Post War

United States

US Air Force

The United States Air Force is the lead aerial and space warfare service branch of the United States armed forces. Formed on September 18, 1947 it is the newest branch of the U.S. military to be formed. The Air Force operates about 5,573 aircraft, 180 unmanned combat air vehicles, 2,130 air launched cruise missiles and 450 intercontinental ballistic missiles.

US 50 Stars  US USAF

United States

US Navy

The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States armed forces. As of August 2010, the U.S. Navy had 330,729 personnel on active duty and 102,923 in the Navy Reserve. It operates 289 ships in active service and more than 3,700 aircraft. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S. Navy also has the world's largest carrier fleet, with 11 in service and one under construction.

US 50 Stars  US USN

United States

US Marine Corps

The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States armed forces responsible for providing force projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to rapidly deliver combined-arms task forces. The Continental Marines were formed on November 10, 1775 in Philadelphia and now numbers just over 203,000 active duty Marines. In spite of their relatively small size, it should be noted that the USMC is larger than the active duty Israel Defense Forces and the entire British Army.

US 50 Stars  US USMC

United States

US Army

The United States Army is the branch of the United States armed forces responsible for land based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military. The Army has its roots in the Continental Army which was formed on June 14, 1775, before the establishment of the United States, to meet the demands of the Revolutionary War. The Regular Army has a strength of about 549,015, the Army National Guard about 358,391 and the United States Army Reserve about 205,297.

US 50 Stars  US USA

United Kingdom

Royal Air Force

The Royal Air Force is the aerial warfare branch of the British Armed Forces. Formed on April 1, 1918 it is the oldest independent air force in the world. The RAF has played a significant role in British military history from WWI to the present. As of January 2012 the RAF operated 827 aircraft making it the largest air force of a European Union country and the second largest in NATO.

Great Britain6  UK RAF

United Kingdom

Fleet Air Arm

Formed in 1924, the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm is tasked with delivering air power which is integrated into the maritime environment. The RN was a leader in aircraft carrier development with the Sea Vampire being the first jet to take off and land on a carrier. The created the idea of the angled flight deck, the Fresnel lens optical landing aid and the steam catapult. Budget cuts eliminated the large carries in the 1960s and lead to the Invincible class light carriers. Currently all of the Royal Navy's aircraft at sea are helicopters as the RN has scrapped their last carrier and will not receive a replacement until 2015.

Great Britain7  UK RN


Royal Canadian Navy

The Royal Canadian Navy is the naval force of Canada. As of 2012 it operates 33 warships. The RCN was founded in 1910 and played a significant role in WWI and WWII. At its height the RCN operated 5 aircraft carriers and 2 helicopter carriers. All of the aircraft carriers were scrapped in the 1960s. Today they only operate helicopters at sea.

ca  ca Navy


Armée de l'Air

The Armée de l'Air is the air force of the French Armed Forces. It was formed in 1909 as the Service Aéronautique and made independent in 1933. The French Air Force operates 635 aircraft, making it the fourth largest air force in NATO and the second largest in the EU after the Royal Air Force. After WWII the Armée de l'Air was armed with mostly US aircraft. During the 1950s they made a concerted effort to develop an aircraft industry leading to the development of many advanced designs.



Soviet Air Force

The Soviet Air Force the primary air force of the Soviet Union. Formed in 1917 the Soviet Air Force was dissolved when the Soviet Union broke up in 1991. Beginning in the late 1940s the Soviet Union developed a series of highly advanced and capable aircraft. During the Cold War the Soviet Air Force was completely rebuilt and armed with a series of advanced planes. At its peak in the 1980s it had about 10,000 aircraft. The Soviet Naval Aviation arm deployed helicopters and advanced fighters on it's ships and light carriers. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union the aircraft and personnel of the Soviet Air Force were divided among the newly independent states. Russia received about 40% of the aircraft and 65% of the manpower.



Kheil HaAvir

The Israeli Air Force was founded on May 28, 1948 with a small collection of light aircraft. They purchased aircraft from whoever was willing to sell to them, legally or illegally, and acquired a variety of obsolete and surplus World War II combat aircraft. Many of their early pilots were foreign volunteers and World War II veterans. France became a major supplier of aircraft until 1967 and the US from 1973. Israel also produced their own highly regarded aircraft. Involved in 5 major wars and countless minor actions the air force has continually upgraded their inventory and increased their skills to the point where they are considered one of the best rained air forces in the world.

