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There are few sights more exciting than a futuristic fighter jet tearing across a clear blue sky. In video games, movies, and comic books, these slices of imagination dominate the skies and look good doing it. And whether or not they’re hitting Mach 3 during an attack run against invading aliens or attempting to topple some genocidal giant robots, it's nice to know that the Pentagon can always just turn to Netflix for inspiration when it starts dreaming up the warplanes of the future.
Here are our top 5 favorite fictional warplanes, and why we love them so damn much.
5. The Mutant Express: The SR-77 ‘X-Jet’ Blackbird
The various iterations of the SR-77 that’s the preferred delivery vehicle of the brightly-costumed multinational paramilitary squads is the successor to the SR-71 Blackbird that’s remained the stuff of aviation fanboys’ dreams for years.
Although the SR-71 was a made for unarmed high-speed reconnaissance, the SR-77 featured in various X-men comics had internal weapons bays, and field leaders Storm and Cyclops ingeniously modified the aircraft so they could stop enemies cold by using their powerful abilities. In one iconic case, the Russian X-Men Colossus chucked Wolverine out of the X-Jet like an angry adamantium missile in one of the best ‘Fastball Specials’ ever written.
But how exactly did Professor X snag the high-speed supersonic VTOL transport which must have cost billions of dollars? Apparently, he stole it from the Strategic Homeland Intervention, Enforcement, and Logistics Division, better known as SHIELD. Note to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson: Being a mind-melting telepath has its advantages in the world of aircraft acquisitions — as does owning a retractable basketball court
The X-Jet is the least cost-effective method for X-men to go on business trips.Marvel Comics
4. A Terrifying Cold War Fighter Jet: The MiG-31 Firefox
Professor X wasn’t the only one to steal his ride: Perennial badass Clint Eastwood went so far as to smuggle himself into the Soviet Union to hijack the top-secret MiG-31 Firefox in the titular 1982 flick Firefox. The CIA may have failed to tell the U.S. government that the Soviet Union was a hollowed out shell about to collapse under its own weight, but the agency was clearly knowledgeable enough about the USSR that they could find the super-secret fighter jet and accurately send an Eastwood special at the commie version of Area 51.
In the film, the CIA claimed that the Firefox would tilt the balance of power. It was able to shoot R-33 missiles by thought alone, it could carry nuclear weapons, and could reach Mach 6 speeds. The only thing it couldn’t outrun was being in a mediocre movie.
This image of the MiG-31 Firefox was a promotional image released with the film in 1982.Malpaso Productions
3. The Super Sleigh From Hoth
The T-47 Snowspeeder was actually modified civilian aircraft that the rebels used to blunt hardened Imperial steel with an ingenious harpoon gun attack. Much like the Toyota trucks that get modified with 12.7mm machine guns in Syria, the snowspeeder was the Technical of the Star Wars universe, sporting twin laser cannons and a special purpose tow cable designed to disable ambulatory armored personnel carriers with some smooth flying.
Interestingly, the snowspeeders light armament is perfect for close air support, and it’s not a stretch to imagine a flight of T-47s pew pewing all across the middle east. In fact, the T-47 would be a great contender in the current OA-X Light Attack Craft Program that the U.S. Air Force is running. Unfortunately, the New Order modified their walking armor with anti-tow cable blades, rendering the snowspeeder obsolete against modern imperial armor.
The T-47 snowspeeder was a modified airspeeder capable of high speed atmospheric flight at low altitude.Lucasfilms
2. Master Chief Has A Sick Ride: The D77-TC Pelican
The United Nations Space Command Pelican series of dropships has been plopping Master Chief into unknown lands since his debut in Halo on the OG XBox. Besides looking like they flew out of Aliens, the salty dropships could raze the beachhead with their dual 40mm chain guns and ANVL-II Air to Surface missile pods. Plus just to pile on the hate, the Pelican had a rear mounted AIE-486H Heavy Machine Gun to give the ground-pounders some extra love.
