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Airbus A400M Atlas
The Airbus A400M Atlas is a European, four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft. It was designed by Airbus Military (now Airbus Defence and Space) as a tactical airlifter with strategic capabilities to replace older transport aircraft, such as the Transall C-160 and the Lockheed C-130 Hercules. The A400M is positioned, in terms of size, between the C-130 and the C-17; it can carry heavier loads than the C-130 and is able to use rough landing strips. Along with the transport role, the A400M can perform aerial refueling and medical evacuation when fitted with appropriate equipment.
The A400M’s maiden flight, originally planned for 2008, took place on 11 December 2009 from Seville, Spain. Between 2009 and 2010, the A400M faced cancellation as a result of development program delays and cost overruns; however, the customer nations chose to maintain their support of the project. A total of 174 A400M aircraft had been ordered by eight nations by July 2011. In March 2013, the A400M received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification. The first aircraft was delivered to the French Air Force in August 2013.
The Breguet Br.1150 Atlantic is a long-range maritime patrol aircraft designed and manufactured by Breguet Aviation. Introduced to service in 1965, it has been operated by several NATO countries, commonly performing maritime roles such as reconnaissance and anti-submarine warfare. The Atlantic is also capable of carrying air-to-ground munitions to perform ground-attack missions; a small number of aircraft were also equipped to perform ELINT operations. An updated version, the Atlantique 2 or ATL2, was produced by Dassault Aviation for the French Navy in the 1980s. Other operators of the Atlantic have included the German Navy, the Italian Air Force, the Pakistan Navy, and the Royal Netherlands Navy.
Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet
The Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet is a light attack jet and advanced jet trainer co-manufactured by Dassault Aviation of France and Dornier Flugzeugwerke of Germany. It was developed specifically to perform the trainer and light attack missions, as well as to perform these duties more ideally than the first generation of jet trainers that preceded it. Following a competition, a design submitted by a team comprising Breguet Aviation, Dassault Aviation, and Dornier Flugzeugwerke, initially designated as the TA501, was selected and subsequently produced as the Alpha Jet.
Both the French Air Force and German Air Force procured the Alpha Jet in large numbers, the former principally as a trainer aircraft and the latter choosing to use it as a light attack platform. As a result of post-Cold War military cutbacks, Germany elected to retire its own fleet of Alpha Jets in the 1990s and has re-sold many of these aircraft to both military and civilian operators. The Alpha Jet has been adopted by a number of air forces across the world and has also seen active combat use by some of these operators.
Dornier Do 27
The Dornier Do 27 was a German single-engine STOL utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier GmbH (later DASA Dornier, Fairchild-Dornier). Configuration was a classic high-wing, “tail-dragger” aircraft with fixed landing gear.
Dornier Do 28
The type designation Dornier Do 28 comprises two different twin-engine STOL utility aircraft, manufactured by Dornier Flugzeugbau GmbH. Most of them served with the German Air Force and Marineflieger and other air forces around the world in the communications and utility role. The Do 28 series consists of the fundamentally different Do 28 A/B (1959) and Do 28 D Skyservant (1966).
English Electric Canberra
The English Electric Canberra is a British first-generation jet-powered medium bomber that was manufactured during the 1950s. It was developed by English Electric during the mid-to-late 1940s in response to a 1944 Air Ministry requirement for a successor to the wartime de Havilland Mosquito fast-bomber. Amongst the performance requirements for the type was the demand for an outstanding high altitude bombing capability in addition to flying at high speeds. These were partly accomplished by making use of newly developed jet propulsion technology. When the Canberra was introduced to service with the Royal Air Force (RAF), the type’s first operator, in May 1951, it became the service’s first jet-powered bomber aircraft.
