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Military aviation comprises
military aircraft A military aircraft is any Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any type. Military aircraft can be either combat or non-combat: * Combat aircraft are ...
and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling
aerial warfare Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare. Aerial warfare includes bombers attacking tactical bombing, enemy installations or a concentration of enemy troops or Strategic bombing, strategic targets; figh ...
, including national
airlift An airlift is the organized delivery of or primarily via . Airlifting consists of two distinct types: strategic and tactical. Typically, strategic airlifting involves moving material long distances (such as across or off the continent or t ...

airlift
(
air cargo Air cargo is any property carried or to be carried in an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the ...
) capacity to provide logistical supply to forces stationed in a war theater or along a
front Front may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''The Front'' (1943 film), a 1943 Soviet drama film * '' The Front'', 1976 film Music * The Front (band), an American rock band signed to Columbia Records and active in the 1980s and e ...
.
Airpower Airpower or air power consists of the application of military aviation Military aviation comprises military aircraft and other flying machines for the purposes of conducting or enabling aerial warfare, including national airlift ( air cargo ...
includes the national means of conducting such warfare, including the intersection of transport and warcraft. Military aircraft include
bomber A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry (such as bombs), launching aerial torpedo, torpedoes, or deploying air-launched cruise missiles. The first use of bombs dropped from an ...
s,
fighters Fighter(s) or The Fighter(s) may refer to: Combat and warfare * Combatant, an individual legally entitled to engage in hostilities during an international armed conflict * Fighter aircraft, a warplane designed to destroy or damage enemy warplanes ...

fighters
, transports,
trainer aircraft A trainer is a class of aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force) ...
, and
reconnaissance aircraft A reconnaissance aircraft (colloquially, a spy plane) is a military aircraft A military aircraft is any Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any t ...
.


History

The first military uses of aviation involved
lighter-than-air A lifting gas or lighter than air gas is a gas that has a lower density than normal atmospheric gases and rises above them as a result. It is required for aerostats to create buoyancy, particularly in aerostat, lighter-than-air aircraft, which incl ...
balloons. During the Battle of Fleurus in 1794, the French observation balloon ''l'Entreprenant'' was used to monitor Austrian troop movements. The use of lighter-than-air aircraft in warfare became prevalent in the 19th century, including regular use in the
American Civil War The American Civil War (also known by other names Other most often refers to: * Other (philosophy), a concept in psychology and philosophy Other or The Other may also refer to: Books * The Other (Tryon novel), ''The Other'' (Tryon nove ...
. Lighter-than-air military aviation persisted until shortly after
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
, gradually being withdrawn from various roles as
heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle A vehicle (from la, vehiculum) is a machine that transport Transport (commonly used in the U.K.), or transportation (used in the U.S.), is the Motion, movement of humans, animals and cargo, goods from one l ...
improved. Heavier-than-air aircraft were recognized as having military applications early on, despite resistance from traditionalists and the severe limitations of early aircraft. The
U.S. Army Signal Corps ) , colors = Orange and white , colors_label = Corps colors , march = , mascot = , equipment = , equipment_label = , ...
purchased a
Wright Model A The Wright Model A was an early aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Itali ...
on 2 August 1909 which became the first military aircraft in history. In 1911, the Italians used a variety of aircraft types in reconnaissance, photo-reconnaissance, and bombing roles during the
Italo-Turkish War The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War ( tr, Trablusgarp Savaşı, "Tripolitanian War", it, Guerra di Libia, "War of Libya") was fought between the and the from 29 September 1911, to 18 October 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy capture ...
. On October 23, 1911, an Italian pilot, Captain Carlo Piazza, flew over Turkish lines on the world's first aerial
reconnaissance In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration of an area by military forces to obtain information about enemy forces, terrain Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topogr ...

reconnaissance
mission, and on November 1, the first ever
aerial bomb An aerial bomb is a type of explosive An explosive (or explosive material) is a reactive substance that contains a great amount of potential energy that can produce an explosion An explosion is a rapid expansion in volume Volume is ...
was dropped by ''
Sottotenente The Italian Army ranks are the ranks used by the Italian Army and are worn on epaulettes of shirts. The Army of Italy contains levels of ranks showing both their officers' status and seniority as dedicated members of the Italian militia. Although a ...
''
Giulio Gavotti Giulio Gavotti (17 October 1882 in Genoa – 6 October 1939) was an Italian lieutenant and pilot, who fought in the Italo-Turkish War. He set two firsts in the history of aerial warfare Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other ...

