To be honest, all military aircraft look terrifying, along with simultaneously looking thrilling and vaunted. As humans, we all have a love-hate relationship with the most dangerous weaponry. They are strangely seductive and attractive but obviously, their very potency is what makes them rather terrifying, especially if you happen to be on the wrong end of one of these.

Movies like Top Gun and more have also turned aircraft and their pilots into hotshot heroes, and there is something very alluring about the military and all its paraphernalia, including terrifying aircraft.

Interestingly, the 1909 Wright Military Flyer became the world’s first-ever military airplane and also caused the first fatality in a powered airplane. After several successful test flights, Orville Wright crashed with Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge. While Orville survived with severe injuries, Selfridge was killed. This was just the beginning of military aircraft as things have only gotten scarier, with tech that is almost sci-fi.

10 F-22 Raptor

USAF F-22 Raptors
Via: Robert Sullivan Flickr

The F-22 Raptor started its USAF service in 2007, and at the time, was one of the most advanced fighter jets ever made. Not only is it nigh well unbeatable because of its air superiority, but the F22 can also be used for ground attack, electronic warfare, and signal intelligence.

USAF F-22 Raptor
Via: Tomás Del Coro Flickr

Made at a whopping cost of $150 million, the F22 has a low radar profile and carries a ton of firepower, even as many of its avionics remain classified. Of course, while it is terrifying, it’s not invincible as the older Dassault Rafale can take it down.

9 AC-130 Spectre/Spooky

USAF AC-130 Spectre Spooky
Via: YouTube

The C-130 Hercules is a massive cargo plane made by Lockheed Martin and used mostly as transport by the USAF. During the Vietnam War, they turned it into an aerial gunship, by fitting it with machine guns and so the new AC-130 Spectres went to war in 1968.

USAF AC-130 Spectre
Via: YouTube

The AC-130 Spectres, also called the Spooky or Spookies, were credited with destroying more than 10,000 enemy trucks, and also deployed as aerial firepower during rescue missions. They are still in service and the weapons have only gotten bigger, better, and way more terrifying.

Related: Here's What The US Air Force Doesn't Tell You About Their Aircraft

8 F-15 Eagle

U.S. Air Force F-15 Eagle
Via: Wikimedia Commons U.S. Air Force Photo By Master Sgt. Thomas Meneguin

The F-15 Eagle is an air superiority tactical fighter ever since it entered USAF service in 1976, and faced combat in 1979. It’s one of the most successful fighter jets, racking up more than 100 wins without any loss in aerial combat.

USAF F-15 Eagle
Via: Airwolfhound Flickr

The fact that this plane was also Starscream, in the Transformer franchise back then, also made it a household name. A newer version of the same, called the F-15E Strike Eagle is now in service, and likely to remain a part of the USAF for a while now.

7 Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird

USAF Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Via: poter.simon Flickr

The SR-71 Blackbird was designed in utter secrecy in the 1950s during the height of the Cold War and at the time, it could fly faster and higher than any other and for nearly half a century, it still did. The plane was designed to fly at the edge of space for sneak attacks and spy missions at a time before space was littered with satellites and airspace was made busy with drones.

USAF Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird
Via: Robert Sullivan Flickr

If you spot it today, you’d still mistake it for something rather recent, given the brilliant design, and it's still enough to make hearts miss a beat.

Related: 15 Facts About The F-16 The US Army Wants To Keep On The DL

6 A-10 Thunderbolt II

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II
Via: Wikimedia Commons Hawg show of force

The A-10 Thunderbolt II was a twin-engine plane that became the first in the line of aerial attack in the USAF, beginning in the mid-70s. The most terrifying feature of the plane is a nose-mounted seven-barreled 1.2-inch cannon that is a very effective tank killer.

USAF A-10 Thunderbolt II
Via: mashleymorgan Flickr

It does not look as gorgeous as other USAF airplanes and its low-flying status, combined with the bulk earned it the moniker, Warthog. But it’s tough as nails, and armed with weaponry that can take down tanks. Its lethality makes it a terrifying airplane.

5 Dassault Rafale

French Air Force's Dassault Rafale
Via: Ronnie Macdonald Flickr

The Rafale is French in origin and relatively more recent with it first entering service in 2001, and combat in 2002. The Rafale has been exported into other nations like India, Egypt, and Qatar and today has some of the most advanced avionics on board.

French Air Force's Dassault Rafale
Via: Groman123 Flickr

One of the most terrifying features of this airplane is that it can track 40 targets at one time, and fire at four of them, simultaneously. Despite the F-22 Raptor being more advanced, the Rafale can still take one down, as it proved in 2009.

Related: Everything You Need To Know About The Advanced French Multirole Fighter, The Dassault Rafale

4 Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit

Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit Spirit of Ohio Is A “Stealth” Strategic Bomber
Via: Clemens Vasters Flickr

The B-2 Spirit is another terrifying airplane because not only it's a “stealth” strategic bomber, which can avoid radar, but it can also carry both conventional and nuclear weaponry, making it a whole new level of lethal.

Northrop (later Northrop Grumman) B-2 Spirit Is A “Stealth” Strategic Bomber
Via: Robert Sullivan Flickr

While it was designed during the Cold War, it has continued to be in service, and still boasts top-of-the-line mileage without refueling. It also has unique abilities in that it can penetrate defense systems and carry out its mission in stealth, making it rather deadly.

3 AH-64 Apache

The Attack Helicopter AH-64 Apache
Via: Pierlet T Flickr

We have to sneak in a helicopter here because in the world of attack helicopters the AH-64 Apache is downright terrifying, and deadly. It entered into service in the 80s and fired the first salvos of Desert Storm. During the Afghanistan and Iraq war, the Apache unleashed terror.

The Terrifying Attack Helicopter AH-64 Apache
Via: Frans Berkelaar Flickr

Not only did it ace deep attacks, which are more distant, it also did close combat attacks, supporting ground troops with a barrage of firepower. The Apache is also constantly being updated to continue being the best in its field.

Related: A Detailed Look At The Helicopters Used By Navy Seals

2 Boeing B-29 Superfortress

Long-Range Bomber Boeing B-29 Superfortress
Via: Wikimedia Commons wallycacsabre

The B-29 Superfortress was America’s first long-range bomber and entered WWII a bit late in the day, in 1944, with operation Matterhorn. This is when B-29s bombed the Japanese mainland, and it proved to be a pivotal point in WWII.

First Long-Range Bomber Boeing B-29 Superfortress ‘A’ “FIFI”
Via: Alan Wilson Flickr

This is the same plane that also dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, unleashing a reign of terror, that still shows aftereffects today. They may have been discontinued in the ‘60s, but the very name brings up a terrifying airplane that caused hundreds and thousands of deaths.

1 F-16 Fighting Falcon

USAF General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon
Via: Robert Sullivan Flickr

Dubbed the Viper, because of its lethal prowess, the F-16 Fighting Falcon is not just a fighter but a terrifying airplane that can do a lot more than just combat. While it was developed as a fighter, its versatility lent itself to many other roles, facilitating it with 11 positions of mountain weapons and slick maneuvers.

Via: Robert Sullivan Flickr

It has been in service since the ‘70s, and its most recent variant is the F-16V. It has added tech to keep up with defense and aerial improvements in the world.

Sources: CNN, Northrop-Grumman

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