These are all the planes in the US Air Force

The US Air Force is the world's premier aerial power.

With 39 distinct types of aircraft, and many more sub varieties of each airframe, it is easy to understand why the US Air Force has no peers. Each airframe is custom made to carry out a select mission effectively, and each pilot knows their aircraft perfectly.

Below are the 39 distinct types of aircraft that the US Air Force fields, according to the Air Force Fact Sheets.

All the planes in the US Air Force (BI)
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These are all the planes in the US Air Force

A-10 Thunderbolt II

Mission: The A-10 is specifically designed to carry out close-air support at low altitude and low speed. The A-10 is built to be highly survivable and can takeoff and land in locations near to the front lines.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Incirlik Air Base/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)


Variants: AC-130U "Spooky" and AC-130W Stinger II 

Mission: Both AC-130 variants are highly modified versions of the original C-130 airframe. The variants are both tasked with close-air-support missions, convoy escort, and point air defense.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by US Air Force/Getty Images)

B-1B Lancer

Mission: The B-1B Lancer is the Air Force's bomber backbone. It has the largest payload capacity of any aircraft in the fleet, is multi-mission capable, and can carry and deliver huge quantities of both precision and nonprecision weaponry. 

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

B-2 Spirit

Mission: The B-2 Spirit is a stealth bomber capable of carrying both conventional and nuclear munitions.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Gary Ell/US Air Force/Getty Images)

B-52 Stratofortress

Mission: The B-52 is a long-range heavy bomber that is able to participate in and complete a wide range of mission sets. During conflicts, the B-52 can provide close air support, strategic attacks, surveillance, and counter-air and maritime operations.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo credit RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

C-130 Hercules

Mission: The C-130 Hercules is primarily used for airlift missions and transporting equipment and troops. It can land on rough dirt strips, move oversized loads, and the airframe can be modified into a range of aircraft such as the AC-130U and the WC-130 Hercules.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images)

C-17 Globemaster III

Mission: The C-17 is the newest cargo aircraft to enter the Air Force's airlift fleet. The plane is capable of strategic delivery of cargo and people, can complete airdrop missions, and can move patients during aeromedical evacuations.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images)


Variants: C-20B, C-20H

Mission: The C-20 is a modified Gulfstream civilian aircraft. The planes are used to transport high-ranking officials from the government and Department of Defense.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


Mission: The C-21 is used to airlift cargo and passengers. It can also be used for aeromedical evacuations. 

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


MissionThe C-32 is used to transport the vice president primarily, but also the first lady, and cabinet and Congress members. The plane is typically referred to as "Air Force Two."

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Ron Sachs-Pool/Getty Images)


Mission: The aircraft is used to transport government officials and members of the Department of Defense.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


Mission: The C-40B/C is a transportation aircraft that carries combatant commanders, as well as members of the cabinet and Congress.

Source: US Air Force

C-5 Galaxy

Variants: C-5A/B/C Galaxy, C-5M Super Galaxy

Mission: The C-5 is the largest airlifter in the US Air Force fleet. The craft can carry a combat-ready military unit anywhere in the world, as well as deliver the necessary supplies to support the unit.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo credit BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

CV-22 Osprey

Mission: A tilt-rotor aircraft, the Osprey is intended to provide infiltration and exfiltration abilities for special-operations forces, as well as conducting resupply missions.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Dennis Taylor/USAF/Getty Images)

E-3 Sentry (AWACS)

Mission: The E-3 is an airborne warning and control system (AWACS) plane. This means that the plane provides situational intelligence of an area and sends that back to the Joint Air Operations Center.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo credit PIERRE VERDY/AFP/Getty Images)


Mission: The E-9A provides surveillance over the Gulf of Mexico to ensure that the area is clear for the US military to conduct weapons testing in the region.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via USAF/Staff Sgt. Bennie J. Davis III)


Variants: EC-130H Compass Call, EC-130J Commando Solo

Mission: Both variants of the EC-130 are heavily modified versions of the C-130 airframe. The EC-130H makes use of tactical weapon systems to disrupt enemy command, control, and communications. 

