Match the Fighter Jet to Its Nickname!

By: Robin Tyler
Image: Staff Sgt. Lee Corkran

About This Quiz

There is nothing quite like a fighter jet streaking across the sky, nearing supersonic speed!  

Of course, early fighter jets were not even that fast but they were an advancement on the piston-engined aircraft of the time. The Germans showed what a threat a jet fighter could be during World War II. They produced two separate models, one named the Swallow and the other Comet and together, they proved more than a match for the bombers of the US Air Force as well as any fighters they encounter.

Germany just could not build them fast enough to have any serious effect on turning the tide of the war. 

The German aircraft designers did introduce swept-wing designs which proved pivotal in the over modern jet fighter design. Soon everyone was copying it - the British, Americans and the Russians.

The first fighter jet on fighter jet action was reserved for the Korean War. Here two of the most modern aircraft of the time came up against each other, the Mig-15 and the North American F-86. It remained a shootout, though, as there were no air-to-air missiles yet. When those were introduced, the game changed and today, aircraft can destroy each other without any visual contact.

But let's get back to the quiz at hand. Here, we will test your knowledge of jet aircraft nicknames. Let's see how many you get!

Good luck!

The Grumman F-14 Tomcat first entered service in 1974. Primarily a carrier-based swing-wing fighter, the Tomcat saw service until 2006. This much-loved plane was the star of the Hollywood blockbuster, Top Gun.

With its distinctive bent wings, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom first entered service in 1960. Originally designed as a fighter interceptor, it also went on to be a successful ground attack aircraft. The Phantom saw extensive service during the Vietnam War.

The Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor is a fifth-generation tactical fighter with stealth capabilities. Together with the F-35 Raptor, it will form the backbone of US Air Force fighter forces in the decades to come. It first entered service in 2005.

The Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II first entered service in 2015. It is a multirole fighter primarily but can be used in ground attack missions. It has stealth capability.

NATO codename Foxbat, the Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig 25 was used as both a fighter and reconnaissance aircraft by the U.S.S.R. It entered service in 1970 and is one of the fastest combat aircraft ever to see service.

Perhaps one of the most famous aircraft of the Cold War era, the Lockheed SR 71 Blackbird has flown higher and faster than most other aircraft in history. A reconnaissance aircraft, the Blackbird is capable of Mach 3 flight and up to 85,000 ft. An armed variant was in development with a role of interceptor in mind but the project was canceled.

An interceptor, the Convair F-102 Delta Dagger first entered service in the mid-1950s and served with the United States Air Force until 1976. This was the first delta wing aircraft in the US Air Force capable of supersonic flight.

The main US fighter to serve in the Korean War, the North American F-86 Sabre was superior to the Mig-15 at the time. Over 9,000 were built during its operational history, the most of any jet belonging to NATO Air Forces.

A fifth-generation Chinese fighter, the Shenyang J-31 Falcon Hawk is expected to enter service in 2019. Currently, only two are known to exist and they are involved in flight testing.

The backbone of US Air Force fighter squadrons since 1976, the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle is an all-weather air superiority fighter tasked with taking on counterparts in enemy air forces. Even with fifth-generation fighters coming online in the US Air Force, the Eagle will remain in production till 2022.

Known as the Flogger, the Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 first entered service in 1967. It featured a swept-wing design and over 5,000 were built serving as both fighter and fighter-bombers.

This multirole aircraft first entered service with the U.S. Air Force in 1978. It remains in service today with over 4,500 built. It was built with a number of unique features including a control stick to the side of the pilot and fly-by-wire capabilities.

First introduced in 1956, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk was a carrier-based attack aircraft. It remained in operations with US forces for close to 50 years, seeing extensive action in Vietnam.

The Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig-19 Farmer was a second generation fighter introduced into service by the U.S.S.R. in 1955. Built under license in China, it was also heavily involved with the North Vietnamese Air Force during the Vietnam War. The Mig-19 was the first Soviet aircraft capable of supersonic speeds in level flight.

This swept-wing all-weather attack aircraft first entered Soviet service in 1974 and remains in service to this day. The Sukhoi Su-24 Fencer has seen action all over the world including Afghanistan, in Africa and currently in Syria.

Only two examples of the McDonnell XF-85 Goblin fighter were ever produced. The idea of this small aircraft was a parasite fighter, to be carried in the bomb bay of large bombers and released when they were intercepted by enemy fighters. The Goblin would then dock with the bomber on return. The project, however, was canceled.

Although it first flew in 1990, the Sukhoi Su 34 Fullback has only entered service recently with the Russian Air Force. It is primarily used in a ground attack/strike role but can be used in a fighter role as well.

The first ever vertical take-off and landing fighter, the BAE Harrier was a carrier-based fighter that served with the British Navy, British Air Force and the American Marine Corps. Thanks to its movable jet engine, it was particularly maneuverable and saw action during the Falklands War.

Russia's latest fifth-generation fighter, the Sukhoi Su-57 Pak Fa remains in final testing and has not yet entered service. The Su-57 is the first Russian aircraft to make use of stealth design and will form the backbone of the Russian Air Force for years to come.

The Panavia Tornado entered service with a host of European air forces in 1979. This swept-wing jet is a multirole aircraft and services as a fighter-bomber, interceptor and reconnaissance platform.

A unique design, the De Havilland DH 115 Vampire entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1946, the second jet fighter to do so. Over 3,000 were produced with the last serving till 1979 with the Rhodesian Air Force.

The Supermarine Swift, a fighter in service with the Royal Air Force, first flew in 1948 but only entered service in 1954. With its swept-wing design, the Swift became the fastest aircraft in the world in 1953 when it reached 737.7 mph.

The most modern fighter in service with a host of European air forces including the Royal Air Force and the Luftwaffe, the Eurofighter Typhoon was a joint development between a number of countries. This fifth-generation delta-wing multirole fighter first entered service in 2003.

English Electric F3 Lightning - The English Electric Lightning first entered service with the Royal Air Force in 1954 and served for over 30 years. An interceptor, the Lightning was tasked with quickly reaching any aircraft threatening British airspace. It was a high-performance aircraft, capable of speeds of Mach 2.0

The Sukhoi Su-15 Flagon is a twin-engined jet interceptor that served in the Soviet Union from 1965 onward. Its primary task was intercepting both NATO and United States bombers should the need arise.

A replacement for the Mig-25 Foxbat, the Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig 31 Foxhound was a very similary looking aircraft and it too had two very powerful engines which gave it incredible performance. It came into service with the Soviet Air Force in 1981 and will remain in service with the Russian Air Force until 2030.

The Sukhoi Su 25 Frogfoot first entered service in 1981 and primarily acts as a close support aircraft for Russian forces. It has seen action in numerous conflicts and currently is used in action in Syria.

A carrier-based fighter, the McDonnell F2H Banshee served with both the US Navy and Marine Corps up until 1961 after it was introduced in 1948. Banshees saw extensive action during the Korean War.

Entering service in 1982, the Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig 29 Fulcrum is a fourth-generation fighter jet. Over the years, it has assumed a number of multirole capabilities. It is one of only a handful of aircraft in the world capable of performing the Pugachev Cobra maneuver.

The Sukhoi Su-47 Firkin was an experimental jet fighter designed in the 1990s. It is noted for its wings which seem to be on backward! This made it very agile at low speeds. The project, however, was canceled but technology and ideas from it were used in later generations Russian aircraft.

Following the Mig-15, the Mikoyan-Gurevich Mig 17 Fresco was introduced into service in 1952. It was a similar design to that of the Mig-15 but also could not reach supersonic speeds at level flight. It saw action during the Vietnam war and was built under license in both China and Poland.

Convair F-106 Delta Dart - In service from 1960 and into the 1980s, the Convair F-106 Delta Dart was an interceptor with the primary role of attacking enemy bombers. The Delta Dart was, in fact, the last true interceptor to serve the United States.

Introduced in 1945, the Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star was the United States' first entry into the jet age. It served at the beginning of the Korean War but was quickly outclassed by its opposition, the Mig-15 and was replaced by the F-86 Sabre. A variant, the T-33 Shooting Star, was used as a training aircraft right until the 1980's.

The first American jet fighter capable of breaking the sound barrier while in level flight, the North American F-100 Super Sabre served with the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1971.

One of the world's first jet fighters to see combat, the rocket-powered Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet was introduced into the Luftwaffe in 1944. Together with the Me 262, the Komet proved a formidable opponent for Allied fighters and bombers but its introduction came too late to aid Germany.

McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet - A carrier-based multirole fighter, the McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet first entered service in 1983 and serves in the US Navy and Marine Corps. It has a top speed of Mach 1.8 and has served in combat theatres around the world.

The McDonnell F-101 Voodoo, introduced into service in the United States Air Force in 1957, was intended to be a long-range escort fighter. As with many modern designs, however, it eventually had a number of roles with the USAF and the Canadian Air Force.

The first Allied jet fighter of World War II, the Gloster Meteor entered service in 1944. Although it served in Europe during the Allies push into Germany, it was mainly used for ground attack purposes and never met up with any jet fighters from Germany.

The Messerschmitt Me 262 Schwalbe proved to be a fierce opponent for the Allies when introduced in 1944 although it had been in development since 1942. A dearth of experience pilots, engine problems and a lack of fuel made it far less effective than it could have been.

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