What Are the Names of Active U.S. Air Force Planes?


Quick Answer

The U.S. Air Force active aircraft include the F-16 Fighting Falcon, the F-15 and the F-22 Raptor, as of 2015. Air Force One, a VC-25 and the primary air transport for the president of the United States, is also part of the Air Force's active fleet.

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The F-16 is a major tool in the fight against terrorism. The aircraft has seen duty in both Iraqi wars. It is considered a multi-role fighter jet, highly maneuverable and able to locate targets in all weather conditions. Built under a consortium of five NATO allies, the aircraft is based on both the F-15 and the F-111, combining the best of both in a simpler, smaller, lighter and less expensive plane.

The distinctive B-2 Spirit is a multi-role heavy bomber with the ability to deliver both conventional and atomic bombs. A manned aircraft, the B-2 has stealth properties so that it can penetrate the enemy's air defense. While the public cannot know the exact process of stealth technology, the special coatings, unique design and composite materials all contribute to its stealth capabilities. The aircraft is housed and maintained at only one base, Whitman AFB in Missouri. The bomber is capable of flying round-trip from Missouri to Afghanistan and back without a stop.

Air Force One has an Air Force designation of a VC-25, but is actually a custom-configured Boeing 747-200B, of which there are two. Beyond the reconfiguration of the interior, a VC-25's navigation, electronic and communication equipment differ significantly from a 747.

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