This is a military companion for my 1998 book, 1000 Airlines in Colour. It shows the range of military aeroplanes and the colour schemes worn. The aim is not just to look at the latest fast jets, they are in, but to show the range of aircraft types that have served in uniform over the last forty years. Military aircraft have in recent years been lasting longer and longer in service. Who would have believed that when the B-52 first flew in 1952 it would not only still be in service today but scheduled to continue until 2020. This example is now only one of many.
The colour schemes on a lot of military aircraft types today can be described as grey with grey markings. These are a far cry from the dazzling colours on some of the older aircraft illustrated. An effort has been made to show examples of the special markings that squadrons apply for anniversaries to help bring some colour to the pages of the newest types. The order of the pictures is: fighters and bombers then trainers, transport including assorted liaison designs, maritime, helicopters and, to end, a section of aerobatic teams. These sortings are only approximate, as so many aircraft are now multi-role some could fit in almost any category. Where types have different functions they are grouped together for ease of comparison.
It must be accepted by the reader that there is a long time lapse between finishing the text and it being published. I have tried to keep it as up to date as possible but some things will have changed during this time period. An index of aircraft types is included at the back of the book.