Isreal  Israel AF


Luftwaffe, Marine & Heer

The Luftwaffe is the aerial warfare branch of the German Armed Forces which was founded in 1956. After WWII military aviation was completely forbidden in Germany. In 1955 West Germany joined NATO and was able to build it's own armed forces. Throughout the Cold War the Luftwaffe was equipped mostly with US designed aircraft made under license in West Germany. Later in cooperation with other European countries they produced several advanced designs of their own. After the Reunification of Germany all of the East German aircraft were then over by the Federal Republic of Germany. Many were later sold or given to the new Eastern European members of NATO. The Luftwaffe saw action for first time since WWII in September 1995 during Operation Deliberate Force in Serbia. Germany operates about 400 aircraft.

Germany FRG  Germany FRG Navy



The Swedish Air Force was created on July 1, 1926 and during the 1930s it began expanding. By 1945 they had about 800 aircraft. After WWII Sweden began buying aircraft from England and the US as well as modernizing their domestic aircraft industry. In 1950, with the introduction of the Saab 29 Tunnan, Sweden had a world class fighter. They had continued to create world class fighters to this day. During the 1950s the air force began building roads that could double as airbases. All Swedish combat aircraft are designed so that they can use these roads instead of air bases during wartime. Sweden currently operates about 100 combat aircraft.


Communist China

People's Liberation Army Air Force

The People's Liberation Army Air Force is the aviation branch of the People's Liberation Army. In 2010 the PLAAF had about 330,000 personnel and 2,500 making it the largest air force in Asia and the third largest in the world. The PLAAF was founded with Soviet assistance on November 11, 1949 and fought in the Korean War with Soviet MiG-15s. The Soviets also set up the communist Chinese aircraft industry which produced copies of Soviet aircraft through the 1960s. They began producing their own designs to replace Soviet models. During the 1980s the PLAAF received significant support from the West which ended in 1989. Russia became China's principal arms supplier after that supplemented by domestic designs. The PLAAF continues to modernize with Russian purchases and developing its own aircraft.


Kingdom Of Egypt

Royal Egyptian Air Force

Founded on November 2, 1930 the Royal Egyptian Air Force received it's first aircraft in September 1931. During WWII the RAF established more bases in Egypt and the Egyptian Air Force was sometimes treated as a part of the RAF but often treated as a neutral since Egypt remained out of the war until 1945. As a result of their neutrality Egypt received only a few front line aircraft during the war. After the war Egypt purchased a large number of surplus aircraft. In the 1948 Arab-Israeli War the air force began with air superiority but began to loose it as Israel acquired more aircraft. The Royal Egyptian Air Force became the Egyptian air force in 1952.

Egypt Kingdom  Egypt Kingdom AF


Royal Australian Air Force

The Royal Australian Air Force is the air branch of the Australian Defense Force. The RAAF was formed in March 1921. It has fought in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam War, the invasion of Iraq and the War in Afghanistan. After WWII the RAAF was equipped with a variety of US and British aircraft. In the Korean War they flew P-51 Mustangs and Gloster Meteors, destroying 3,700 buildings, 1,408 vehicles, 16 bridges, 98 railcars and 3 MiG-15. 22 Mustangs and 44 Meteors were lost. In the Vietnam War Australian Canberra bombers flew 11,963 bombing sorties and two aircraft were lost. In the late 1970s they began operating the Mirage family of aircraft and in the 1990s the FB-111 and the F-18. In the Iraq War F-18s operated in the escort and ground attack roles, flying a total of 350 sorties and dropping 122 laser guided bombs. The RAAF operates a radar station at Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan. They currently operate about 254 aircraft.

Australia3  Australia AF

El Salvador

Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña

The El Salvadoran Air Force is the air arm of the Armed Forces of El Salvador. It was formed on March 20, 1923. In 1947, began receiving US training and surplus aircraft. The El Salvadoran Air Force first entered combat in the 1969 Soccer War with Honduras. In the late 1970s terrorism rapidly developed into a civil war. The US provided more aircraft and training and the civil war ended in 1990. The Fuerza Aérea Salvadoreña operates 74 aircraft.

