A NOTE ON AIRCRAFT NAMES

World War II

Airacobra Bell P-39
Name reflects the cobra symbol of power and poise.
Variations: Airabonita (XFL-1), Kingcobra (P-63).
Avenger Grumman TBF / TBM
A name which means to take revenge, in this case against the Japanese in the Pacific.
Banshee Douglas A-24
USAAF version of the SDB Dauntless dive bomber.
Derived from the Irish / Scottish mythological spirit of a wailing woman heard when one is about to die.
Black Widow Northrop P-61
Name reflects the P-61's mission as a black painted night-fighter.
Bolo Douglas B-18
?
Boston Douglas A-20
British assigned in accordance to American bomber aircraft being named after US cities etc.
The A-20 Havoc is named here by the RAF for the city of Boston, Massachusetts.
Buffalo Brewster F2A
Named after the American city of Buffalo in the state of New York.
Canso Consolidated PBY
Follows a Commonwealth convention naming American patrol aircraft in RCAF service after Canadian
towns, cities etc. A small fishing town in Eastern Nova Scotia, Canada.
Catalina Consolidated PBY
British assigned in accordance to American patrol aircraft being named after US coastal areas etc.
Named after Santa Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles, California.
Commando Curtiss C-46
Named after the elite type of soldier.
Constellation Lockheed C-69
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Constellation reflects elegance and beauty.
Cornell Fairchild PT-19 / PT-23 / PT-26
RAF assigned name in accordance to American trainer aircraft being named after US educational
institutions. Named here for Cornell University, New York.
Coronado Consolidated PB2Y
British assigned name in accordance to American Patrol-Bomber aircraft being named after US
coastal areas etc. Not confirmed but most likely named for the Coronado Islands located a short
distance off the California / Mexico border. Might also be named after the coastal city of Coronado
near San Diego.
The name itself comes from Spanish explorer Francisco Vasquez de Coronado (ca.1510-1554), who
visited the US South-West in 1540-1542.
Corsair Vought F4U
A Corsair was a name given to a pirate or pirate ship, especially from the Barbary Coast.
Variation: Super Corsair (F2G-1/-2).
Dakota Douglas C-47
British assigned in accordance to American cargo aircraft being named after US locations etc.
Named after the US States of North & South Dakota.
Dauntless Douglas SBD
A name which translates as intrepid (brave) and persevering.
Digby Douglas B-18
Follows a Commonwealth convention naming American bombers in RCAF service after Canadian
towns, cities etc. An old maritime town in Nova Scotia on Canada's east coast.
Dominator Consolidated-Vultee B-32
Production name, original name was Terminator.
Dragon Douglas B-23
Refers to the mythological creature depicted as a winged serpent or reptile.
Duck Grumman JF / J2F
Named after the common aquatic water bird of the Anatidae family. Name may have been inspired
by the fact the bird is an amphibian that can walk (roll), float and fly.
Expeditor Beechcraft C-45
?
Flying Fortress Boeing B-17
Originally a nickname dubbed by the media because of the aircraft's extensive armament.
Name later became official and the "Fortress" theme was used in later Boeing bombers.
Goose Grumman JRF
Named after the aquatic water bird of the Anatidae family. Males are known as Gander and the
female of the species are known as Goose. Also an amphibian bird.
Gosling Grumman J4F
The British name for the Grumman Widgeon. A Gosling is a baby Goose as the Grumman
Widgeon was a smaller version of the Grumman Goose. Gosling was later changed to the
American Widgeon name to avoid confusion.
Grasshopper Taylorcraft L-2 / Aeronca L-3 / Piper L-4 / Interstate L-6
Named after the small herbivorous insect of the Orthoptera Order for the aircrafts sprightly design
and performance. Variations: Cub (L-18), Super Cub (L-18, L-21).
Harpoon Lockheed PV-2
Maritime aircraft named after the spear-like cannon used to hunt large fish like whales.
