Fighter aircraft

fighterfightersjet fighterfighter jetfighter planefighter jetsfighter planesjet fighterspursuitfighter pilot
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets.wikipedia
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Fighter-bomber

fighter bomberfighter bomberstactical fighter
Many fighters have secondary ground-attack capabilities, and some are designed as dual-purpose fighter-bombers; often aircraft that do not fulfill the standard definition are called fighters. Although the term "fighter" specifies aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such designs are often also useful as multirole fighter-bombers, strike fighters, and sometimes lighter, fighter-sized tactical ground-attack aircraft.
A fighter-bomber is a fighter aircraft that has been modified, or used primarily, as a light bomber or attack aircraft.

Air combat manoeuvring

air-to-air combatair combat maneuveringair-to-air
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets.
Air combat manoeuvring (also known as ACM or dogfighting) is the tactical art of moving, turning and/or situating one's fighter aircraft in order to attain a position from which an attack can be made on another aircraft.

Attack aircraft

ground-attack aircraftground attack aircraftattack
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat against other aircraft, as opposed to bombers and attack aircraft, whose main mission is to attack ground targets. Although the term "fighter" specifies aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such designs are often also useful as multirole fighter-bombers, strike fighters, and sometimes lighter, fighter-sized tactical ground-attack aircraft.
Fighter aircraft often carry out the attack role, although they would not be considered attack aircraft per se, although fighter-bomber conversions of those same aircraft would be considered part of the class.

Supermarine Spitfire

SpitfireSpitfiresSupermarine Spitfires
The letters used to designate a fighter differ in various countries – in the English-speaking world, "F" is now used to indicate a fighter (e.g. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II or Supermarine Spitfire F.22), though when the pursuit designation was used in the US, they were "P" types (e.g. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk).
The Supermarine Spitfire is a British single-seat fighter aircraft used by the Royal Air Force and other Allied countries before, during, and after World War II.

Curtiss P-40 Warhawk

P-40 WarhawkCurtiss P-40P-40
The letters used to designate a fighter differ in various countries – in the English-speaking world, "F" is now used to indicate a fighter (e.g. Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II or Supermarine Spitfire F.22), though when the pursuit designation was used in the US, they were "P" types (e.g. Curtiss P-40 Warhawk).
The Curtiss P-40 Warhawk is an American single-engined, single-seat, all-metal fighter and ground-attack aircraft that first flew in 1938.

Nieuport 17

Nieuport 23Nieuport Scout17
In Russia "I" was used (Polikarpov I-16), while the French continue to use "C" (Nieuport 17 C.1).
The Nieuport 17 C.1 (or Nieuport XVII C.1 in contemporary sources) was a French sesquiplane fighter designed and manufactured by the Nieuport company during World War I.

Polikarpov I-16

I-16I-16sMoscas
In Russia "I" was used (Polikarpov I-16), while the French continue to use "C" (Nieuport 17 C.1).
The Polikarpov I-16 (Поликарпов И-16) was a Soviet single-engine single-seat fighter aircraft of revolutionary design; it was the world's first low-wing cantilever monoplane fighter with retractable landing gear to attain operational status and as such "introduced a new vogue in fighter design."

Royal Air Force

RAFairmanR.A.F.
The word "fighter" did not become the official English-language term for such aircraft until after World War I. In the British Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force these aircraft were referred to as "scouts" into the early 1920s. In World War II, the USAAF and RAF often favored fighters over dedicated light bombers or dive bombers, and types such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Hurricane that were no longer competitive as aerial combat fighters were relegated to ground attack.
This largely consists of fixed-wing aircraft, including: fighter and strike aircraft, airborne early warning and control aircraft, ISTAR and SIGINT aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft and strategic and tactical transport aircraft.

Sopwith Camel

Sopwith CamelsCamelSopwith Camel F.1
This has always been the case, for instance the Sopwith Camel and other "fighting scouts" of World War I performed a great deal of ground-attack work.
The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft that was introduced on the Western Front in 1917.

Hawker Hurricane

HurricaneHurricanesHawker Hurricanes
In World War II, the USAAF and RAF often favored fighters over dedicated light bombers or dive bombers, and types such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Hurricane that were no longer competitive as aerial combat fighters were relegated to ground attack.
The Hawker Hurricane is a British single-seat fighter aircraft of the 1930s–40s that was designed and predominantly built by Hawker Aircraft Ltd. for service with the Royal Air Force (RAF).

Republic P-47 Thunderbolt

P-47 ThunderboltP-47P-47 Thunderbolts
In World War II, the USAAF and RAF often favored fighters over dedicated light bombers or dive bombers, and types such as the Republic P-47 Thunderbolt and Hawker Hurricane that were no longer competitive as aerial combat fighters were relegated to ground attack.
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was a World War II era fighter aircraft produced by the United States from 1941 through 1945.

Interceptor aircraft

interceptorinterceptorsfighter-interceptor
Some of the most expensive fighters such as the US Grumman F-14 Tomcat, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 were employed as all-weather interceptors as well as air superiority fighter aircraft, while commonly developing air-to-ground roles late in their careers.
An interceptor aircraft, or simply interceptor, is a type of fighter aircraft designed specifically for point defense interception role against an attacking enemy aircraft, particularly bombers and reconnaissance aircraft, as they approach.

