetster Curtiss Condor Curtiss Kingbird Curtiss Robin de Havilland DH.18 de Havilland DH.34 de Havilland DH.50 de Havilland DH.66 de Havilland Dragon de Havilland Dragon Rapide de Havilland Express de Havilland Fox Moth de Havilland Hercules Dewoitine D.332 Dewoitine D.338 Dornier Do X Douglas DC-1 Douglas DC-2 Douglas DC-3 Douglas DC-4E Douglas DC-5 Douglas XCG-17 Farman F.120 Farman F.190 Farman F.300 Focke-Wulf A 17 Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Fokker F.II Fokker F.III Fokker F.VII Fokker F.XII Fokker F.XVIII Fokker F.XXII Ford Trimotor Handley Page Type W Handley Page H.P.42 Handley Page Halifax Junkers G 24 Junkers G 31 Junkers W 34 Junkers Ju 52 Junkers Ju 60 Junkers Ju 86 Junkers Ju 90 Junkers Ju 160 Kalinin K-4 Kalinin K-5 Lockheed Vega Lockheed Air Express Lockheed Orion Lockheed Electra Lockheed Electra Junior Lockheed Super Electra Lockheed Lodestar Martin M-130 Messerschmitt M 18 Messerschmitt M 24 Nieuport-Delage NiD 39 Nieuport-Delage NiD 640 Northrop Alpha Northrop Delta Percival Petrel Rohrbach Roland Short Empire Short S.26 Sikorsky S-40 Sikorsky S-42 SNCASE Languedoc Spartan Cruiser Stinson Detroiter Stinson Model A Stinson Model T Stinson Model U Stinson Reliant Supermarine Swan Travel Air 6000 Udet U 11 Kondor Vickers Vimy Commercial Vickers Vulcan Vultee V-1 Westland Wessex Wibault 280 Wibault 360 Zeppelin-Staaken E-4/20 Aérospatiale Corvette Airspeed Ambassador Antonov An-10 Antonov An-24 Aviation Traders Accountant Aviation Traders Carvair Avro Lancastrian Avro Tudor Avro York Avro Canada C102 Jetliner BAC 1-11 Beechcraft 90 King Air Beechcraft A100 King Air Beechcraft B100 King Air Boeing 377 Boeing 707 Boeing 727 Boeing 737 Boeing 747 Boeing 2707 (project) Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Breda-Zappata BZ.308 Breguet Deux-Ponts Breguet 941 Bristol Britannia Bristol Type 223 (project) Canadair North Star Cessna 402 Concorde Convair 240 Convair 340 Convair 440 Convair 540 Convair 580 Convair 600 Convair 640 Convair 880 Convair 990 Curtiss Commando Dassault Mercure de Havilland Comet de Havilland Dove de Havilland Heron de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Douglas DC-4 Douglas DC-6 Douglas DC-7 Douglas DC-8 Embraer Bandeirante Fiat G.12 Fiat G.212 Fokker F27 Friendship Fokker F28 Fellowship Grumman Gulfstream I Handley Page Halton Handley Page Hermes Handley Page Dart Herald Handley Page Hastings Handley Page Herald Hawker Siddeley HS 748 Hawker Siddeley Trident Hughes H-4 Hercules Ilyushin Il-62 Kawasaki Ki-56 Lockheed Hudson Lockheed Constellation Lockheed L-188 Electra Lockheed L-1011 TriStar Martin 4-0-4 McDonnell Douglas DC-9 McDonnell Douglas DC-10 Percival Pembroke Piper PA-31 Navajo Riley Turbo Skyliner Saunders ST-27 Saunders ST-28 Saunders-Roe Princess Savoia-Marchetti SM.95 Shin Meiwa Tawron Short Sandringham SNCASE Armagnac Sud Aviation Caravelle Tupolev Tu-104 Tupolev Tu-114 Tupolev Tu-144 Tupolev Tu-154 VFW-Fokker 614 Vickers VC.1 Viking Vickers Vanguard Vickers Viscount Vickers VC-10 Yakovlev Yak-40 ATR 42 ATR 72 Airbus A220 Airbus A300 Airbus A310 Airbus A318 Airbus A319 Airbus A320 Airbus A321 Airbus A330 Airbus A340 Airbus A350 Airbus A380 Antonov An-140 Antonov An-148 Antonov An-158 Antonov An-225 Beechcraft 200 Super King Air Beechcraft 1300 Beriev Be-200 British Aerospace BAe 146 Boeing 717 Boeing 757 Boeing 767 Boeing 777 Boeing 787 Bombardier CRJ-100 Bombardier CRJ-200 Bombardier CRJ-700 Bombardier CRJ-900 Bombardier Dash 8 CASA C-212 Aviocar Cessna 208 Cessna 404 Comac C919 (project) Convair CV5800 de Havilland Canada Dash 7 De Havilland Canada Dash 8 