Harvard North American AT-6
RAF assigned name in accordance to American trainer aircraft being named after US educational
institutions. Named here for Harvard University, Massachusetts.
Havoc Douglas A-20
Aggressive name to reflect power and destruction.
Hellcat Grumman F6F
Continues Grumman's tradition of naming naval fighters with a "cat" theme.
Helldiver Curtiss SB2C
Named to reflect the aircraft's role as a dive-bomber and was also used on several previous Curtiss types.
Hudson Lockheed Model 414
British assigned in accordance to American patrol aircraft being named after US coastal areas etc.
Named after Hudson Bay which is really in Canada or maybe the Hudson River in New York.
Invader Douglas A-26
Aggressive name to reflect power and destruction.
Variation: Counter Invader (B-26K).
Kansan Beechcraft AT-11
A Kansan is a term used to describe a local from the State of Kansas. Presumably the aircraft
was named in honor of the local workers who built this type.
Kaydet Boeing-Stearman PT-13 / PT-17
Believed to be coined by the Canadians in 1941 as the phonetic spelling of Cadet meaning
a military trainee. A fitting name for a training aircraft.
Lexington Lockheed B-34
?
Liberator Consolidated B-24
The bomber to "liberate" the occupied countries of Europe was the selling point
for this aircraft. Variations: Liberator Express (C-87), Liberator Liner (R2Y-1).
Lightning Lockheed P-38
Aggressive name to reflect power and speed.
Variations: Chain Lightning (XP-58), Night Lightning (P-38M).
Lodestar Lockheed Model 18
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Navigation term defining the star used to find direction, similar to the Pole Star.
Marauder Martin B-26
Aggressive name reflecting power and destruction. 
Mariner Martin PBM
Maritime name reflecting the PBM's role as a naval patrol aircraft.
Martlet Grumman F4F
Royal Navy version of the F4F Wildcat, named after a mythological bird similar to a Swallow,
often used in heraldry.
Mitchell North American B-25
Named after US General Billy Mitchell (1879-1936), for his forward thinking views on
aerial strategic bombing.
Mustang North American P-51
Named after the feral horse of the rural western plains in the US.
Variations: Twin Mustang (P-82), Apache / Invader (A-36A).
Navigator Beechcraft AT-7
Reflects the aircrafts role as a navigation trainer.
Nighthawk Douglas P-70 (A-20)
Unofficial name of the A-20 Havoc conversion as a night-fighter.
Nomad Consolidated PBN-1
PBY Catalina development, simply means to be on the move, travelling.
Privateer Consolidated PB4Y-2
Privateer was a term used to describe a privately owned, armed vessel which held
a government commission for war service.
Reporter Northrop F-15
P-61 development, named to reflect the F-15's reconnaissance mission.
Sentinel Stinson L-5
A sentinel is a sentry, guard or lookout - a fitting name for an observation / liaison aircraft.
Shrike Curtiss A-25A
USAAF version of the SB2C Helldiver named for the small predatory bird.
Skymaster Douglas C-54
Another Douglas product using the "Sky" theme, however, this one seems to have
become more popular among aircrew with the British adopting the same name
for RAF service. It was also the first of the "master" names used by Douglas for
their cargo aircraft. Variation: Rescuemaster (SC-54D).
Skytrain Douglas C-47
Although the official name for the C-47, it never caught on and the aircraft has always been
more popularly known by it's British name Dakota - "Dak" or nickname of "Gooney Bird".
Skytrooper Douglas C-53
A C-47 follow on using the Douglas "Sky" theme, this one derived from the C-53's role
as a troop transporter.
Stratoliner Boeing C-75
The first use of the Boeing "Strato" name, this one to reflect the aircraft as a pressurized
airliner which was drafted into service during World War II as the C-75.
Superfortress Boeing B-29 / B-50
Boeing's second use of the "Fortress" name in it's next generation of strategic bombers.
