Modern Military Aviation

Air power came into its own as an indispensable weapon during the Second World War. All the roles and missions emblematic of modern air power were defined during World War I and refined and practiced during World War II. Among them: maintaining air superiority, performing reconnaissance, providing close support for ground forces, ensuring logistical support, and executing strategic attacks.

As aviation technology has evolved, so too has the nature of air warfare. Nations will most likely never again build the kinds of vast aerial armadas seen during World War II. Modern aircraft carry weapons far more accurate than the bombs dropped by the thousands in that war, and far fewer aircraft and weapons are needed to destroy or disable targets. Modern air power can produce precise and deadly effects with relatively few "smart bombs."


Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL

Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL
This aircraft is the first X-35 ever built. It was originally the X-35A and was modified to include the lift-fan engine for testing of the Short Takeoff/Vertical Landing (STOVL) concept. Among its many test records, this aircraft was the first in history to achieve a short takeoff, level supersonic dash, and vertical landing in a single flight. It is also the first aircraft to fly using a shaft-driven lift-fan propulsion system. The X-35B flight test program was one of the shortest, most effective in history, lasting from June 23, 2001 to August 6, 2001.

The lift-fan propulsion system is now displayed next to the X-35B.

On July 7, 2006, the production model F-35 was officially named F-35 Lightning II by T. Michael Moseley, Chief of Staff USAF.

More information: Lockheed Martin X-35B STOVL