The EC-130J meanwhile is used to broadcast communications including FM radio, television programming, and communication brands.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by David Hawkins/U.S. Air Force/Getty Images)


Variants: F-15 Eagle, F-15E Strike Eagle

Mission: The F-15 is a highly maneuverable fighter intended to capture air supremacy over the battlefield. The F-15E is an upgraded F-15 that is also capable of carrying out air-to-ground missions.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Koichi Kamoshida/Getty Images)

F16 Fighting Falcon

Mission: The F-16 is a multi-role aircraft that can carry out both air-to-air and air-to-ground combat. It is compact and highly maneuverable.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

F-22 Raptor 

Mission: The F-22 is the Air Force's most recently deployed new fighter aircraft. The only combat ready fifth-generation fighter, the F-22 combines stealth, maneuverability, the ability to supercruise, and advanced avionics to be able to seize aerial dominance and carry out strikes against ground targets.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)


Variants: HC-130J Combat King II, HC-130P/N King

Mission: The HC-130 and its variants are personnel recovery platforms. The aircraft can be used for disaster response and evacuations. The aircraft are able to land and operate in a range of airfields. 

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)

HH-60G Pave Hawk

Mission: The HH-60G is used to personnel-recovery operations from hostile territory. The helicopter is also used in search and rescue operations, disaster response, and humanitarian assistance in civil situations.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Lance Cheung/US Air Force via Getty Images)

KC-10 Extender

Mission: A tanker and cargo aircraft, the KC-10's primary mission is aerial refueling. It can also carry support personnel, equipment, and carry out aeromedical evacuations.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Lance Cheung/U.S. Air Force via Gety Images)

KC-135E Stratotanker

Mission: The Stratotanker provides the backbone of the US Air Force's aerial-refueling operations. It provides support to the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and allied nations. The KC-135 can also be used for aeromedical evacuations.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by USAF)


Mission: The MC-12W is an intelligence-collecting aircraft that is meant to conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via USAF/Senior Airman Tiffany Trojca)



Variants: MC-130H Combat Talon II, MC-130J Commando II

Mission: The MC-130 aircraft is intended to provide support, resupply, refueling, infiltration, and exfiltration for special-operations forces. The aircraft also carry out secondary psychological operations, such as dropping leaflets over enemy territory.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Anna Hayman/U.S. Air Force/Getty Images)

OC-135B Open Skies

Mission: The OC-135B is the US's contribution to the Open Skies Treaty. The plane flies unarmed flights over nations that have signed to the treaty to ensure that signatories are honoring their pledges.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


Variants: RC-135S Cobra Ball, RC-135U Combat Sent, RC-135V/W Rivet Joint

Missions: The RC-135 aircraft variants are all intelligence-collecting aircraft. The Cobra Ball collects information on ballistic targets, which it reports to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The Rivet Joint provides real-time on-scene intelligence collection, and the Combat Sent relays electronic-reconnaissance information to the president, secretary of defense, and Department of Defense leaders.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

T-1A Jayhawk

Mission: The T-1A Jayhawk is used to provide specialized training to future airlift or tanker aircraft pilots.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via USAF/Lt. Col. Russell Hopkinson)

T-38 Talon

Variants: T-38A/C, AT-38B

Mission: The T-38 is an aircraft used for high-altitude supersonic training. It is used to train pilots for aircraft such as the F-15E, B-1B, the F-22, and the A-10.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via USAF/Steve White)

T-6A Texan II

Mission: The T-6A Texan II is a primary trainer aircraft intended to teach US Air Force and Navy pilots the common basic flying skills they will need.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


Mission: The U-28A is used to provide on-call airborne intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance for special-operations forces.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


Mission: The U-2 is a high-altitude surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft that can operate in all conditions. The plane can capture both signals intelligence and can take high detailed photographic imagery.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo by: Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

UH-1N Huey

Mission: A light-lift utility helicopter, the Huey is used in a variety of support missions. The helicopter's functions include emergency security airlift, surveillance of off-base nuclear weapons, disaster response, search and rescue missions, and visitor airlift. 

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)

VC-25 - Air Force One

Mission: Air Force One's only mission is to provide air transport for the president.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo credit RONNY HARTMANN/AFP/Getty Images)

WC-130 Hercules

Mission: The WC-130 Hercules is a weather-reconnaissance aircraft. It is flown through storms, hurricanes, and winter storms to collect and measure information about the weather pattern.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via via U.S. Air Force)

WC-135 Constant Phoenix

Mission: The Constant Phoenix is used to collect and measure atmospheric data in order to support the Limited Nuclear Test Ban Treaty of 1963.

Source: US Air Force

(Photo via US Air Force)


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