Variation: Superfortress II (B-50).
Tarpon Grumman TBF / TBM
Royal Navy name for the Avenger, Tarpon are a coastal fish prized by anglers for their large size
and aggressive fighting spirit.
Terminator Consolidated-Vultee XB-32
Prototype name to the B-32 Dominator.
Texan North American AT-6
A native of Texas, maybe because of the mass production undertaken there?
Thunderbolt Republic P-47
Aggressive name reflecting power and strength and specifically meaning to strike at one out of the
sky. Republic retained the "Thunder" name on further fighter projects in the post World War II years.
Variations: Doublebolt (TP-47G), Super Thunderbolt (XP-72).
Valiant Vultee BT-13 / BT-15
Name translates as an act of brave or courageous conduct.
Ventura Lockheed PV-1
Ventura is a short term for the coastal city of San Buenaventura in California.
Warhawk Curtiss P-40
This name continued over from the Curtiss P-36 Hawk with the RAF variants also adopting
the "Hawk" family name as the Tomahawk and Kittyhawk.
Variations: Tomahawk (Model 81), Kittyhawk (Model 87).
Widgeon Grumman J4F
Named after the aquatic water bird of the Anatidae family. A Widgeon is a smaller version
of the Duck. The original British name for this aircraft was Gosling.
Wildcat Grumman F4F
Named to reflect a potent fighter, began a Grumman tradition of naming naval
fighters with a "cat" theme. Variation: Wildcatfish (F4F-3S).
Wirraway North American BC-1
Australian built version of the North American BC-1 trainer.
Aboriginal name which translates as "Challenge".
Yale North American BT-9 / BT-14
RAF assigned name for the RCAF in accordance to all British trainer aircraft being named
after educational institutions. Named here for Yale University, Connecticut.

Post World War II & The Modern Era

Aardvark General Dynamics F-111
Dutch word meaning "earth-pig", named for the medium sized African mammal of which it's
nose and that of the F-111 have a very close resemblance. Originally coined as a nickname
by the RAAF it strangely, did not become USAF official until after the aircraft retired in 1996.
Albatross Grumman SA-16 / UF (HU-16)
Named after the large coastal sea-bird.
Variation: Pelican (XJR2F-1).
Banshee McDonnell F2H (F-2)
Derived from the Irish / Scottish mythological spirit of a wailing woman heard when one is about to die.
Bearcat Grumman F8F
Continues Grumman's tradition of naming naval fighters with a "cat" theme.
Bird Dog Cessna L-19
Named as a result of a competition held among Cessna employees to name the aircraft.
The winner was one Jack A. Swayze whose entry was - bird dog, a type of gun dog or hunting
dog used by game hunters to retrieve birds. They are also used to observe and search out prey
for the hunters, much the same as the battlefield role of the L-19.
Blackbird Lockheed SR-71
Unofficial name, no official name has ever been assigned.
Blackspot Fairchild NC/AC-123K
C-123 Provider conversion, no further details.
Bronco North American (Rockwell) OV-10
A US term for an untrained horse.
Buckeye North American (Rockwell) T-2
A type of plant, specifically the large nut of the chestnut tree. It is also a slang term
used to describe residents of the US state of Ohio.
Cargomaster Douglas C-133
Follows the Douglas "master" theme for their cargo aircraft. 
Caribou DeHavilland Canada C-7
Named after a species of large migratory deer found in North America but mostly Canada.
Chickasaw Sikorsky H-19
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Chickasaw tribe mostly comes from the South-Eastern US.
Choctaw Sikorsky H-34
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Choctaw mostly comes from the South-Eastern US and is closely related to the Chickasaw.
Corsair II Vought (LTV) A-7
Named in honor of the famous World War II F4U Corsair.
Cougar Grumman F9F (F-9)
The big cat of the Puma family found throughout the Americas, the swept wing version of the F9F.
