Can You Name All The Leading-Edge Military and Civilian Airplanes?

By: Craig
Image: Wiki commons

About This Quiz

How well do you know modern aircraft? Take this quiz to find out if you can recognize plane on sight.

Throughout history, man has dreamed of flying. Don't believe us? Think about the Greek myth about Daedalus and his son, the wishful Icarus. Daedalus and Icarus were trapped in the labyrinth that Daedalus built for Minos, the King of Crete. To escape, Daedalus built a pair of wings, and let Icarus use them first. He warned Icarus to avoid flying too close to the sun because the feathers were stuck to the wings with wax, and the wax would melt if it got too hot. Icarus was so enthralled with flying that he flew too close to the sun. Before he could correct his flight path, the sun melted the wax on his wings, and he plunged to his death.

Interestingly, although this is a tale about a few things (one of them is the importance of listening to your elders, but that is a subject for another time.), the joy of soaring into the sky is tempered by a sort of cautionary message... i.e., maybe man was not meant to fly.

Thank goodness modern planes are not made of wax.

Find out if you can ace this quiz.



The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation stealth fighter serving in the U.S. Air Force. Although built for air superiority, it can carry out ground attack duties as well. The Raptor makes use of weapons bays with all payload kept internally until needed.

Possibly the most famous passenger aircraft in the world, the Boeing 747 'Jumbo Jet' entered service in 1970. It is easily recognizable thanks to a distinct hump which forms the upper deck behind the cockpit. The 'Jumbo' has served with all the major airlines around the world and is capable of carrying up to 600 passengers (in a high-density economy configuration) over 8,300 miles. As of the end of 2016, more than 1,500 of these aircraft had been manufactured.

The Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk was the first American aircraft to utilize stealth technology. It entered service in 1983 but was only made public in 1988. The Nighthawk saw extensive action during the first Gulf War, flying over 1,300 missions. Although utilizing stealth technology, a Nighthawk was lost to a surface-to-air missile over Yugoslavia in 1999.

The Airbus A330 was introduced 1994 and is a wide-bodied, mid-to long-range airliner or cargo aircraft. It can carry up to 335 passengers to a range of around 8,000 miles. Airbus continues​ to upgrade the aircraft. In 2009, an Air France A330-200 crashed into the Atlantic on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. All 228 people on board died.

The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is a twin-engined, carrier-based fighter and an upgrade to the F-18 Hornet. It serves with the U.S. Navy and the Royal Australian Air Force. It entered service in 1999, and was brought in to replace the aging Grumman F-14 Tomcat.

A wide-bodied, long-haul airliner, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner is capable of carrying 242 to 335 passengers in three different configurations. It is used by a number of the world's major airlines and has a range of 9,700 miles. It first flew in 2009 and entered service in 2011.

The BAE Harrier II was the last model in the Harrier family which initially entered service in 1969. This upgraded model was introduced in 1989 with 143 built. The Harrier II is both capable of operating from small airfields and aircraft carriers thanks to its vertical take-off and landing capabilities. It can be used in a number of roles, including close air support.

A two-seat, variable swept-wing, carried-based fighter in the U.S. Navy, the Grumman F-14 Tomcat began service in 1974 and continued in a front line role ​until 2006. F-14's have seen extensive action, both with the US Navy as well as the Iranian Air Force who received an order of Tomcats in 1976.

This narrow-bodied, twin-engined passenger aircraft first entered service in 2003. It is capable carrying as many as 132 passengers up to destinations 3,600 miles away. It is intended for shorter routes.

Introduced into service in 1982, the Dassault Mirage 2000 is based on the older Mirage III. It is a multi-role aircraft that operates in a number of air forces around the world, including France, India, Greece, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

The Antonov An-148 is primarily used as a jet airliner flying regional routes. It entered service in 2009 and can carry between 68 to 85 passengers over a maximum distance of 2,700 miles.

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is essentially a carrier-based aircraft with air-to-air and air-to-ground capabilities. It was the first aircraft to make use of carbon fiber wings as well as fly-by-wire avionics. The Hornet first saw action in the 1991 Gulf War in both ground attack and air superiority roles.

Entering service in 1983, the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano is a two-seat, single-engined trainer in service with the Brazilian Air Force. It serves a variety of roles, including ground attack, anti-drug surveillance, and border protection. Besides Brazil, it also serves in the French and Argentine Air Force.

