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The Seven Major Types of Aircrafts Used by the United States Military

The Seven Major Types of Aircrafts Used by the United States Military

The United States military has seven categories of aircraft. They are: fighter, bomber, tanker, trainer, transport, ground attack, and surveillance. Sometimes the same model aircraft used for fighter operations will also be used for ground attack or even surveillance.

Fighter Aircrafts

A fighter is used mainly for attacking other aircraft. Fighters are small, fast and easily maneuvered. Fighters were developed during World War I in response the use of aircraft to drop bombs. The earliest fighters were wooden planes with only machine guns for weapons. Now fighters have missiles and a radar to track a target.

Bomber Aircrafts

A bomber is used to attack ground targets by dropping bombs. Within this category there are different types of bombers:

·Strategic Bombers-this type of bomber is used for long range missions against targets such as supply bases, bridges, roads, shipyards and other targets that will hurt an enemies ability to continue fighting

·Tactical Bombers-this type is used in conjunction with ground troops and is meant for shorter range missions

·Fighter Bombers-this type is used to fight both in the air and to hit ground targets

Tanker Aircrafts

This type of aircraft carries fuel and is equipped to refuel other aircraft while in flight. This allows for other aircraft to complete longer missions even in areas where they could not land and refuel.

Trainer Aircrafts

A trainer aircraft does just that, it trains pilots, navigators, and flight crews. Many trainers are two seat versions of combat crafts, and if needed can quickly be converted to be used in time of need.

Transport Aircrafts

Transport aircraft are also known as cargo aircraft and are designed to carry goods and troops. This type of aircraft has a many wheels that allow it to land in different locations, and has a large fuselage.

Ground Attack Aircrafts

This type of aircraft has numerous names including; attack aircraft, fighter-bomber, tactical fighter, tank buster and dive-bomber. It is made to be used close to the ground supporting ground operations. They are used to attack tanks and other targets in battle unlike the bombers which are used to attack strategic targets. This type of aircraft is usually signified by an “A” prefix. These planes are usually fighter planes or light bombers that have been moved to another use.

Surveillance Aircraft

This aircraft is used to watch enemy movements. They usually have no weapons. The first reconnaissance flight was performed in 1912, and the practice quickly caught on during World War I. Today there are unmanned surveillance aircraft that are remotely controlled, known as UAVs in development.

Military aircraft are a vital part of military efforts and will continue to be used and developed despite low funding.

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