Crusader Vought F8U (F-8)
Name stems from the medieval European expeditions to the Holy Lands and can
also mean any individual on a relentless mission in favor of a cause.
Variation: Crusader III (XF8U-3).
Convair XB-36H
Commonly referred to as the "Convair Crusader".
Delta Dagger Convair F-102
Aggressive name also reflecting the delta wing shape.
Delta Dart Convair F-106
Aggressive name also reflecting the delta wing shape.
Demon McDonnell F3H (F-3)
Follows McDonnell tradition of naming their aircraft after supernatural phenomena / beings.
Destroyer Douglas B-66
USAF version of the A3D Skywarrior, fitting name for a bomber.
Dragonfly Sikorsky H-5
Named after the winged insect of the Odonata family.
Cessna A-37
T-37 Tweety Bird development. Also known as the Super Tweet.
Flying Boxcar Fairchild C-119
What was a nickname to the C-82 Packet became USAF official for the C-119, although
Fairchild and the USMC still kept the Packet name as official for this aircraft.
Variations: Packplane (XC-120), Skyvan (YC-119H).
Freedom Fighter Northrop F-5A / B
The F-5 was designed as an foreign export fighter to US allies with the name
reflecting the "sales pitch" angle offered by the US government.
Fury North American FJ (F-1)
US Navy version of the F-86 Sabre, originally with straight wings.
Globemaster Douglas C-74 / C-124
Follows the Douglas "master" theme for their cargo aircraft.
The C-74 was known as the Globemaster I.
The C-124 was known as the Globemaster II.
The C-17 is the Globemaster III (see below).
Guardian Grumman AF
An appropriate name for an anti-submarine protector and defender of the fleet.
Huskie Kaman H-43
Name is derived from "Husky" which is a general term for several breeds of sled dogs known
for their strength and stamina.
Hustler Convair B-58
The term "hustle" refers here to one that hurries or rushes to be somewhere, a fitting
term for the first US supersonic bomber.
Intruder Grumman A-6
Aggressive name to reflect the attack role of the A-6.
Variation: Intruder II (A-6F).
Liftmaster Douglas C-118
Follows the Douglas "master" theme for their cargo aircraft. 
Marlin Martin P5M (P-5)
Popular large game fish with a long snout.
Mentor Beechcraft T-34
Named after the term for an experienced and trusted advisor or teacher, an appropriate
name for a training aircraft.
Variation: Turbo-Mentor (T-34C).
Mohawk Grumman OV-1
North American Indian tribe found in North-Eastern United States.
Mojave Sikorsky H-37A
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes. The "Mojave"
or "Mohave" were a tribe native to the Western United States.
Neptune Lockheed P2V (P-2)
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Named with a maritime theme as the Roman god of the sea.
Nighthawk Lockheed F-117
The official name for the F-117, however it's more commonly referred to as the Stealth Fighter.
Nightingale Douglas C-9A
Named for the pioneering nurse Florence Nightingale (1820-1910), to reflect the C-9's role
of aero-medical evacuation.
Night Intruder Martin B-57B
Generic name for the aircraft's night-mission role.
Nomad Hiller H-23 (CH-112)
Canadian version of the Raven helicopter. Means to be on the move, travelling.
North Star Canadair Model CL-2 (C-54GM)
The North Star is a navigational aid being the star best suited to find one's way North.
Civil variation: Argonaut (Model CL-4).
Packet Fairchild C-82
Officially named after the 18th & 19th Century British "Packet ships" which carried mail
to the far reaches of the British Empire. This name was recognized as official by Fairchild
and the USAF but was far more commonly referred to as the "Flying Boxcar" because the
cargo hold was in equal capacity to a railway boxcar.
Panther Grumman F9F (F-9)
Generic term for the big cats of the Felidae family, the straight wing version of the F9F.