The 707 was Boeing's first jet airliner. It was produced from 1958 to 1979 with over 1,000 manufactured during that time. It could carry between 140 to 219 passengers, depending on the configuration chosen. The 707 had a maximum range of 6,500 miles.

Developed for the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force, the Mitsubishi F-1 is a military jet capable of ground attack or anti-shipping roles. It was in service from 1978 to 2006 with 77 produced.

A collaboration between the United Kingdom, Italy, and West Germany, the Panavia Tornado is a true multirole aircraft. It has five variants which include close air support, air defense interceptor, reconnaissance, and maritime attack. This swept-wing aircraft is still in service despite production being stopped in 1998.

The Sukhoi Su-30MKI is a two-seat air superiority fighter. It serves in the Indian Air Force where it is built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. It is a further development of the Sukhoi Su-30. Overall design includes canards and vector thrusting, two elements that make the Su-30 MKI extremely maneuverable.

The Embraer EMB 314 Super Tucano is an upgrade on the 312 Tucano. It is capable of higher altitudes and is faster than its predecessor. It mainly serves as a trainer, reconnaissance, on anti-drug patrols, and as a border patrol aircraft in the Brazilian Air Force, its main operator.

The Saab JAS 39 Gripen is a Swedish-designed, multirole, fourth-generation fighter. It entered into service in 1997 and serves with a number of air forces, including Sweden and South Africa. It roles include air defense, interception, and ground attack.

The Mikoyan MiG-29K, codenamed 'Fulcrum' by NATO, is a naval version of the Russian air superiority fighter. It is in service with both the Russian and Indian Navy.

The Aermacchi MB-339 is a jet trainer in the Italian Air Force. It first flew in 1976 and served in the Italian, New Zealand, Royal Malaysian, Eritrean and Nigerian Air Forces. The aircraft is still in production and, so far, 230 have been constructed.

This delta winged multirole fighter was a collaboration between a number of countries, including the United Kingdom, Germany, and Italy. It was introduced in 2003 and currently serves in eight air forces worldwide. One Typhoon costs around $96 million to produce.

A medium-range, twin-engine airliner, the McDonnell Douglas MD-90 entered service in 1993. This aircraft eventually became the blueprint for the Boeing 717 after Boeing took over the company in 1997. Production ceased in 2000 after 116 had been manufactured.

A carrier-based strike fighter that served primarily with the French Navy, the Dassault-Breguet Super Étendard retired from operational duties in 2016 after 42 years in service. The aircraft was used in a number of roles, including anti-shipping and reconnaissance. Super Étendards saw action in the Falklands War where Argentinian aircraft managed Exocet missile hits on two British ships. One sank and the other was eventually scuttled.

Derived from the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the Mitsubishi F-2 is manufactured in a joint venture between Japan and the United States. The F-2 is a multirole fighter and serves with the Japanese Air Self-Defense Force. The F-2 is larger than the F-16 with 25% more wing area. In recent years, F-2s have been scrambled twice to intercept Russian aircraft entering Japanese airspace.

A wide-bodied, four-engine, long-range airliner or cargo aircraft, the Ilyushin Il-96 first entered service in 1992. It currently serves with a number of Russian airlines, as well as Cuba.

A small commuter airliner, the Fairchild-Dornier 328 JET is based on the Dornier 328, an aircraft powered by turboprops. This aircraft mostly operates as a regional jet or commuter airliner. It was produced between 1996 and 2002 with 110 built.

The Fighting Falcon is a mainstay of the U.S. Air Force. This aircraft is mainly a fighter but capable of ground attack duties as well. It was the first U.S. fighter to make use of fly-by-wire avionics. The F-16 is in service in 26 air forces around the world.

The Sukhoi Su-25, codenamed 'Frogfoot' by NATO, is a close air support attack aircraft that entered service in 1981. This aircraft has seen extensive combat both in Afghanistan in the 1980's and, more recently, Chechnya. In 2013, the Su-25SM3 Grach was introduced. It is a substantial upgrade from previous versions of the 'Frogfoot.' Around 80 of them will be delivered to the Russian Air Force.

The Antonov An-158 is a regional passenger jet capable of carrying up to 99 passengers. It is an upgrade of the An-148 and has an operational range of 1,900 miles, depending on the passenger configuration.