Throughout most of the 1950s, the Canberra could fly at a higher altitude than any other bomber or even any other aircraft in the world. In 1957, one Canberra established a world altitude record of 70,310 feet (21,430 m). In February 1951, another Canberra set another world record when it became the first jet aircraft to make a non-stop transatlantic flight. Due to its ability to evade the early jet interceptor aircraft and its significant performance advancement over contemporary piston-engined bombers, the Canberra became a popular aircraft on the export market, being procured for service in the air forces of many nations both inside and outside of the Commonwealth of Nations. The type was also licence produced in Australia and the United States of America, the latter building it as the Martin B-57 Canberra.
In addition to being a tactical nuclear strike aircraft, the Canberra proved to be highly adaptable, serving in varied roles such as tactical bombing and photographic and electronic reconnaissance. Canberras served in the Suez Crisis, the Vietnam War, the Falklands War, the Indo-Pakistani wars, and numerous African conflicts. In several wars, each of the opposing sides had Canberras in their air forces. The Canberra had a lengthy service life, serving for more than 50 years with some operators. In June 2006, the RAF retired the last of its Canberras, 57 years after its first flight. Three of the Martin B-57 variant remain in service, performing meteorological work for NASA, as well as providing electronic communication (Battlefield Airborne Communications Node or BACN) testing for deployment to Afghanistan.
The Fairey Gannet was a British carrier-borne aircraft of the post-Second World War era developed for the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm (FAA) by the Fairey Aviation Company. It was a mid-wing monoplane with a tricycle undercarriage and a crew of three, and a double turboprop engine driving two contra-rotating propellers.
The Gannet was originally developed to meet the FAA’s dual-role anti-submarine warfare and strike requirement. It was later adapted for operations as an electronic countermeasures and carrier on board delivery aircraft. The Gannet AEW was a variant of the aircraft developed as a carrier-based airborne early warning platform.
The Fiat G.91 is an Italian jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Fiat Aviazione, which later merged into Aeritalia. The G.91 has its origins in the NATO-organised NBMR-1 competition in 1953, which sought a light fighter-bomber “Light Weight Strike Fighter” to be adopted as standard equipment across the air forces of the various NATO nations. After reviewing multiple submissions, the G.91 was picked as the winning design of the NBMR-1 competition.
The G.91 entered into operational service with the Italian Air Force in 1961, and with the West German Luftwaffe in the following year. Various other nations adopted it, such as the Portuguese Air Force, who made extensive use of the type during the Portuguese Colonial War in Africa. The G.91 enjoyed a long service life that extended over 35 years.
The G.91 remained in production for 19 years, during which a total of 756 aircraft were completed, including the prototypes and pre-production models. The assembly lines were finally closed in 1977. The G.91 was also used as a basis for a twin-engined development: the Fiat/Aeritalia G.91Y.
Fouga CM.170 Magister
The Fouga CM.170 Magister is a 1950s French two-seat jet trainer aircraft, developed and manufactured by aircraft company Fouga. Due to industrial mergers, the aircraft has been variously known as the Fouga CM.170 Magister, Potez (Fouga) CM.170 Magister, Sud Aviation(Fouga) CM.170 Magister and Aérospatiale (Fouga) CM.170 Magister, depending on where and when they were built.
In 1948, development commenced at Fouga on a new primary trainer aircraft design that harnessed newly developed jet propulsion technology. The initial design was evaluated by the French Air Force (Armée de l’Air, AdA) and, in response to its determination that the aircraft lacked sufficient power for its requirements, was enlarged and adopted a pair of Turbomeca Marboré turbojet engines. First flying on 23 July 1952, the first production order for the type was received on 13 January 1954. Export orders for the Magister were received, which included arrangements to produce the type under license in Germany, Finland, and Israel. In addition, the related CM.175 Zéphyr was a carrier-capable version developed and produced for the French Navy.
While primarily operated as a trainer aircraft, the Magister was also frequently used in combat as a close air support platform by various operators. In the latter capacity, it saw action during the Six-Day War, the Salvadoran Civil War, the Western Sahara War, and the Congo Crisis. In French service, the Magister was eventually replaced by the Dassault/Dornier Alpha Jet. After its retirement by the French Air Force, Magisters were purchased by several private-owner pilots in the US and have since been operated in the experimental category.
