autoevolution
Car video reviews:
 

These Old-Gen Military Planes Are 135 Years Old Between Them, Still Look Fierce Together

The world we now live in is home to fifth-generation military airplanes. Sure, there’s not that many of them to go around yet (the U.S. has two, one of which one is no longer in production, while Russia and China each have one), and that means fourth-gen machines still make up the bulk of the arsenal currently flying over our heads for peace and war.
A-10 Thunderbolt, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15EX Eagle II flying together 53 photos
A-10 Thunderbolt taking offA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingA-10 Thunderbolts on ACE trainingUSAF and Israeli Air Force F-16 Fighting FalconsUSAF and Israeli Air Force F-16 Fighting FalconsUSAF and Israeli Air Force F-16 Fighting FalconsUSAF and Israeli Air Force F-16 Fighting FalconsF-16 Fighting Falcon over U.S. Central Command area of responsibilityF-16 Fighting Falcon over the Nevada Test and Training RangeF-16 Fighting Falcons chasing KC-135 StratotankerF-16C Fighting FalconF-16 Fighting FalconF-16C Fighting Falcon taking off from New JerseyAggressor Squadron F-16 Fighting Falcon taking offRoyal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16Royal Moroccan Air Force F-16F-16 Fighting Falcon in Operation Inherent ResolveF-16 Fighting Falcons over Niceville, FloridaF-15EX Eagle IIF-15EX Eagle IIF-15EX Eagle IIBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EXBoeing F-15EX
In fact, a quick look at any military aircraft passing overhead comes with a decent chance of you spotting a four-gen. That generally means machines that have been in active duty since about the late 1970s, but are based on designs even older than that.

The image we have here, recently released by the U.S. Air Force (USAF) contains the best this particular generation of aircraft has to offer, namely the A-10 Thunderbolt (introduced in 1977), the F-15 Eagle (introduced in 1976), and the F-16 Fighting Falcon (introduced in 1978).

Between them, these three machines are 135 years old, but they certainly don’t show it when flying alone or together, as they did in late January over the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida. All the beasts seen here belong to the 40th Flight Test Squadron assigned to the said base, and tasked with putting new or improved aircraft (including the F-15EX Eagle II) through their paces.

This rare congregation of four-gen aircraft is not the Air Force’s way of bidding farewell to any of them. Quite the opposite, in fact, as all of them, plus a new, sixth-gen machine expected to arrive in the 2030s, will form the backbone of USAF’s future, streamlined fleet of aircraft.

So, expect to see them in operation in the skies over the world, and featured here on autoevolution in our Photo of the Day section, for a long time to come.

Editor's note: Gallery shows A-10 Thunderbolt, F-16 Fighting Falcon and F-15EX Eagle II

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories