Even as military aviation technology changes, skilled fighter pilots will remain an essential part of the Air Force, squadron commanders say. Physical strength and mental toughness remain central to successful flyers.
Evolution Of Military Aviation
By Andrew Prince
Since the Wright brothers first flew the Wright Flyer on the hills near Kitty Hawk, N.C., in 1903, planes have become more robust, agile and deadly. As the U.S. engaged in conflicts around the world, beginning in World War I, military aircraft became increasingly complicated, combining the latest aviation technology with modern firepower. Below, a brief trip through the evolution of U.S. air power.
At Nellis Air Force Base on the outskirts of Las Vegas, Air Force pilots train for war games in an exercise called Red Flag. Though the U.S. maintains international air dominance, commanders say it's important for pilots to stay trained and be ready for the call of duty.