El Salvador


Força Aérea Portuguesa

The Força Aérea Portuguesa is the air force of Portugal and was formed on July 1, 1952 by combining the Army Aviation and Naval Aviation units into one command. Military aviation in Portugal goes back to 1911 when the first aircraft were received by the Army Balloon Company. While Portugal flew no aircraft on the Western Front in WWI they did operate an air squadron in Mozambique against German Eastern Africa. In WWII Portugal received many British and US aircraft and became one of the founding members of NATO in 1949. Beginning in 1961 and lasting until 1974 the air force became heavily involved in the Portuguese Colonial War. After the 1974 military coup the air force went from about 850 aircraft to about 280. In recent years PoAF has begun modernizing their forces and acquiring first class planes.



Koninklijke Luchtmacht

The Royal Netherlands Air Force is the military aviation branch of the Netherlands Armed Forces. Its ancestor, the Aviation Department of the Dutch Army was founded on July 1, 1913 with four pilots. After WWII the air force was equipped with British aircraft and after they joined NATO the US began supplying aircraft as well. During the Cold War the Dutch Air Force was fully integrated into NATO and operated Nike and HAWK missiles as well as aircraft. The RNLAF has fought in the various Balkans wars, Iraq and Afghanistan.

netherlands  netherlands AF


Bulgarian Air Force

The Bulgarian Air Force is a branch of the Military of Bulgaria. It is one of the oldest air forces in the world. The Bulgarian Air Force can be traced back to 1892 when two Army lieutenants flew with the La France airship. The convinced the General Staff that they should build a balloon force. After WWII the air force was part of the Warsaw Pact and followed Soviet doctrine and flew Soviet aircraft. After the end of the Cold War the air force was reduced to 226 aircraft and several based were closed. Recently the air force has begun a slow modernization process to replace Soviet equipment.

Bulgaria New


Qatar Emiri Air Force

The Qatar Emiri Air Force was formed in 1974 and was initially equipped with ex-RAF Hawker Hunters. They soon added other aircraft from Germany and France. British pilots still remain on duty with the air force.

Qatar  Qatar AF


Royal Rhodesian Air Force

The Rhodesian Air Force was formed in 1935 and trained in Britain. They fought in WWII as the Southern Rhodesia Air Force. It was renamed the Royal Rhodesian Air Force in 1954 1970. The air force fought a counter-insurgency campaign throughout the 1970s until the country was dissolved in 1980.

Rhodesia 1


Syrian Air Force

Founded in 1948, the Syrian Air Force is the Aviation branch of the Syrian Armed Forces. After the end of WWII and the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the Middle East, the Syrian Air Force began operation when it's first class of pilots graduated from training in the United Kingdom. The air force fought against Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, conducting bombing raids. Initially equipped with a mix of ex Italian Fiat G.59s, ex Egyptian Macchi C.205s and British Supermarine Spitfire F.22s. They soon began to receive Gloster Meteors. After 1955 the Syrian government turned to the Soviet Union for arms and received MiG-15s. They fought against the British, French and Israelis in the Suez Crisis. Later it received MiG-17s. During the Six Day War the Syrian Air Force lost two thirds of its forces with the rest retreating to bases in remote parts of Syria. In the Yom Kippur War the Syrian Air Force initially did well but shortly lost air superiority to Israel. In the 1982 Lebanon War the Syrian Air Force again fought Israel. They lost 24 aircraft while shooting down no Israeli aircraft. After that the Syrian Air Force began rebuilding it's forces with Soviet aircraft. They acquired MiG-29s and Su-24s. The current status of the Syrian Air Force is unknown due to the ongoing civil war.

Syria  Syria Air Force Flag


Finnish Air Force

The Finnish Air Force was founded in March 1918 making in one of the oldest in the world. During the Winter War the Soviet Union deployed about 700 fighters and 800 bombers against the Finns 31 fighters and 17 bombers. By the end of the war the Finns had shot down 218 Soviet aircraft while losing only 47. By the beginning of the Continuation War Finland had been able to bring their strength up to about 550 aircraft of a wide variety of types. The fighter squadrons were very successful during the Finnish offensive of 1941. As Germany began to supply aircraft to the Finns the older types were gradually replaced. The Finnish Air Force did not bomb any civilian targets during either war. They shot down 1,621 Soviet aircraft while losing 210 of its own aircraft during the Continuation War. The Paris peace treaty after WWII restricted the Finnish air force to no more than 60 combat aircraft. However two seat aircraft counted as trainers and were not restricted. During the Cold War Finland purchased aircraft from east, west and domestic producers. On September 22, 1990, Finland declared that the limiting treaties were no longer active and that all the provisions of the Paris Peace Treaties were nullified. Today the Finnish air force operated a mix of mostly western aircraft.

Finland  Finland_Air_force2

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