Great Planes

Great Planes

1996 - 2012, Other, Transport
Documentary series highlighting some of the most impressive planes.

Episode Guide

  • Great Planes - F-111 Aardvark (Season 3 Episode 10)
    Season 3 Episode 10:

    F-111 Aardvark

    The first swing-wing production aircraft, the F-111.

  • Great Planes - B-1 Lancer (Season 3 Episode 9)
    Season 3 Episode 9:

    B-1 Lancer

    The swing-wing bomber, the Rockwell B-1 Lancer.

  • Great Planes - Apache Helicopter (Season 3 Episode 8)
    Season 3 Episode 8:

    Apache Helicopter

    The AH-64 was unlike any helicopter. It could fly where no other aircraft could.

  • Great Planes - A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog) (Season 3 Episode 7)
    Season 3 Episode 7:

    A-10 Thunderbolt (Warthog)

    The most lethal Close Air Support fixed wing aircraft ever flown.

  • Great Planes - XB-70 Valkyrie (Season 3 Episode 6)
    Season 3 Episode 6:

    XB-70 Valkyrie

    Can travel at three times the speed of sound; even after a half century after it's first flight, its still one of aviation's most interesting achievements.

  • Great Planes - F105 Thunderchief (Season 3 Episode 5)
    Season 3 Episode 5:

    F105 Thunderchief

    Biggest single engine fighter of its day; became known as the one-man air force; biggest single-engine, single-seat fighter aircraft ever built.

  • Great Planes - F5 Freedom Fighter (Season 3 Episode 4)
    Season 3 Episode 4:

    F5 Freedom Fighter

    Defying current trends in fighter aircrafts; agile, easy-maintenance and low-cost; the supersonic aircraft was designed for operation by more than thirty U.S. allied nations.

  • Great Planes - C130 Hercules (Season 3 Episode 3)
    Season 3 Episode 3:

    C130 Hercules

    The C130 Hercules covered a multitude of uses including airborne assault, search and rescue and maritime patrol and aerial firefighting.

  • Great Planes - B29 Superfortress (Season 3 Episode 2)
    Season 3 Episode 2:

    B29 Superfortress

    The history behind the B29 Superfortress, a four-engine heavy bomber that was flown from the end of World War II through the Korean War.

  • Great Planes - AV8 Harrier (Season 3 Episode 1)
    Season 3 Episode 1:

    AV8 Harrier

    World's first vertical takeoff and landing fixed-wing aircraft; first jet to have hovering capabilities.

  • Great Planes - B-17 Flying Fortress (Season 2 Episode 10)
    Season 2 Episode 10:

    B-17 Flying Fortress

    Resistance to the long-range Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress evaporates with the blitzkrieg.

  • Great Planes - Boeing B-52 Stratofortress (Season 2 Episode 9)
    Season 2 Episode 9:

    Boeing B-52 Stratofortress

    The B-52 bomber, first employed in 1952 and designed to drop nuclear payloads anywhere in the world, has survived four decades of service.

  • Great Planes - Bell UH-1 Huey (Season 2 Episode 8)
    Season 2 Episode 8:

    Bell UH-1 Huey

    The Bell UH-1 Iroquois helicopter is best known for its use in the Vietnam War.

  • Great Planes - CH-47 Chinook (Season 2 Episode 7)
    Season 2 Episode 7:

    CH-47 Chinook

    The Chinook is a versatile aircraft used primarily to transport troops and supplies into combat zones.

  • Great Planes - P-39 Airacobra (Season 2 Episode 6)
    Season 2 Episode 6:

    P-39 Airacobra

    The Airacobra gives the Allies a fighting chance with its quick-strike lethal cannon.

  • Great Planes - A-26 Invader (Season 2 Episode 5)
    Season 2 Episode 5:

    A-26 Invader

    The A-26 Invader, a twin-engined light-attack bomber, begins flying missions for the Allies in 1944.

  • Great Planes - A-7 Corsair II (Season 2 Episode 4)
    Season 2 Episode 4:

    A-7 Corsair II

    The success of the Vought Corsair leads to the development of a series of new models.

  • Great Planes - SR-71 Blackbird (Season 2 Episode 3)
    Season 2 Episode 3:

    SR-71 Blackbird

    New methods and materials were needed to build the Lockheed SR-71.

  • Great Planes - F-4 Phantom II (Season 2 Episode 2)
    Season 2 Episode 2:

    F-4 Phantom II

    During the Vietnam War, the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force use the F-4 Phantom II extensively.

  • Great Planes - F-100 Super Sabre (Season 2 Episode 1)
    Season 2 Episode 1:

    F-100 Super Sabre

    The F-110 Super Sabre ushers in the age of supersonic flight.

  • Great Planes - F-104 Starfighter (Season 1 Episode 10)
    Season 1 Episode 10:

    F-104 Starfighter

    The controversial F-104 is the mainstay of the U.S. Air Force for nearly three decades.