Giulio Gavotti
, on Turkish troops in
Libya Libya (; ar, ليبيا, Lībiyā), officially the State of Libya ( ar, دولة ليبيا, Dawlat Lībiyā), is a country in the Maghreb region in North Africa bordered by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Egypt to Egypt–Libya border, th ...

Libya
, from an early model of
Etrich Taube The Etrich ''Taube'', also known by the names of the various later manufacturers who built versions of the type, such as the Rumpler ''Taube'', was a pre-World War I monoplane aircraft. It was the first military aeroplane to be mass-produced in ...

Etrich Taube
aircraft. The Turks, lacking
anti-aircraft Anti-aircraft warfare or counter-air defence is the battlespace response to aerial warfare, defined by NATO The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO, ; french: Organisation du traité de l'Atlantique nord, ), also called the North ...
weapons, were the first to shoot down an
airplane An airplane or aeroplane (informally plane) is a fixed-wing aircraft that is propelled forward by thrust from a jet engine, Propeller (aircraft), propeller, or rocket engine. Airplanes come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and wing configurati ...

airplane
by
rifle A rifle is a long-barrelled firearm A firearm is any type of gun A gun is a ranged weapon designed to use a shooting tube ( gun barrel) to launch typically solid projectiles, but can also project pressurized liquid (e.g. water gu ...

rifle
fire. The earliest military role filled by aircraft was
reconnaissance In military operations, reconnaissance or scouting is the exploration of an area by military forces to obtain information about enemy forces, terrain Relief map of Sierra Nevada, Spain Terrain or relief (also topographical Topogr ...

reconnaissance
, however, by the end of
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
, military aviation had rapidly embraced many specialized roles, such as artillery spotting, air superiority, bombing, ground attack, and anti-submarine patrols. Technological improvements were made at a frenzied pace, and the first all-metal cantilevered airplanes were going into service as the war ended. Between the major
world wars A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newsp ...
incremental improvements made in many areas, especially powerplants, aerodynamics, structures, and weapons, led to an even more rapid advance in aircraft technology during World War II, with large performance increases and the introduction of aircraft into new roles, including
Airborne Early Warning Airborne or Airborn may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Airborne'' (1962 film), a 1962 American film directed by James Landis * ''Airborne'' (1993 film), a comedy–drama film * ''Airborne'' (1998 film), an action film sta ...
,
electronic warfare Electronic warfare (EW) is any action involving the use of the electromagnetic spectrum (EM spectrum) or Directed-energy weapon, directed energy to control the spectrum, attack an enemy, or impede enemy assaults. The purpose of electronic warfar ...

electronic warfare
,
weather reconnaissance Weather reconnaissance is the acquisition of weather data used for research and planning. Typically the term reconnaissance refers to observing weather from the air, as opposed to the ground. Methods Aircraft Helicopters A helicopter ...
, and flying lifeboats. Great Britain used aircraft to suppress revolts throughout the Empire during the
interwar period In the history of the 20th century, the Interwar period lasted from 11 November 1918 to 1 September 1939 (20 years, 9 months and 21 days), the end of the First World War World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as t ...
and introduced the first military transports, which revolutionized
logistics Logistics is generally the detailed organization and implementation of a complex operation. In a general business sense, logistics is the management of the flow of things between the point of origin and the point of consumption to meet the requ ...

logistics
, allowing troops and supplies to be quickly delivered over vastly greater distances. While they first appeared during World War I, ground attack aircraft didn't provide a decisive contribution until the Germans introduced
Blitzkrieg Blitzkrieg (, from ''Blitz'' lightning"+ ''Krieg'' war" is a method of warfare where the attacker spearheads an offensive using a rapid overwhelming force concentration Force concentration is the practice of concentrating a military forc ...