Sukhoi Su-27

Su-27Su-27 FlankerSukhoi T-10
Some of the most expensive fighters such as the US Grumman F-14 Tomcat, McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle, Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor and Russian Sukhoi Su-27 were employed as all-weather interceptors as well as air superiority fighter aircraft, while commonly developing air-to-ground roles late in their careers.
The Sukhoi Su-27 (Сухой Су-27; NATO reporting name: Flanker) is a Soviet-origin twin-engine supermaneuverable fighter aircraft designed by Sukhoi.

Strike fighter

fighter-bomberfighter bomberstrike
Although the term "fighter" specifies aircraft designed to shoot down other aircraft, such designs are often also useful as multirole fighter-bombers, strike fighters, and sometimes lighter, fighter-sized tactical ground-attack aircraft.
In current military parlance, a strike fighter is a multirole combat aircraft designed to operate primarily as an attack aircraft, while also incorporating certain performance characteristics of a fighter for air-to-air combat.

Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5

S.E.5aRoyal Aircraft Factory SE.5S.E.5
The Nieuport 11 of 1916 and Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 of 1918 both used this system with considerable success; however, this placement made aiming difficult and the location made it difficult for a pilot to both maneuver and have access to the gun's breech.
The Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 was a British biplane fighter aircraft of the First World War.

Bristol Scout

Bristol Scout CBristol S.2ABristol Scout D
British scout aircraft, in this sense, included the Sopwith Tabloid and Bristol Scout.
It was one of the first single-seaters to be used as a fighter aircraft, although it was not possible to fit it with an effective forward-firing armament until the first British-designed gun synchronizers became available later in 1916, by which time the Scout was obsolescent.

Airco DH.2

Airco D.H.2D.H.2DH.2
An alternative was to build a "pusher" scout such as the Airco DH.2, with the propeller mounted behind the pilot.
The Airco DH.2 was a single-seat biplane "pusher" aircraft which operated as a fighter during the First World War.

Fixed-wing aircraft

fixed-wingaircraftfixed wing
Although helicopters are sometimes used in similar roles, the term fighter is at present applied only to fixed-wing aircraft.
The earliest known aerial victory with a synchronized machine gun-armed fighter aircraft occurred in 1915, by German Luftstreitkräfte Leutnant Kurt Wintgens.

Foster mounting

Forster mountsFoster mountoverhead" mount
The British Foster mounting was specifically designed for this kind of application, fitted with the Lewis Machine gun, which due to its design was unsuitable for synchronizing.
The Foster mounting was a device fitted to some fighter aircraft of the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War.

Nieuport 11

Nieuport 16Nieuport Delage 11 C-1Nieuport XI
The Nieuport 11 of 1916 and Royal Aircraft Factory S.E.5 of 1918 both used this system with considerable success; however, this placement made aiming difficult and the location made it difficult for a pilot to both maneuver and have access to the gun's breech.
The Nieuport 11 (or Nieuport XI C.1 in contemporary sources), nicknamed the Bébé, was a French World War I single seat sesquiplane fighter aircraft, designed by Gustave Delage.

Vickers F.B.5

Vickers GunbusVickers F.B.5 GunbusVickers F.B.9
Some of the first such "fighters" belonged to the "gunbus" series of experimental gun carriers of the British Vickers company that culminated in the Vickers F.B.5 Gunbus of 1914.
Armed with a single .303 in (7.7 mm) Lewis gun operated by the observer in the front of the nacelle, it was the first aircraft purpose-built for air-to-air combat to see service, making it the world's first operational fighter aircraft.

Morane-Saulnier N

Morane-Saulnier Type NMorane BulletBullet
French equivalents included the Morane-Saulnier N.
The Morane-Saulnier N, also known as the Morane-Saulnier Type N, was a French monoplane fighter aircraft of the First World War.

Synchronization gear

synchronisedsynchronizedinterrupter gear
The need to arm a tractor scout with a forward-firing gun whose bullets passed through the propeller arc was evident even before the outbreak of war and inventors in both France and Germany devised mechanisms that could time the firing of the individual rounds to avoid hitting the propeller blades.
However, the first practical—if far from reliable—gear to enter operational service was that fitted to the Eindecker monoplane fighters, which entered squadron service with the German Air Service in mid-1915.

G-suit

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This in turn required the development of ejection seats so the pilot could escape, and G-suits to counter the much greater forces being applied to the pilot during maneuvers.
In older fighter aircraft, 6 g was considered a high level, but with modern fighters 9 g or more can be sustained structurally making the pilot the critical factor in maintaining high maneuverability in close aerial combat.

Fokker Eindecker fighters

Fokker EindeckerFokker EindekkerFokker ''Eindecker
Meanwhile, the synchronization gear (called the Noodleteuerung in German, for "pushrod control system") devised by the engineers of Anthony Fokker's firm was the first system to see production contracts, and would make the Fokker Eindecker monoplane a feared name over the Western Front, despite its being an adaptation of an obsolete pre-war French Morane-Saulnier racing airplane, with a mediocre performance and poor flight characteristics.
The Fokker Eindecker fighters were a series of German World War I monoplane single-seat fighter aircraft designed by Dutch engineer Anthony Fokker.