Dornier 328 Embraer EMB 121 Xingu Embraer EMB 120 Brasilia Embraer EMB 820C Embraer/FMA CBA 123 Vector Embraer ERJ 135 Embraer ERJ 140 Embraer ERJ 145 Embraer 170 Embraer 175 Embraer 190 Embraer 195 Fairchild Dornier 328JET Fokker 50 Fokker 70 Fokker 100 Irkut MS-21 (project) Ilyushin Il-86 Ilyushin Il-96 Ilyushin Il-114 Indonesian Aerospace N-219 Indonesian Aerospace N-245 Indonesian Aerospace N-270 IPTN N-250 IPTN N-2130 McDonnell-Douglas MD-11 McDonnell Douglas MD-80 McDonnell Douglas MD-90 McDonnell-Douglas MD-95 Mitsubishi Regional Jet (project) Neiva Carajá Piper Chieftain Piper T-1020 Piper T-1040 Reims-Cessna F406 Caravan II Short 330 Short 360 Sukhoi Superjet 100 Tupolev Tu-204 Yakovlev Yak-42 Saab 2000 Civil – general aviation Main article: List of current production certified light aircraft Military aircraft Fighters Main article: List of fighter aircraft Bombers Main article: List of bomber aircraft Reconnaissance, electronic warfare and Airborne Early Warning Main article: List of reconnaissance aircraft Main article: List of maritime patrol aircraft Main article: List of airborne early warning aircraft Main article: List of electronic-warfare aircraft Carrier-based aircraft Main article: List of carrier-based aircraft Air support/attack aircraft Main article: List of attack aircraft Training aircraft Main article: List of training aircraft Transport Military – transport 1920–1938 1939–1945 1946–1969 1970–present Avro Anson Bellanca C-27 Boeing C-18 Bristol Bombay Consolidated C-11 Consolidated C-22 Curtiss C-10 Curtiss C-30 Douglas C-1 Douglas C-21 Douglas C-26 Douglas C-29 Douglas C-33 Douglas C-34 Douglas C-38 Douglas C-39 Fairchild C-8 Fairchild C-24 Fokker C-2 Fokker C-5 Fokkerrergugor C-7 Fokker C-14 Fokker C-15 Fokker C-16 Fokker C-20 Ford C-3 Ford C-4 Ford C-9 Handley Page H.P.54 Harrow Junkers Ju 52 Kreider-Reisner XC-31 Lockheed C-12 Lockheed C-17 Lockheed C-23 Lockheed C-25 Lockheed C-36 Lockheed C-37 Lockheed C-40 Lockheed XC-35 Northrop C-19 Alpha Sikorsky C-6 Sikorsky C-28 Vickers Type 264 Valentia Vickers Vernon Vickers Victoria Lockheed C-66 Armstrong Whitworth Albemarle Beechcraft Staggerwing Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Boeing C-73 Boeing C-75 Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter Boeing C-98 Boeing C-108 Flying Fortress Bristol Beaufort Budd C-93 Budd RB Conestoga Cessna 165 Cessna C-77 Cessna C-78 Cessna C-94 Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express Consolidated C-109 Consolidated Liberator I Consolidated LB-30 Consolidated RY Curtiss C-55 Curtiss-Wright C-76 Caravan de Havilland Dragon de Havilland Dragon Rapide de Havilland Dragonfly de Havilland Express de Havilland Fox Moth de Havilland Moth Minor Douglas C-32 Douglas C-41 Douglas C-47 Skytrain Douglas C-48 Douglas C-49 Douglas C-50 Douglas C-51 Douglas C-52 Douglas C-53 Skytrooper Douglas C-54 Skymaster Douglas C-58 Douglas C-67 Douglas C-68 Douglas C-68 Douglas C-74 Globemaster Douglas C-84 Douglas DC-2 Douglas DC-3 Douglas Dolphin Douglas R4D Douglas XCG-17 Fairchild 24 Fairchild C-61 Fairchild C-82 Packet Fairchild C-86 Fairchild C-88 Fairchild C-96 Ford Trimotor Funk C-92 Hamilton C-89 Handley Page Halifax Harlow C-80 Howard C-70 Howard C-70A Hughes H-4 Hercules Junkers C-79 Junkers G 31 Junkers W34 Lisunov Li-2 Lockheed C-56 Lockheed C-57 Lockheed C-59 Lockheed C-60 Lockheed C-63 Lockheed C-69 Constellation Lockheed C-85 Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar Lockheed Vega Luscombe C-90 Martin JRM Mars Messerschmitt Me 321 Messerschmitt Me 323 Miles Falcon Miles Merlin Miles Hawk Noorduyn Norseman