Blitzkrieg
during the
Invasion of Poland The invasion of Poland (1 September – 6 October 1939), also known as the September campaign ( pl, Kampania wrześniowa), 1939 defensive war ( pl, Wojna obronna 1939 roku) and Poland campaign (german: Überfall auf Polen, Polenfeldzug), was an ...
and
Battle of France The Battle of France, also known as the Fall of France, was the German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of German ...
, where aircraft functioned as mobile flying artillery to quickly disrupt defensive formations. The Allies would later use rocket-equipped fighters in the same role, immobilizing German armored divisions during the
Battle of Normandy Operation Overlord was the codename for the Battle of Normandy, the Allied operation that launched the successful invasion of German-occupied Western Europe Western Europe is the region of Europe Europe is a continent A cont ...
and afterwards. World War I also saw the creation of the first strategic bomber units, however, they wouldn't be tested until the
Spanish Civil War The Spanish Civil War ( es, Guerra Civil Española)) or The Revolution ( es, La Revolución) among Nationalists, the Fourth Carlist War ( es, Cuarta Guerra Carlista) among Carlism, Carlists, and The Rebellion ( es, La Rebelión) or Uprising ( ...

Spanish Civil War
where the perceived effects of mass bombardment would encourage their widespread use during World War II. Carrier aviation also first appeared during World War I, and likewise came to play a major role during World War II, with most major navies recognizing the aircraft carrier's advantages over the
battleship A battleship is a large armored warship A warship or combatant ship is a that is built and primarily intended for . Usually they belong to the of a state. As well as being armed, warships are designed to withstand damage and are usually ...

battleship
and devoting massive resources to the building of new carriers. During World War II,
U-boats U-boats were naval submarines operated by Germany, particularly in the First First or 1st is the ordinal form of the number one (#1). First or 1st may also refer to: *World record A world record is usually the best global and most importa ...
threatened the ability of the
Allies An alliance is a relationship among people, groups, or sovereign state, states that have joined together for mutual benefit or to achieve some common purpose, whether or not explicit agreement has been worked out among them. Members of an alli ...
to transport troops and war materiel to Europe, spurring the development of very long range
Maritime patrol {{Unreferenced, date=March 2008 Maritime patrol is the task of monitoring areas of water. Generally conducted by military and law enforcement agency, law enforcement agencies, maritime patrol is usually aimed at identifying human activities. Mari ...
aircraft, whose capability of independently detecting and destroying submerged submarines was greatly increased with new detection systems, including
sonobuoy A sonobuoy (a portmanteau of sonar and buoy) is a relatively small buoy - typically diameter and long - expendable sonar system that is dropped/ejected from aircraft or ships conducting anti-submarine warfare or underwater acoustics, underwate ...
s,
Leigh Light #REDIRECT Leigh Light aircraft of the Royal Air Force Coastal Command, 26 February 1944 The Leigh Light (L/L) was a United Kingdom, British World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a Wo ...

Leigh Light
s, and
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
, along with better weapons including
homing torpedo Homing may refer to: Guidance *Guidance system A guidance system is a virtual or physical device, or a group of devices implementing a controlling the movement of a ship A ship is a large watercraft that travels the world's oceans and other ...
es and improved
depth charges A depth charge is an anti-submarine warfare officers on the bridge of a destroyer on convoy escort duties keep a sharp look out for enemy submarines during the Battle of the Atlantic The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous ...
. This played a major role in winning the
Battle of the Atlantic The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented by military organization Military orga ...
. Aircraft also played a much expanded role, with many notable engagements being decided solely through the use of military aircraft, such as the
Battle of Britain The Battle of Britain (german: die Luftschlacht um England, "the Air Battle for England") was a military campaign A military campaign is large-scale long-duration significant military strategy Military strategy is a set of ideas implemented ...

Battle of Britain
or the
attack on Pearl Harbor The Attack on Pearl HarborAlso known as the Battle of Pearl Harbor was a surprise military strike In the United States Armed Forces, military of the United States, strikes and raids are a group of military operations that, alongside quite ...

attack on Pearl Harbor
, and the conclusion of the
Pacific War The Pacific War, sometimes called the Asia–Pacific War, was the theater Theatre or theater is a collaborative form of performing art that uses live performers, usually actors or actresses, to present the experience of a real or i ...
against Japan was marked by two lone aircraft dropping the
atomic bomb A nuclear weapon (also known as an atom bomb, atomic bomb, nuclear bomb or nuclear warhead, and colloquially as an A-bomb or nuke) is an explosive device that derives its destructive force from nuclear reactions, either nuclear fission, fiss ...

atomic bomb
s, devastating the cities of
Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture is a prefecture of Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperi ...
and
Nagasaki is the capital and the largest city A city is a large human settlement.Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. ...

