One of today's commercial planes is the 737. The 737-900 is the newest
one and most used today. This plane can seat 177 to 189 passengers and travel a maximum of
3,140 miles. The wing span is 112 feet 7 inches. The length is 138 ft 2 in. The 900s
height is 41 ft 2 in. The standard take off weight is 166,000 lbs. and with options it is
174,200 lbs. It uses the CFM56-7B engine. The 900's maximum fuel capacity is 6,875 gals.
The 737-900 flies to many cities. Some are Boston, Singapore, Brussels, Sydney, Jeddah,
and Denver. It goes to many other cities throughout the world also.
Another important commercial plane is the 747. The most powerful and newest one is the 747-400. Today the 747-400 carries more people and can fly farther than any other commercial plane. It can fly 420 passengers up to about about 8,300 miles. The 400 is a dual (two) pilot plane. The 747 has two levels. It is run by some of the most efficient engines and has great fuel efficiency. The 747 goes to many international jetports throughout the world.
The 777 is another major commercial plane. It is one of the newest commercial planes. The purpose of the 777 was to help even out the sizes of the other commercial planes, like the 747 and the 737. The 777 is a twin-jet plane. The two major 777s are the 777-200 and the 777-300. The 300 is the newest version. The 777s can seat 305 to 328 passengers. it can also fly up to 5,680 miles. It was first delivered in May 1995. In 1998 a stretched version of the 777-300 is going to Hong Kong. It will be able to fly 368 to 394 passengers up to 6,200 miles. A new version of the 777-200 called the 777-200IGW was delivered in February 1997. It is able to carry the same number of passengers as the original 200, but can fly them up to 8,320 miles.
McDonald Douglas F-15
A major jet fighter plane is the F-15 Eagle. The Eagle first entered the service in 1974. The F-15 has a record of 96.5 wins and 0 losses, and had destroyed 33 of 35 fixed wing aircraft in Operation Desert Storm. It can fly at night and during the bad weather to attack many mobile Scud missile launchers. The other types of the F-15s are the F-15S and the F-15I. The F-15E can carry up to 23,000 lbs. in payloads, or weapons. It is powered by twin Pratt & Whitney F100-P&W-229 engines. Its radar is a Hughes APG-70. About 1,300 F-15s are currently in service, in many countries like the USA, Japan, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. They are mainly produced in St. Louis, MO.
Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet
Another major fighter plane is the F/A-18 Super Hornet. It is one of the nations newest tactical fighters and was first used in the Navy. It is produced in St. Louis and El Segundo, Calif. The Super Hornet is a newer and better version of the family of the F/A-18 Hornets. The Super Hornet is both single and two seat plane. The engines on the Super Hornet are F414-GE-400. It can fly day and night , is a multi mission striker, that is hard to find, hit, and disable. The Northrop Grumman Corp. builds the airframe and the center and aft fuselage. General Electric Co. produces the F414 engines, Raytheon constructs the APG-73 radar for the Super Hornet, and Boeing builds the forward fuselage and wings.
Boeing F-22 Raptor
One more major fighter plane is the F-22 Raptor. The F-22 will be the
dominant fighter of the 21st century. It was built to be a replacement of the F-15 and
someday it may. The Raptor has stealth, integrated avionics and super cruise, which will
all help it be the most potent fighter in the world. It has much improved capability over
the current aircraft. The F-22 will supposedly take over the skies in the year 2005. The
first F-22 was finished on April 9, 1997, and first took flight on September 7, 1997. It
won the Advanced Tactical Fighter (ATF) competition. The Air Force plans to produce 339
F-22s up through 2012. It is powered by either two General Electric or two Pratt
& Whitney engines. The total overall contract price for the F-22 is $15 billion.