  • Great Planes - F-84 Thunderjet (Season 1 Episode 9)
    Season 1 Episode 9:

    F-84 Thunderjet

    Despite an inauspicious debut in 1946, the F-84 Thunderjet eventually makes significant contributions to fighter-plane efficiency.

  • Great Planes - PBY Catalina (Season 1 Episode 8)
    Season 1 Episode 8:

    PBY Catalina

    The PBY Catalina, the classic flying boat, earns a brilliant service record during World War II in every theater of the conflict.

  • Great Planes - F/A-18 Hornet (Season 1 Episode 7)
    Season 1 Episode 7:

    F/A-18 Hornet

    Computer technology allows the F/A-18 aircraft to land without the touch of a single flight control.

  • Great Planes - F-16 Falcon (Season 1 Episode 6)
    Season 1 Episode 6:

    F-16 Falcon

    The single-engine F-16 Falcon has become the warplane of choice for countries unable to make their own.

  • Great Planes - F-15 Eagle (Season 1 Episode 5)
    Season 1 Episode 5:

    F-15 Eagle

    The F-15 Eagle tactical fighter was designed to gain superiority in air combat when facing a greater number of enemy planes.

  • Great Planes - B-25 Bomber (Season 1 Episode 4)
    Season 1 Episode 4:

    B-25 Bomber

    The B-25 bomber was known for its adaptability and was used by many Allied air forces during World War II.

  • Great Planes - P-51 Mustang (Season 1 Episode 3)
    Season 1 Episode 3:

    P-51 Mustang

    The P-51 Mustang becomes one of the greatest long-range fighters in aviation history.

  • Great Planes - P-40 Warhawk (Season 1 Episode 2)
    Season 1 Episode 2:

    P-40 Warhawk

    The rugged P-40 serves as the Army Air Force front-line fighter at the start of World War II.

  • Great Planes - A-1 Skyraider (Season 1 Episode 1)
    Season 1 Episode 1:

    A-1 Skyraider

    The carrier jet the Skyraider was used by the Navy for three decades and lauded by Air Force engineers.

  • Great Planes - The Tomcat (Episode 27)
    Episode 27:

    The Tomcat

    A look at the most potent fighter aircraft in the U.S. Navy -- the F14 Tomcat.

  • Great Planes - Harrier Jump Jet (Episode 25)
    Episode 25:

    Harrier Jump Jet

    The Harrier Jump Jet is the only vertical take-off and landing, fixed-wing aircraft.

  • Great Planes - The Dakota (Episode 24)
    Episode 24:

    The Dakota

    The Dakota played a crucial role in the D-day invasion and later in Vietnam.

  • Great Planes - Lightning (Episode 23)
    Episode 23:


    With its unique twin boom airframe and incredible speed, the Forked Tail Devil found a niche in World War II air combat.

  • Great Planes - The Cobra (Episode 20)
    Episode 20:

    The Cobra

    America's first helicopter, the Cobra, played a vital role in Vietnam and again, 30 years later, in the Persian Gulf.

  • Great Planes - The Blackbird (Episode 18)
    Episode 18:

    The Blackbird

    The Blackbird is able to fly out of range of air-defense weapons.

  • Great Planes - Valkyrie (Episode 17)
    Episode 17:


    The Valkyrie is the largest and fastest bomber ever built.

  • Great Planes - Hellcat (Episode 16)
    Episode 16:


    The Hellcat is created to combat high-speed Japanese fighters.

  • Great Planes - F-111 (Episode 14)
    Episode 14:


    The F-111 bomber survived more missions than any other plane during the Vietnam War because of its unique swing-wing design.

  • Great Planes - Lockheed P-38 Lightning (Episode 13)
    Episode 13:

    Lockheed P-38 Lightning

    The P-38 proved to be versatile as it was used as an escort, a fighter and a reconnaissance plane during World War II.

  • Great Planes - B-24 (Episode 12)
    Episode 12:


    The Consolidated B-24 Liberator sees service on global Allied fronts.

  • Great Planes - XB-70 (Episode 11)
    Episode 11:


    Cost overruns and design problems ground the North American Aviation XB-70.

  • Great Planes - B-29 Bomber (Episode 10)
    Episode 10:

    B-29 Bomber

    The B-29 Superfortress Enola Gay bombs Hiroshima.

  • Great Planes - Douglas DC-3/C-47 (Episode 8)
    Episode 8:

    Douglas DC-3/C-47

    The Douglas C-47 passenger plane becomes a troop transport.

  • Great Planes - North American F-86 Sabre (Episode 6)
    Episode 6:

    North American F-86 Sabre

    German design innovations are incorporated in North American's F-86 Sabre.

  • Great Planes - The Vought Corsair I (F-4U) (Episode 4)
    Episode 4:

    The Vought Corsair I (F-4U)

    The folding-wing Vought Corsair F-4U is effective in World War II.

  • Great Planes - Vought A-7 Corsair (Episode 2)
    Episode 2:

    Vought A-7 Corsair

    The A-7 served in Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.