Peacemaker Convair B-36
America's post World War II "big stick" was named in a historical sense after the classic
Colt Peacemaker six-shooter revolver from days of the Wild West.
Phantom II McDonnell F-4
Follows McDonnell tradition of naming their aircraft after supernatural phenomena / beings.
Original USAF version was to be named as Spectre.
Provider Fairchild C-123
Generic term to "provide", in this case troops or cargo.
Variation: Avitruc (XCG-20).
Raven Hiller H-23
Large black bird of the Corvus family similar to the crow.
General Dynamics EF-111A
F-111 Aardvark conversion.
Rescuer Piasecki (Vertol) HRP-1
H-21 Shawnee relative. Named for the SAR role performed for the US Navy / USMC.
Sabre North American F-86
A European military sword with a large hand guard around the grip. Mainly used as
part of a naval officers uniform and as a symbol of military honor.
Variation: Sabre Dog (F-86D).
Samaritan Convair C-131
Name means an individual that is charitable and helpful.
Seabat Sikorsky HSS-1
H-34 Choctaw relative. The "Sea" name reflects use by the US Navy.
Seahorse Sikorsky HUS-1
H-34 Choctaw relative. The "Sea" name reflects use by the USMC and USCG.
Sea King Sikorsky H-3
The "Sea" name reflects the use of the aircraft by the US Navy. "Jolly Green Giant"
began as a nickname for the USAF and later became official.
Variation: Jolly Green Giant (HH-3E).
Seasprite Kaman H-2
The "Sea" name reflects the use of the aircraft by the US Navy.
"Sprite" is a name that can refer to an elf, fairy or goblin - nimble and fast.
Variation: Super Seasprite (SH-2G).
Scorpion Northrop F-89
Named after the well known and potent eight-legged invertebrate.
Shadow Fairchild AC-119G
C-119 Flying Boxcar conversion. Reflects the role of stealthy night time missions.
Shawnee Piasecki (Vertol) CH-21C
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes. The Shawnee
were a tribe native to the Eastern / North-Eastern parts of the United States.
Shooting Star Lockheed P-80 (F-80) / T-33
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Shooting Star reflects a fighter of great speed.
Variations: SeaStar (T2V-1), Starfire (F-94), Silver Star (RCAF).
Sioux Bell H-13
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Sioux were a vary large nation of Indians and were often depicted as the aggressors
in Hollywood westerns.
Variations: Sioux Scout / Warrior, Bellairus (Model 47H), Ranger (Model 47J).
Skyhawk Douglas A4D (A-4)
Follows the Douglas "Sky" theme tradition.
Variations: Skyhawk II (A-4M/N), Super Skyhawk (A-4SU), Fightinghawk (A-4AR).
Skyraider Douglas AD (A-1)
Follows the Douglas "Sky" theme tradition.
Variation: Dauntless II (XBT2D-1).
Skytrain II Douglas C-9B
Named in honor of the famous World War II C-47 Skytrain.
Skywarrior Douglas A3D (A-3)
Follows the Douglas "Sky" theme tradition.
Spooky Douglas AC-47D
C-47 Skytrain conversion, named to reflect the AC-47D's role of stealthy
night time missions.
Starfighter Lockheed F-104
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Starfighter creates a science fiction image which was the trend of the 50's and 60's.
Starlifter Lockheed C-141
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Name reflects the aircraft's role as a heavy lifter.
Stinger Fairchild AC-119K
C-119 Flying Boxcar conversion. Reflects the role of stealthy night time missions.
Stratofreighter Boeing C-97
Boeing's "Strato" name this time used to reflect the aircraft's use as a freighter.
Civil variation: Stratocruiser (Model 377).
Stratojet Boeing B-47
Boeing's "Strato" name applied to the USAF's first all jet bomber.
Super Constellation Lockheed C-121
C-69 development, aircraft looked much the same so the name stayed much the same.
Civil variation: Starliner (Model 1649).