The United Nations Space Command has relied on the Pelican Dropship for troop mobility and close air support for over 20 years.Microsoft
1. The Biggest Kid on the Block: The Helicarrier
Luckily, SHIELD managed to keep Professor X’s grubby hands off this bad boy. The Helicarrier has been the flying fortress of solitude for the Agents of Shield since 1965. Featuring 14 Phalanx Close in Weapon System, F-35 fighters, and even Stark Industries Quinjets, helicarriers may be the world’s best launch platforms.
Sure, helicarriers may not be "warplanes" in the traditional sense, but they did start to raze Washington D.C. in Captain America: The Winter Soldier in a fashion that likely didn't hurt for Pentagon procurement. I mean, just look at the Joint Strike Fighter.
The Helicarrier was designed to meet SHIELDs needs in preserving freedom. It is also a fighter jet staging and maintenance area.Marvel Studios
BONUS: Yes, the Iron Man suit is a warplane.
The runner-up in this sky parade of the fake fighter jet is the flying suit known to us all as Iron Man. This last week, a nice woman at a fancy bar literally wanted to fight me when I pitched Iron Man to her as an aircraft, but let us not forget it was the aeronautic abilities of the suit that won the day in the first Iron Man movie. Plus he kinda, sorta, maybe accidentally, took out a U.S. Air Force F-22 raptor in air-to-air combat — a feat that not even the entire Syrian Air Force can pull off.
Iron Man engages F-22 Raptors in a high altitude dogfight over an unnamed central Asian country.Marvel Studios
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Former Marine Commandant tells Trump that pardoning troops accused of war crimes 'relinquishes the moral high ground'
Former Marine Commandant Gen. Charles Krulak has issued a statement urging President Donald Trump and members of Congress to oppose pardons for those accused or convicted of war crimes since, he argued, it would "relinquish the United States' moral high ground."
"If President Trump follows through on reports that he will mark Memorial Day by pardoning individuals accused or convicted of war crimes, he will betray these ideals and undermine decades of precedent in American military justice that has contributed to making our country's fighting forces the envy of the world," said Krulak, who served in the Marine Corps for more than three decades before retiring in 1999 as the 31st Commandant.
Editor's Note: The following story highlights a veteran at Associated Materials. Committed to including talented members of the military community in its workplace, Associated Materials Incorporated is a client of Hirepurpose, a Task & Purpose sister company. Learn more here.
Associated Materials, a residential and commercial siding and window manufacturer based in Ohio, employs people from a variety of backgrounds. The company gives them an opportunity to work hard and grow within the organization. For Tim Betsinger, Elizabeth Dennis, and Tanika Carroll, all military veterans with wide-ranging experience, Associated Materials has provided a work environment similar to the military and a company culture that feels more like family than work.
President Donald Trump will nominate Barbara Barrett to serve as the next Air Force secretary, the president announced on Tuesday.
"I am pleased to announce my nomination of Barbara Barrett of Arizona, and former Chairman of the Aerospace Corporation, to be the next Secretary of the Air Force," Trump tweeted. "She will be an outstanding Secretary! #FlyFightWin"
The Trump administration is trying to assure Congress that it does not want to start a war with Iran, but some lawmakers who fought in Iraq are not so sure.
Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford both briefed Congress on Tuesday about Iran. Shanahan told reporters earlier on Tuesday that the U.S. military buildup in the region has stopped Iran and its proxies from attacking U.S. forces, but the crisis is not yet over.
"We've put on hold the potential for attacks on Americans," Shanahan said. "That doesn't mean that the threats that we've previously identified have gone away. Our prudent response, I think, has given the Iranians time to recalculate. I think our response was a measure of our will and our resolve that we will protect our people and our interests in the region."
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump warned on Monday Iran would be met with "great force" if it attacked U.S. interests in the Middle East, and government sources said Washington strongly suspects Shi'ite militias with ties to Tehran were behind a rocket attack in Baghdad's Green Zone.
"I think Iran would be making a very big mistake if they did anything," Trump told reporters as he left the White House on Monday evening for an event in Pennsylvania. "If they do something, it will be met with great force but we have no indication that they will."