Hamburger Flugzeugbau HFB 320 Hansa Jet
The HFB 320 Hansa Jet is a twin-engine, ten-seat business jet that was built by German aircraft manufacturer Hamburger Flugzeugbau between 1964 and 1973.The most notable feature of the aircraft is its forward-swept wing.
The Percival Pembroke is a British high-wing twin-engined light transport aircraft built by the Percival Aircraft Company, later Hunting Percival.
Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
The Lockheed F-104 Starfighter is a single-engine, supersonic interceptor aircraft which later became widely used as an attack aircraft. It was originally developed by Lockheed for the United States Air Force (USAF), but was later produced by several other nations, seeing widespread service outside the United States. One of the Century Series of fighter aircraft, it was operated by the air forces of more than a dozen nations from 1958 to 2004. Its design team was led by Kelly Johnson, who contributed to the development of the Lockheed P-38 Lightning, Lockheed U-2, Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird and other Lockheed aircraft.
The F-104 set numerous world records, including both airspeed and altitude records. Its success was marred by the Lockheed bribery scandals, in which Lockheed had given bribes to a considerable number of political and military figures in various nations to influence their judgment and secure several purchase contracts; this caused considerable political controversy in Europe and Japan.
The poor safety record of the Starfighter also brought the aircraft into the public eye, especially in German Air Force service. Fighter ace Erich Hartmann was forced to retire from the Luftwaffe due to his outspoken opposition to selection of the F-104.
The final production version of the fighter model was the F-104S, an all-weather interceptor designed by Aeritalia for the Italian Air Force, and equipped with radar-guided AIM-7 Sparrow missiles. An advanced F-104 with a high-mounted wing, known as the CL-1200 Lancer, was considered, but did not proceed past the mock-up stage.
The Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star (or T-Bird) is a subsonic American jet trainer aircraft. It was produced by Lockheed and made its first flight in 1948 piloted by Tony LeVier. The T-33 was developed from the Lockheed P-80/F-80 starting as TP-80C/TF-80C in development, then designated T-33A. It was used by the U.S. Navy initially as TO-2 then TV-2, and after 1962, T-33B. The last operator of the T-33, the Bolivian Air Force, retired the type in July 2017, after 44 years of service.
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1960 with the U.S. Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the U.S. Marine Corps and the U.S. Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their air wings.
The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record, and an absolute altitude record.
The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War. It served as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war. The Phantom has the distinction of being the last U.S. fighter flown by pilots who attained ace status in the 20th century. During the Vietnam War, one U.S. Air Force pilot, two weapon systems officers (WSOs), one U.S. Navy pilot, and one radar intercept officer (RIO) became aces by achieving five aerial kills against enemy fighter aircraft. The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 in the U.S. Air Force, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.
The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. It was also the only aircraft used by both U.S. flight demonstration teams: the USAF Thunderbirds (F-4E) and the US Navy Blue Angels (F-4J). The F-4 was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms, acquired before the fall of the Shah, in the Iran–Iraq War. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built, making it the most produced American supersonic military aircraft. As of 2018, 60 years after its introduction, the F-4 remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. The aircraft has most recently seen service against the Islamic State group in the Middle East.
The Nord Noratlas was a dedicated military transport aircraft, developed and manufactured by French aircraft manufacturer Nord Aviation.
Development commenced during the late 1940s with the aim of producing a suitable aircraft to replace the numerous older types that were in service with the Armée de l’Air (French Air Force) which dated back to the Second World War. In response to a competition organised by the Direction Technique Industrielle (DTI), Nord produced their Nord 2500 proposal, which was selected as the most promising. Experiences with the first prototype, powered by Gnome-Rhône 14R engines, did not impress, thus the design was revised as the Nord 2501, powered by the SNECMA-built Bristol Hercules 738/9 engines instead, which was found acceptable. Accordingly, the Noratlas was introduced to service by the Armée de l’Air on 6 December 1953.