Super Sabre North American F-100
Aircraft and name are a development of the F-86 Sabre.
Super Skymaster Cessna O-2
Adopted from Cessna's naming of light aircraft with a "sky" theme - skywagon, skylane etc.
The use of "Super" was later dropped from the name.
Super Transport Convair XC-99
B-36 Peacemaker development, appears to be a generic name only, no further details.
Tarhe Sikorsky CH-54
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes. Named after
the leader of the Wyandot Tribe of Ohio - Tarhe (1742-1818), whose nickname was "The Crane".
Civil variations: Skycrane, Aircrane.
Thunderjet
Thunderstreak
Thunderflash
Republic F-84
Continues Republic's "Thunder" theme - Thunderjet was the straight wing version of the F-84,
Thunderstreak was the swept wing version and Thunderflash was the photo reconn. version
of the Thunderstreak.
Thunderchief Republic F-105
Continues the Republic "Thunder" theme.
Tiger II Northrop F-5E / F
Upgraded F-5 Freedom Fighter, name indicates a second generation of development after
the original evaluation of the "Skoshi Tiger" program F-5C's in Vietnam.
Variations: Tigereye (RF-5E), Tigershark (F-20A).
Tigercat Grumman F7F
Continues Grumman's tradition of naming naval fighters with a "cat" theme.
Tomcat Grumman F-14
Continues Grumman's tradition of naming naval fighters with a "cat" theme.
Variation: Super Tomcat (F-14D).
Tracer Grumman WF-2 (E-1)
S2F Tracker development, reflects the aircraft's role as an AEW platform.
Tracker Grumman S2F (S-2)
Generic term for the S2F's role as an anti-submarine aircraft.
Trader Grumman TF-1 (C-1)
S2F Tracker development, reflects the aircraft's role as a cargo carrier.
Trojan North American T-28
Name originally stems from the wooden horse said to have been used by the Greeks
to enter Troy. It has since some to mean someone who works or fights courageously.
Variation: Fennec (T-28S).
Tweety Bird Cessna T-37
Named after the Warner Bros. "Looney Tunes" yellow canary type character whose famous line
was: "I tawt I taw a puddy tat!". Name is also commonly abbreviated to just Tweet.
Vigilante North American A3J (A-5)
Name refers to an individual who acts outside the law.
Viking Lockheed S-3
Ship-borne raiders of the 8th to 11th Centuries known for their expert navigation techniques.
Voodoo McDonnell F-101
Follows McDonnell tradition of naming their aircraft after supernatural phenomena / beings.
Warning Star Lockheed RC-121 / WV-2
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Name reflects the AEW role of this aircraft.
Washington Boeing B-29
British assigned in accordance to American bomber aircraft being named after
US cities etc., named here after the US capital city, Washington DC.
Wessex Sikorsky H-34
RAF / Royal Navy name for the Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw.
Whirlwind Sikorsky H-19
RAF / Royal Navy name for the Sikorsky H-19 Chickasaw.
Workhorse Piasecki (Vertol) H-21
An H-21 Shawnee relative. Named by the USAF for its troop / cargo role.

Present Day

Apache McDonnell Douglas AH-64
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Apache was a collective name for several groups of Native American Indians, like the
Sioux they were often depicted as the aggressors in Hollywood westerns.
Variation: Apache Longbow (AH-64D).
Arcturus Lockheed CP-140A
CAF name for a P-3 Orion development. Arcturus is the third brightest star
in the Northern night sky.
Aries / Aries II Lockheed EP-3E
P-3 Orion conversion, Aries the Ram is one of the constellations of the Zodiac.
Aurora Lockheed CP-140
CAF name for a P-3 Orion development, the mythological Roman goddess of Dawn.
Black Hawk Sikorsky UH-60
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
Named after the Sauk Native American Indian tribe leader - Chief Black Hawk (1767-1838),
who led many battles on the side of the English.