General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a compact fighter plane and it is very maneuverable. This plane can locate all kinds of targets in any weather condition. Its cockpit and bubble shaped canopy let the pilot have good vision in all directions. The F-16s are being built in yearly agreements for the United States, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway. They each produced 348 F-16s for their air forces. There are 4 different types of F-16s, there are the A, B, C, and D. The thrust of the A and B F-16s is 24,000 pounds and it is 27,000 pounds for the C and D. The length of it is 49 feet 5 inches and the lengths are the same for all of them. The statistics are all the same for each different type unless it says they are different. The height for it is 16 feet, the wingspan is 32 feet, 8 inches, its fastest speed is 1,500 mph at sea level. Its highest point is 50,000 feet, its maximum take off weight is 37,500 lbs., and it can go more then 2,000 miles range. The cost of them is $9.5 million for the A and B, and $12.8 million for the C and D. The crew for the A and B is one and for the C and D its 2. It was deployed in January 1979.
Boeing NASA X-36
Another major U.S. plane, that is being worked on is the X-36. The X-36 is a tailless aircraft, it was built by Boeing and NASA for stealth and agility. The X-36 may not have a tail but it is expected to be more maneuverable than normal fighters. Without a tail it can reduce weight, drag, and radar cross sections. The purpose of the X-36 is to prove that a plane can move just as well without a tail as a plane with one. It will use a split ailerons and a thrust vectoring nozzle for direction control. The prototype weighs 1,300 lbs., is 19 feet long, 11 feet at widest point, 3 feet high and powered by Williams F112 engines. It was built by a lot of advanced low cost design and manufacturing techniques. In 1994 McDonnell Douglas joined in to help build the X-36. The total cost of the project so far is $17 million. The flight testing began in 1997. The tests focused on low speed high angle of attack performance and will take six months consisting of 25 flights.
Lockheed-Martin F-117A Nighthawk
The Lockheed F-117A was one of the first military airplanes to be
completely invisible to radar. Early in the 1970s air forces from around the world
began the race for invisible aircraft. The thought of stealth technology was
still mostly a dream of aircraft researchers. But in 1973 the United States Air Force
began a test project with an aircraft code named Have Blue. This aircraft was
to be designed to minimize the the radar reflectivness of the aircraft to almost zero.
Have Blue was very similar to today's F-117A stealth fighter. All of the
surfaces were flat and there were no right angles (90 degrees). Have Blue was
visibly smaller than the F-117A and could only achieve Mach 0.8 (The F-117A can achieve
Mach 0.9) One major physical difference was that Have Blue had tail fins that
were pointed towards each other rather than outwards like on today's F-117A. After
Have Blue came the YF-117A. This aircraft, externally the same as the F-117A,
failed its first test flight when it encountered a problem with a high velocity drop,
jamming the front wheel halfway open. The pilot was ordered to pull up to 10,000 feet and
eject. The aircraft was destroyed. This was a bad sign for researchers of stealth
aircraft. Several years later during the years of Operation Desert Storm, the F-117A came
through scoring hundreds of kills to ground targets during the war.
Northrop F-20 Tiger Shark
During extensive years of flight training at Edwards airforce base, Northrops F-20 tigershark has proven itself as a highly versatile multi-role fighter. With more than 1,500 test flights it has proven that it is highly reliable and very maintainable. The F-20 Tigershark is powered by a General Electric F404-GE-100 Afterburning turbofan. This power plant is basically an improved version of the engines used on the Navy/Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet strike fighter. The F-20 has shown unsurpassed ATG bombing accuracy and supports both manual and automatic modes. The digital arming system presents the F-20 with loadouts of weapons from around the world without extensive rewiring of the weapons components. The F404 power plant for the F-20 provides with a combat thrust-to-weight ratio better than one to one. The F-20s pilot-friendly avionics systems make it capable of being flown by pilots of all levels of aviation knowledge.
