Ever notice that a B-52 Stratofortress is a bomber, an F-14 Tomcat is a fighter, and a T-45 Goshawk is a trainer? What a coincidence! …well, not really. And it’s also no coincidence that we in the West call the Chinese J-8 fighter and Russian Tu-160 bomber the FINBACK and BLACKJACK, respectively.
On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Josh “Popeye” Larson explains the alphanumeric naming conventions used to describe U.S., European, Russian, and Chinese warplanes. Be sure to stick around until the end of the episode, after the flyby, to learn the designation of the airplane we all know as Air Force 1.
During the Q&A segment, listener Wolfgang from Germany asks whether anyone has ever stolen a military jet for a short trip. Click here to read about the time a young U.S. Marine decided to take an A-4 Skyhawk out for a joyride–at night!
Episode artwork by Vincent Aiello. Bumper music by Incompetech.