Nagasaki
. The introduction of the
jet engine A jet engine is a type of reaction engine A reaction engine is an engine or motor that produces thrust Thrust is a described quantitatively by . When a system expels or in one direction, the accelerated mass will cause a force of ...

jet engine
,
radar Radar (radio detection and ranging) is a detection system that uses radio waves to determine the distance (''ranging''), angle, or velocity of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, Marine radar, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor ...

radar
, early
missiles In military terminology, a missile is a guided airborne ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure prominently in the foreground at right where they drive away the French crossbow A crossbow is a ranged weapon using an elastic launching ...
,
helicopter A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft A rotorcraft or rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, ...

helicopter
s, and
computers A computer is a machine that can be programmed to Execution (computing), carry out sequences of arithmetic or logical operations automatically. Modern computers can perform generic sets of operations known as Computer program, programs. These p ...

computers
are World War II advancements which are felt to the present day. Post World War II, the development of military aviation was spurred by the
Cold War The Cold War was a period of geopolitical Geopolitics (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country loc ...
stand-off between the super-powers. The
helicopter A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft A rotorcraft or rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, ...

helicopter
appeared late in World War II and matured into an indispensable part of military aviation, transporting troops and providing expanded anti-submarine capabilities to smaller warships, negating the need for large numbers of small carriers. The need to out-perform opponents pushed new technology and aircraft developments in the U.S.S.R. and the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, among others, and the
Korean War The Korean War (see § Names) was a war fought between North Korea North Korea, officially the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), is a country in East Asia, constituting the northern part of the Korean Peninsula. It b ...

Korean War
and the
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
tested the resulting designs. Incredible advances in electronics were made, starting with the first electronic computers during World War II and steadily expanding from its original role of cryptography into communications, data processing, reconnaissance, remotely piloted aircraft, and many other roles until it has become an integral aspect of modern warfare. In the early 1960s, missiles were expected to replace manned interceptors and the guns in other manned aircraft. They failed to live up to expectations as
surface-to-air missile A surface-to-air missile (SAM), also known as a ground-to-air missile (GTAM) or surface-to-air guided weapon (SAGW), is a missile In military terminology, a missile is a guided airborne ranged weapon . English longbowmen figure promine ...
s lacked flexibility and were not as effective as manned interceptors, and fighters equipped only with
air-to-air missile file:Python5-missile001.jpg, The newest and the oldest member of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, Rafael's Python (missile), Python family of AAM for comparisons, Python-5 (displayed lower-front) and Shafrir-1 (upper-back) An air-to-air missi ...
s had limited effectiveness against opposing aircraft which could avoid being hit. Missiles were also expensive, especially against low-value ground targets. The 1970s saw the return of the gun-armed fighter, and a greater emphasis on maneuverability. The 1980s through to the present day were characterized by
stealth technology Stealth technology, also termed low observable technology (LO technology), is a sub-discipline of military tactics and passive and active electronic countermeasure An electronic countermeasure (ECM) is an electrical or electronic device de ...
and other countermeasures. Today, a country's military aviation forces are often the first line of defense against an attack, or the first forces to attack the enemy, and effective military aviation forces (or lack thereof) have proved decisive in several recent conflicts such as the
Gulf War The Gulf War was a war waged by coalition forces The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership t ...
.


Categories of military aircraft

Airborne Early Warning Airborne or Airborn may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Airborne'' (1962 film), a 1962 American film directed by James Landis * ''Airborne'' (1993 film), a comedy–drama film * ''Airborne'' (1998 film), an action film sta ...
provides advance warning of enemy activities to reduce the chance of being surprised. Many also have command functions that allow them to direct or vector friendly fighters onto incoming bogeys.
Bombers A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targets by dropping air-to-ground weaponry (such as bombs), launching torpedoes, or deploying air-launched cruise missiles. The first use of bombs dropped from an aircraft occu ...