Following its adoption by the Armée de l’Air, a number of other operators in both Europe and Africa chose to procure the Noratlas for their own military air services. Having found itself in a similar situation to France, the German Air Force of West Germany chose to adopt the same solution, procuring the type for their own purposes. The Israeli Air Force, the Hellenic Air Force, and the Portuguese Air Force all deployed the Noratlas under combat conditions. Furthermore, operators often found a wide variety of uses for the type, extensively adapting aircraft to suit secondary roles in some cases. The Noratlas was also adopted by a number of civil operators, although most aircraft were flown by military customers. As such, several hundred aircraft were produced during the Noratlas’ production run, which lasted over a decade.
North American F-86 Sabre
The North American F-86 Sabre, sometimes called the Sabrejet, is a transonic jet fighter aircraft. Produced by North American Aviation, the Sabre is best known as the United States’ first swept wing fighter that could counter the similarly-winged Soviet MiG-15 in high-speed dogfights in the skies of the Korean War (1950–1953), fighting some of the earliest jet-to-jet battles in history. Considered one of the best and most important fighter aircraft in that war, the F-86 is also rated highly in comparison with fighters of other eras. Although it was developed in the late 1940s and was outdated by the end of the 1950s, the Sabre proved versatile and adaptable and continued as a front-line fighter in numerous air forces until the last active operational examples were retired by the Bolivian Air Force in 1994.
Its success led to an extended production run of more than 7,800 aircraft between 1949 and 1956, in the United States, Japan, and Italy. Variants were built in Canada and Australia. The Canadair Sabre added another 1,815 airframes, and the significantly redesigned CAC Sabre (sometimes known as the Avon Sabre or CAC CA-27), had a production run of 112. The Sabre is by far the most produced Western jet fighter, with total production of all variants at 9,860 units.
North American T-6 Harvard
The North American Aviation T-6 Texan is an American single-engined advanced trainer aircraft used to train pilots of the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), United States Navy, Royal Air Force, and other air forces of the British Commonwealth during World War II and into the 1970s. Designed by North American Aviation, the T-6 is known by a variety of designations depending on the model and operating air force. The United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) and USAAF designated it as the AT-6, the United States Navy the SNJ, and British Commonwealth air forces the Harvard, the name by which it is best known outside the US. Starting in 1948, the new United States Air Force (USAF) designated it the T-6, with the USN following in 1962. It remains a popular warbird aircraft used for airshow demonstrations and static displays. It has also been used many times to simulate various Japanese aircraft, including the Mitsubishi A6M Zero, in movies depicting World War II in the Pacific. A total of 15,495 T-6s of all variants were built.
The Panavia Tornado is a family of twin-engine, variable-sweep wing multirole combat aircraft, which was jointly developed and manufactured by Italy, the United Kingdom, and West Germany. There are three primary Tornado variants: the Tornado IDS (interdictor/strike) fighter-bomber, the suppression of enemy air defences Tornado ECR (electronic combat/reconnaissance) and the Tornado ADV (air defence variant) interceptor aircraft.
The Tornado was developed and built by Panavia Aircraft GmbH, a tri-national consortium consisting of British Aerospace (previously British Aircraft Corporation), MBB of West Germany, and Aeritalia of Italy. It first flew on 14 August 1974 and was introduced into service in 1979–1980. Due to its multirole design, it was able to replace several different fleets of aircraft in the adopting air forces. The Royal Saudi Air Force (RSAF) became the only export operator of the Tornado in addition to the three original partner nations. A tri-nation training and evaluation unit operating from RAF Cottesmore, the Tri-National Tornado Training Establishment, maintained a level of international co-operation beyond the production stage.
The Tornado was used by the Royal Air Force (RAF), Italian Air Force and RSAF during the 1991 Gulf War, in which the Tornado conducted many low-altitude penetrating strike missions. The Tornados of various operators were also used in conflicts in the former Yugoslavia during the Bosnian War and Kosovo War, the Iraq War, Libya during the Libyan civil war, as well as smaller roles in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Syria. Including all variants, 992 aircraft were built.