Currently under development in Japan, the Mitsubishi Regional Jet is intended to carry between 70 to 90 passengers on short, regional routes. Delivery is scheduled for around the middle of 2020, with airlines in Japan and the USA placing orders.

The Boeing 717, a single-aisle, twin-engine passenger aircraft, began as the McDonnell Douglas DC-9. When Boeing acquired the company in 1997, they rebranded a spin-off of that aircraft, the CD-95, into the 717. The aircraft can carry up to 134 passengers, depending on the seating configuration. It has a range of 2,300 miles.

Based on the BAE Hawk advanced trainer, the Hawk 200 is a lightweight, multirole aircraft capable of air defense, anti-shipping, close air support and ground attack missions. It entered service in 1996 and serves in the air forces of Malaysia, Oman, and Indonesia.

Built under license by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, the Ajeet is based on the Folland Gnat. The Ajeet, which means invincible, is used both as an interceptor and ground attack aircraft. A two-seater version is used as a trainer.

Introduced into service in 1995, the Boeing 777 is the largest twin-engined, long-haul airliner operating today and can seat close to 400 passengers in certain configurations. It has a maximum range of 9,800 miles. In 2014, 298 people were killed when a 777 from Malaysian Airlines was shot down over the Ukraine by a surface-to-air missile. Earlier that year, another 777, Malaysian Flight 370, vanished while on a flight to Beijing. It has never been found.

Developed by KAI industries, as well as Lockheed Martin, the KAI TA-50 Golden Eagle serves as a light combat aircraft and advanced trainer, predominantly in the South Korean Air Force. It is one of the few trainers in the world capable of supersonic speeds. The Golden Eagle serves in a number of other air forces including Indonesia, Iraq, Philippines, ​and Thailand.

The BAe Jetstream 41 is a turboprop-powered, 29-seat regional airliner capable of ranges up to around 800 miles. It was introduced into service in 1992 and was manufactured between 1992 and 1997 with 100 built.

A propeller-powered aircraft, the Saab Supporter was first introduced in 1972 and is a military version of the Saab Safari. It is used for training by a number of air forces around the world, including Sweden.

A narrow-bodied, regional airliner, the Fokker 100 was produced by the Dutch company between 1992 and 1997. It is capable of carrying up to 85 passengers over 2,000 miles.

A multirole aircraft, the Chengdu J-10 is a Chinese design first introduced into service in 2006. It is capable of carrying air-to-air and air-to-surface missiles as well as a range of bombs. The J-10 is only operated by the Chinese Air Force.

A wide-bodied, short to medium range airliner, the Airbus A300 was first introduced into service in 1974. It can carry 266 passengers over a maximum range of 4600 miles. Between 1971 and 2007, 561 A300's were built.

A product of Argentina, the FMA IA 63 Pampa operates as a two-seat trainer but can also be used as a light attack aircraft. It was designed with the help of the German company, Dornier, and first entered service in 1988.

Made by Canadian manufacturer, Bombardier, the CSeries is a narrow-bodied twin-engine regional airliner. It was intentionally built for the 100 to 150 passenger aviation market. The CSeries comprise two aircraft - the CS100 and CS300. Both have single aisle interiors and are designed with passenger comfort in mind.

A regional airliner, the Fokker 100 was in production from 1988 until 1996. Over 26 airlines around the world still fly this aircraft with around 100 still operational. It can carry a maximum of 119 people up to a range of 1,600 miles.

A Czech-designed four-seater, the Zlín Z-143 is a light aircraft with a low wing monoplane design. This aircraft has seen operational action with the Tamil Tigers, a rebel group in Sri Lanka. They used it as an attack aircraft, as well as on a suicide mission in which a Z-143 was flown into the building of the Sri Lanka Inland Revenue Department.

A Chinese airliner yet to enter service, the Comac C919 will be able to carry up to 174 on regional routes at ranges up to 3,400 miles.

First introduced in 1983, the Boeing 757 is a single aisle, narrow configuration medium-range airliner. The 757 comes with two engine configurations - either built by Pratt and Whitney or Rolls Royce. It has a maximum range of around 3,000 miles, depending on payload and engine type.

A joint Italian-Brazilian collaboration, the AMX International AMX has multiple roles in both air forces. It is primarily a ground attack aircraft providing close air support but can also be used for reconnaissance. It entered service in 1989.

A fighter bomber serving in both the Chinese Army and Navy. The Xian JH-7 entered service in 1992.

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