Bombers
are capable of carrying large payloads of bombs and may sacrifice speed or maneuverability to maximize payload.
Experimental aircraft An experimental aircraft is an aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic ...
are designed to test advanced aerodynamic, structural, avionic, or propulsion concepts. These are usually well instrumented, with performance data telemetered on radio-frequency data links to ground stations located at the test ranges where they are flown.
Fighters Fighter(s) or The Fighter(s) may refer to: Combat and warfare * Combatant, an individual legally entitled to engage in hostilities during an international armed conflict * Fighter aircraft, a warplane designed to destroy or damage enemy warplanes ...

Fighters
establish and maintain
air superiority File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosphere (0.04402961% at April 2019 concentration ). Number ...
. Speed and maneuverability are usually requirements and they carry a variety of weapons, including machine guns and guided missiles, to do this.
Forward Air Control Forward air control is the provision of guidance to close air support In military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield. They involve the application of four battle ...
directs close air support aircraft to ensure that the intended targets are nullified and friendly troops remain uninjured.
Ground-attack aircraft An attack aircraft, strike aircraft, or attack bomber is a tactical military aircraft that has a primary role of carrying out airstrikes with greater precision than bomber A bomber is a combat aircraft designed to attack ground and naval targ ...
support ground troops by weakening or nullifying enemy defenses. Helicopter gunships and specialized ground attack aircraft
attack enemy armor or troops
attack enemy armor or troops
and provide
close air support In military tactics Military tactics encompasses the art of organizing and employing fighting forces on or near the battlefield A battlefield, battleground, or field of battle is the location of a present or historic battle A battle i ...
for ground troops.
Liaison aircraft A liaison aircraft (also called an army cooperation aircraft) is a small, usually unarmed aircraft primarily used by military forces for artillery observation or transporting commanders and messages. The concept developed before World War II and ...
are usually small, unarmed aircraft used to deliver messages and key personnel.
Maritime Patrol Aircraft A maritime patrol aircraft (MPA), also known as a patrol aircraft, maritime reconnaissance aircraft, or by the older American term patrol bomber, is a fixed-wing aircraft designed to operate for long durations over water in maritime patrol roles ...
are used to control sea-lanes, and are often equipped with special electronic gear for detecting and sinking submarines, such as sonar. They are also used for search and rescue missions and fisheries patrols.
Multirole combat aircraft A multirole combat aircraft (MRCA) is a combat aircraft intended to perform different roles in combat. A multirole fighter is a multirole combat aircraft which is, at the same time, also a fighter aircraft; in other words, an aircraft whose vario ...
combine the capabilities of both a fighter or a bomber, depending on what the mission calls for.
Reconnaissance aircraft A reconnaissance aircraft (colloquially, a spy plane) is a military aircraft A military aircraft is any Fixed-wing aircraft, fixed-wing or rotorcraft, rotary-wing aircraft that is operated by a legal or insurrectionary armed service of any t ...
and
scout helicopter A military helicopter is a helicopter A helicopter is a type of in which and are supplied by horizontally spinning s. This allows the helicopter to , to , and to fly forward, backward and laterally. These attributes allow helicopters t ...
s are primarily used to gather intelligence. They are equipped with photographic, infrared, radar, and television sensors. This role is increasingly being filled by
spy satellite A reconnaissance satellite or intelligence satellite (commonly, although unofficially, referred to as a spy satellite) is an Earth observation satellite or communications satellite A communications satellite is an artificial satellite t ...
s and
unmanned aerial vehicles being tested in California California is a U.S. state, state in the Western United States. With over 39.3million residents across a total area of approximately , it is the List of states and territories of the United States by population ...
. Refueling aircraft are used to refuel fighters and reconnaissance aircraft, extending mission reach and flying range. These aircraft include but are not limited to the KC-135, KC-46, KC-767, A310 MRTT, and the KC-130J. These aircraft are a part of many countries' militant assets.
Training aircraft A trainer is a class of aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle that is able to flight, fly by gaining support from the Atmosphere of Earth, air. It counters the force of gravity by using either Buoyancy, static lift or by using the Lift (force), ...
are used to train recruits to fly aircraft and to provide additional training for specialized roles such as in air combat.
Transport aircraftTransport aircraft is a broad category of aircraft that includes: * Airliner An airliner is a type of aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, o ...
transport troops and supplies. Cargo can be on pallets for quick unloading. Cargo, and personnel may also be discharged from flying aircraft on
parachute A parachute is a device used to slow the motion of an object through an atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a layer or ...

