Types Of Planes
Interested in learning about the different types of planes out there? Primarily, the different types of planes can be broken down into three categories: private, commercial and military. Private planes are owned by individuals, commercial planes are used by companies for various reasons (usually transporting cargo or people), and military planes are used by the armed forces. Here are the different types of planes that can be found within those three categories:
- Jet. If you’ve ever flown on a plane, this is probably what you flew in. They are primarily used by people traveling from one place to another. They are medium-sized and pilots don’t fly them far.
- Jumbo Jet. If you’ve ever travelled overseas or any other considerably long distance, you were probably on a jumbo jet. Most jumbo jets have two stories and can hold hundreds of passengers. One of the most well-known planes, the 747, is a jumbo jet.
- Biplane. This is a plane with two sets of wings powered by propellers. These were the first planes invented, and were used largely during World War II. Now, you mostly see them used for private use, skydiving and air shows.
- Sea Plane. Much like the name suggests, these are planes that can land on water. There are two types of seaplanes: planes with pontoons and planes that can land by touching the body of the plane to the water. These types of planes can be especially useful because they can get to areas other planes cannot.
- Fighter Jet. Now for the fun planes! When you think of military planes, you probably think of fighter jets. The main purpose of a fighter jet is air-to-air combat. This is the kind of plane portrayed in the movie “Top Gun.” That particular jet is an F-14 Tomcat. These days, technology is far more advanced, and America primarily uses the F-22 Raptor now.
- Bomber. These are huge planes designed for dropping huge bombs. Bombers aren’t used often these days. We’ve developed the technology to launch missiles from far away, and guide them all the way to the target with scary accuracy. Plus, many new jets are somewhat of a hybrid between bombers and fighters. That said, countries still have and use bombers.
- Stealth Bomber. There is only one stealth bomber, the B-2 Spirit. Like its name implies, it is designed to penetrate undetected into areas with heavy anti-aircraft weapons, and drop a massive hurt on the enemy.
- Stealth Fighter. Unlike the stealth bomber, there are many stealth fighters. Originally, the most well-known stealth fighter was the F-117 because it has such a flat, boxy look. Modern jet fighters, such as the F-22 Raptor and F-35 Lightning II have stealth capabilities. Also, they look like normal fighter jets, showing just how far stealth technology has advanced.
- Reconnaissance Aircraft. These planes are designed solely for surveillance of the enemy, and usually don’t carry weapons. They are either fast or have stealth capabilities, if not both. The most famous example of a recon plane is the incredibly fast SR-71 Blackbird.
- Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). A UAS can be either a plane or helicopter, and they are flown in two ways: by a remote pilot or autonomously by a flight plan. They can provide reconnaissance, and they also run attack missions. While they will probably never replace manned planes altogether, they represent a massive technological leap that can help save lives.
Those are some of the different types of planes currently in use. Interestingly, even with all our technological advancements, people still use the kinds of planes that were around when flight was first developed.