The Piaggio P.149 is a 1950s Italian utility and liaison aircraft designed and built by Piaggio. The aircraft was built under licence by Focke-Wulf in West Germany as the FWP.149D.
Piper PA-18 Super Cub
The Piper PA-18 Super Cub is a two-seat, single-engine monoplane. Introduced in 1949 by Piper Aircraft, it was developed from the Piper PA-11, and traces its lineage back through the J-3 to the Taylor E-2 Cub of the 1930s. In close to 40 years of production, over 9,000 were built. Super Cubs are commonly found in roles such as bush flying, banner towing and glider towing.
The Pützer Elster was a German single-engined light aircraft, manufactured by Alfons Pützer KG (later Sportavia) in Bonn. It served with the Luftwaffe and Marineflieger and was used solely for recreational sport flying. Some continue to fly in 2007 in private ownership.
The Raab Doppelraab is a German training glider produced in the early 1950s which proved popular with gliding clubs. A student pilot was accompanied by an instructor in a small space behind him, sharing the control column and with a dual rudder bar. The Doppelraab could be flown solo for later basic training.
Republic F-84 Thunderjet
The Republic F-84 Thunderjet was an American turbojet fighter-bomber aircraft. Originating as a 1944 United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) proposal for a day fighter, the F-84 first flew in 1946. Although it entered service in 1947, the Thunderjet was plagued by so many structural and engine problems that a 1948 U.S. Air Force review declared it unable to execute any aspect of its intended mission and considered canceling the program. The aircraft was not considered fully operational until the 1949 F-84D model and the design matured only with the definitive F-84G introduced in 1951. In 1954, the straight-wing Thunderjet was joined by the swept-wing F-84F Thunderstreak fighter and RF-84F Thunderflash photo reconnaissance aircraft.
The Thunderjet became the USAF’s primary strike aircraft during the Korean War, flying 86,408 sorties and destroying 60% of all ground targets in the war as well as eight Soviet-built MiG fighters. Over half of the 7,524 F-84s produced served with NATO nations, and it was the first aircraft to fly with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds demonstration team. The USAF Strategic Air Command had F-84 Thunderjets in service from 1948 through 1957.
The F-84 was the first production fighter aircraft to utilize inflight refueling and the first fighter capable of carrying a nuclear weapon, the Mark 7 nuclear bomb. Modified F-84s were used in several unusual projects, including the FICON and Tom-Tom dockings to the B-29 Superfortress and B-36 bomber motherships, and the experimental XF-84H Thunderscreech turboprop.
The F-84 nomenclature can be somewhat confusing. The straight-wing F-84A to F-84E and F-84G models were called the Thunderjet. The F-84F Thunderstreak and RF-84F Thunderflash were different airplanes with swept wings. The XF-84H Thunderscreech (not its official name) was an experimental turboprop version of the F-84F. The F-84F swept wing version was intended to be a small variation of the normal Thunderjet with only a few different parts, so it kept the basic F-84 number. Production delays on the F-84F resulted in another order of the straight-wing version; this was the F-84G.
Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
The North American Rockwell OV-10 Bronco is an American twin-turboprop light attack and observation aircraft. It was developed in the 1960s as a special aircraft for counter-insurgency (COIN) combat, and one of its primary missions was as a forward air control (FAC) aircraft. It can carry up to three tons of external munitions, internal loads such as paratroopers or stretchers, and can loiter for three or more hours.
The Transall C-160 is a military transport aircraft, produced as a joint venture between France and Germany. “Transall” is an abbreviation of the manufacturing consortium Transporter Allianz, comprising the companies of MBB, Aerospatiale and VFW-Fokker. It was initially developed to meet the requirements for a modern transport aircraft for the French and German Air Forces; export sales were also made to South Africa and to Turkey, as well as a small number to civilian operators.
The C-160 remained in service more than 50 years after the type’s first flight in 1963. It has provided logistical support to overseas operations and has served in specialist roles such as an aerial refueling tanker, electronic intelligence gathering and as a communications platform.
The C-160 is expected to be replaced in French and German service by the Airbus A400M Atlas.