In 1982 British Aerospace began a program to construct what was then called an ACA (Agile Combat Aircraft) This program helped develop a plane known as the FEFA (Future European Fighter Aircraft) or the JF-90. The FEFA aircraft was to enter service in 1990. The French wanted a smaller aircraft that would cost less and be as effective to speed up production time and they wanted to postpone the production of the JF-90. But production of the plane continued. Today the plane is called the EF-2000. The EF-2000 is capable of carrying Air to air and air to ground loadouts. This fighter is used widely around Europe in countries such as France and Germany.
A major bomber is the B-1B bomber. This lane is an upgrade over the B-52, because it can fly lower and faster while carrying more weight. The B-1B was first deployed in June 1985. It holds several world records for speed, payload and distance. Its main function is long-range, multi-role, heavy bomber. Its builder is Rockwell International, and it is powered by four General Electric F-101-GE-102 engines with afterburners. Its thrust is 30,000 lbs.+ per engine with afterburner, the length of it is 146 ft., and its wingspan is 137 feet extended and 79 feet swept. The height of it is 34 ft., its weight empty is 190,000 lbs., and its maximum takeoff weight is 477,000 lbs. Its speed is 900+ mph, range is intercontinental without refueling, and its ceiling is over 30,000 feet. The crew of it is four and its cost is $200 plus million.
Another major bomber is the B-2 Spirit. It is special because it is a stealth bomber. Its main function is a multi-role, heavy bomber, and its main contractor is Northrop B-2 Division. Its thrust is 17,300 lbs. for each engine, its length is 69 ft., height is 17 feet, and wingspan is 172 feet. The speed of the Spirit is High subsonic, its ceiling is 50,000 ft., its takeoff weight is 336,500 pounds, and its range is intercontinental, without refueling. The B-2 carries nuclear or conventional weapons, it can carry up to 40,000 pounds of weapons, and its crew is two. The cost of the B-2 is about $1.3 billion, and it was deployed in December 1993.
A-10 Thunderbolt II
A major attacker is the A-10 Thunderbolt ][ It is special because it can operate under a 1,000 ft ceiling. The Thunderbolt can survive shots from tanks up to 23mm. The A-10s 30mm GAU-8/A Gattling gun can fire 3,900 rounds a minute. Its contractor is Fairchild Republic Co and it is powered by two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofans. Its thrust per engine is 9,065 lbs., and its length is 53 ft., 4 in. Its height is 14 feet, 8 inches, and its wingspan is 57 ft., 6 in. The A-10 fastest speed is 420 mph, its ceiling is 1,000 ft., its maximum takeoff weight is 51,000 lbs. Its range is 288 miles, crew is one, it was deployed on March 1976, and the cost of it is $8.8 million.
Another major fighter plane is the F-14 Tomcat. There are three types of F-14s, the F-14 A, B, and D. All the F-14s can go supersonic and can seat two people. The A is powered by two Pratt & Whitney TF30-P-414A Afterburning turbofan engines. The B and D are powered by two General Electric F110-GE-400 Afterburning turbofan engines. The Tomcats highest Mach factor is 1.88, its maximum range is 1,600 nm or nautical miles, and its highest point is 53,000+ ft. Its maximum takeoff weight is 74,349 lbs., its wingspan (unswept) is 64 ft., 1.5 in., its wingspan (swept) is 38 ft., 2.5 in., its wingspan (over swept) is 33 ft., 3.5 in. The Tomcats length is 62 ft., 8 in., and its height is 16 ft.
The A320 is a commercial aircraft designed to carry smaller amounts of people (one
hundred fifty) over a smaller area (three thousand nautical miles) than Boeing's 747. The
A320 was launched in March of 1984 even though aircraft purchases had been noticeably down
during that decade. Today there are more than 800 A320's in service in various areas
around the world. In 1989 the company wanted a plane that could carry more people and more
fuel so designers came up with a stretch version of the A320 designated A321. The A321 was
slightly larger with the capacity to hold 185 people. The A320 today is the company's most
widely used aircraft for civilian travel.