19 Eye-Popping Military Aircraft

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Here are 19 of the coolest experimental, cutting-edge, and military aircraft the skies have ever seen. It takes a special breed to fly these. Think you have the right stuff? Check ’em out!
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North American X-15

1959-1967, topped out at Mach 6.7.
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Ryan Airlines NYP (Spirit of St. Louis)

The Lindbergh airplane.
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Republic XF-12 Rainbow

Replaced by the jet age, one of the last prop-driven long-range bombers.
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Messerschmitt Me P.1101 Jet-Powered Fighter (1944)

This German jet fighter was reengineered by the US into the Bell X-1.
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British Army Aeroplane No 1 (Cody 1) (1908)

The first British, and in fact European, heavier than air powered craft.
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BAe Systems Mantis Unmanned Aircraft (2009)

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General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

The backbone of the USAF for a generation.
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Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey

Capable of both helicopter and fixed wing flight.
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Mikoyan MiG-35

Designed to replace the MiG-29.
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India’s Tejas Mk2

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Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

THE Stealth Bomber.
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Black Hawk Helicopter

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Fairchild Republic A-10 Thunderbolt II (Warthog)

Maybe the greatest close-air support aircraft ever flown.
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Lockheed-Martin F-22 Raptor

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Douglas X-3 Stiletto

Underpowered, retired in 1956, but it sure looks cool.
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Shenyang J-31

Chhina’s answer to the F-22 and F-35.
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Russian Mi-24 Gunship

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General Atomics MQ-1 Predator ‘Drone’

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F-35A Joint-Strike Fighter

Either the future of air war, or a big ol’ lemon.
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