parachute
s. Also included in this category are aerial tankers, which can refuel other aircraft while
in flight In baseball, the baseball rules, rules state that a batted ball is considered in flight when it has not yet touched any object other than a fielder or his equipment. Once a batted ball touches the ground, a fence or wall, a foul pole, a base (base ...
.
Helicopters A helicopter is a type of rotorcraft A rotorcraft or rotary-wing aircraft is a heavier-than-air aircraft An aircraft is a vehicle or machine that is able to fly Flies are insect Insects or Insecta (from Latin Latin (, ...
and
gliders Glider may refer to: Aircraft and transport Aircraft * Glider (aircraft), heavier-than-air aircraft primarily intended for unpowered flight ** Glider (sailplane), a rigid-winged glider aircraft with an undercarriage, used in the sport of gliding * ...
can transport troops and supplies to areas where other aircraft would be unable to land.


Air forces

An air force is the
branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who spe ...
of a nation's armed forces that is responsible for
aerial warfare Aerial warfare is the use of military aircraft and other flying machines in warfare. Aerial warfare includes bombers attacking tactical bombing, enemy installations or a concentration of enemy troops or Strategic bombing, strategic targets; figh ...
as distinct from the
army An army (from Latin ''arma'' "arms, weapons" via Old French ''armée'', "armed" eminine, ground force or land force is a fighting force that fights primarily on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch Military branch ...

army
,
navy A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...

navy
, or other branches. Most nations either maintain an air force or, in the case of smaller and less well-developed countries, an air wing (see List of air forces). Air forces are usually tasked with the air defense of a country, as well as strategic bombing, interdiction, close air support, intelligence gathering, battlespace management, transport functions, and providing services to civil government agencies. Air force operations may also include space-based operations such as reconnaissance or satellite operations.


Other military aviation

Other branches of a nation's armed forces may use aviation (
naval aviation Naval aviation is the application of military air power by navies A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a Nation's armed forces principally designated for naval warfare, naval and amphibious warfare; namely, lake-borne, ...

naval aviation
and
army aviation An army aviation unit is an aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight Flight or flying is the process by which an object (physics), object motion (physics), moves through a space without contacting any planetary su ...
), in addition to or instead of, a dedicated air force. In some cases, this includes
coast guard A coast guard or coastguard is a maritime security Maritime may refer to: Geography * Maritime Alps, a mountain range in the southwestern part of the Alps * Maritime Region, a region in Togo * Maritime Southeast Asia * The Maritimes ...

coast guard
services that are also an armed service, as well as
gendarmerie Wrong info! --> A vedette of the French ''Gendarmerie Maritime'' in La Rochelle harbour A gendarmerie () is a military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily ...

gendarmerie
s and equivalent forces.


See also

*
Civil aviation Civil aviation is one of two major categories of flying, representing all non-military and non-state aviation Aviation is the activities surrounding mechanical flight and the aircraft industry. ''Aircraft'' includes airplane, fixed-wing and ...
*
Military aviation occupations{{Unreferenced, date=September 2008 Military aviation occupations are types of work Work may refer to: * Work (human activity), intentional activity people perform to support themselves, others, or the community ** Manual labour, physical work done ...
*
Military aircraft insignia Military aircraft insignia are insignia applied to military aircraft to identify the nation or branch of military service to which the aircraft belongs. Many insignia are in the form of a circular roundel or modified roundel; other shapes such as ...


References

* Aviation History. New York: Primedia Special Interest Publications, 1996. 15 Feb. 2006 * Gross, Charles Joseph. American Military Aviation: The Indispensable Arm. College Station Texas A&M University Press, 2002. 13 Feb. 2006 * Rusnac, Mircea, The Monument with a Propeller,http://www.museum.com/ja/showdia/id=4589 {{Authority control