Noorduyn C-64 Percival Proctor Piper C-83 Short Empire Short Stirling Showa/Nakajima L2D Spartan C-71 Stinson C-81 Stinson C-91 Stinson Reliant Stinson Vigilant Stout C-65 Taylorcraft C-95 Tugan Gannet Waco C-62 Waco C-72 Antonov An-12 Antonov An-22 Antonov An-24 Antonov An-26 de Havilland Devon de Havilland Dove de Havilland Heron de Havilland Sea Devon de Havilland Sea Heron de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver de Havilland Canada DHC-3 Otter de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Douglas C-124 Globemaster II Douglas C-133 Cargomaster Grumman C-1 Trader Grumman C-2 Greyhound Lockheed C-130 Hercules Lockheed C-121 Constellation Lockheed C-141 Starlifter Antonov An-32 Antonov An-124 Airbus A400M Antonov An-225 Boeing C-17 Globemaster III Ilyushin Il-76 Lockheed C-5 Galaxy Shaanxi Y-8 Y-8D Xian Y-20 Alenia C-27J Spartan Antonov An-225 Mriya Helicopters and Autogyros Main article: List of rotorcraft Racing aircraft Main article: List of racing aircraft Experimental aircraft Main article: List of experimental aircraft Seaplanes and Amphibians Main article: List of flying boats and floatplanes vte Lists of aircraft By name pre-19140-AhAi-AmAn-AzB-BeBf-BoBr-BzC-CaCd-CnCo-CzDEFG-GnGo-GzHIJKLa-LhLi-LzMNOPQRSTUVWXYZGlidersList of human-powered aircraftList of unmanned aerial vehicle Civil aircraft By characteristic Type AerobaticBush planesElectric aircraftFlying wingsGlidersHuman-poweredProne-pilotRocket-poweredFlying boats and floatplanesSTOLSupersonicTrimotorsTriplanesUnmannedVTOL Fuselage Double-deckNarrow-bodyWide-body WeightSize Maximum takeoff weightLight aircraft very light jetsLarge aircraft Manufacturer Airbus Antonov Boeing Bombardier Douglas / McDonnell Douglas Embraer Ilyushin Tupolev Engine number TrijetsTrimotorsTwinjets Range Jet airlinersRegional airliners Use RacersRegional airliner regional jet Research Early flying machinesExperimentalX-planes Rotor-powered Rotorcraft utilityTiltrotors ExecutivePrivate Business jetsLight-sport aircraftFlying car Other lists By date and usageBy tail numberMost-produced Military aircraft Role AEWAttackBomber TorpedoCarrier-basedFighterMaritime patrolSubmarine-borneTanker Nation AfghanistanAlbaniaArgentinaAustraliaBangladeshBelizeBrazilBulgariaCanadaChileChinaCzech RepublicDenmarkEgyptFinlandFranceGermanyGreeceIndiaIndonesiaIranIrelandIsraelItalyJapanMalaysiaMoroccoNew ZealandNorwayPakistanPhilippinesPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSouth AfricaSpainSri LankaSwedenSwitzerlandThailandTurkeyUnited KingdomUnited States Era WWI EntenteWWI Central PowersInterwarWorld War IIWorld War II jets Categories: Lists of aircraftLists by time

  • Condition: Neu
  • Artist: F16
  • Unit of Sale: Single Piece
  • Size: Small
  • Item Length: 7 cm
  • Region of Origin: California, USA
  • Format: Statue
  • Year of Production: 2023
  • Original/Licensed Reproduction: Original
  • Item Height: 0.5 cm
  • Style: Americana
  • Features: 1st Edition
  • Unit Quantity: 1
  • Culture: F-16
  • Item Width: 5 cm
  • Handmade: No
  • Time Period Produced: 2020-Now
  • Signed: No
  • Period: Ultra Contemporary (2020 - Now)
  • Title: F-16
  • Material: Metal
  • Certificate of Authenticity (COA): No
  • Subject: Military
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Theme: Americana
  • Production Technique: 3D Modeling
  • Country/Region of Manufacture: United States

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F16 Silber Weltflugzeug US Air Force I Militär Krieg Geschichte Kampf Luftfahrt Münze • EUR 0,01 (2024)
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