The UH-60 helicopter derivatives retained the "Hawk" name with another name added to the
front to reflect the mission: Desert Hawk, Ocean Hawk etc.
Cayuse Hughes OH-6
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Cayuse were a tribe from the Oregon State region of the US.
Chinook Boeing-Vertol CH-47
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Chinookan were a tribe from the Pacific-Northwest US.
Clipper Boeing C-40
Named after the 18th and 19th Century fast sailing ships that sailed the world's largest
oceans. Assigned to the US Navy in honor of the of the original Boeing Model 314 Clipper. 
Cobra Bell AH-1
Named after the venomous snake of the Elapidae family, general use names are the:
HueyCobra (US Army) and SeaCobra (USMC).
Variations: KingCobra (Model 309), SuperCobra (AH-1W).
Commando Sikorsky H-3
Westland's non-amphibious version of the Sea King.
Creek Bell TH-67A
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Creek tribe came from the South-Eastern US, original name was "Muscogee".
Defender Hughes Model 500 (military export version)
Generic name reflecting the role as an attack helicopter.
Dragon Lady Lockheed U-2
Unofficial name, mainly applied to the later U-2S and TU-2S.
Eagle McDonnell Douglas F-15
Named after the large and powerful bird of prey.
Variations: Strike Eagle (F-15E), Slam Eagle (F-15K).
Extender McDonnell Douglas KC-10
Named for it's role as an aerial tanker "extending" the mission time of other aircraft.
Fighting Falcon General Dynamics F-16
Named after the bird of prey from the Falconidae family.
Variations: Desert Falcon (F-16E/F), Night Falcon (F-16C/D).
Galaxy Lockheed C-5
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Name reflects the aircraft's role as a heavy lifter.
Variation: Super Galaxy (C-5M).
Globemaster III McDonnell Douglas C-17
Follows the McDonnell-Douglas "master" theme for their cargo aircraft,
the "III" defines it was named in sequence after the C-74 and C-124.
Goshawk McDonnell Douglas T-45
Medium to large bird of prey from the Accipitridae family.
Greyhound Grumman C-2
Named after the popular racing dog in recognition of it's swiftness.
Growler Boeing EA-18G
Aggressive name.
Harrier McDonnell Douglas AV-8
Named after the small bird of prey which flies low over the ground during the hunt and also
because of this birds ability to hover in flight.
Variations: Harrier II (AV-8B), Kestrel (XAV-6A).
Harvard II Raytheon (Beechcraft) CT-156
CAF name for the T-6 Texan II in honor of the World War II trainer.
Hawkeye Grumman E-2
Named for the sharp "eyes" of the E-2 technology.
Hercules Lockheed C-130
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
Named after the Greek mythological hero known for his strength and courage. 
Variation: Super Hercules (C-130J).
Hornet McDonnell Douglas F/A-18
The largest of the eusocial wasps from the Vespidae family famous for its powerful sting.
Variations: Super Hornet (F/A-18E/F).
Iroquois Bell UH-1
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
Named after the six North American Indian tribes which unified under the name of the
Iroquois Confederacy. Although widely known as the official name for the UH-1, Iroquois never
stuck and it was soon mostly accepted by it's nickname of Huey which came from the original
designation of HU-1. Bell Helicopters even printed it on the rudder pedals of the helicopter.
Variation: Huey II (UH-1HP).
Kiowa Bell OH-58
Follows US Army tradition of naming helicopters after North American Indian tribes / nations.
The Kiowa are a tribe mainly from the West Texas region of the US.
Variations: Combat Scout (MH-58D), Kiowa Warrior (OH-58D).
Labrador Boeing-Vertol CH-113
CAF name for a CH-46 Sea Knight development. Named for the Labrador region of Pacific
Canada and for the breed of dog - apt as a water rescue dog, the CH-113's main role.
Lancer Rockwell B-1
The official name of the B-1 stems from "Lance" which was a long spear like weapon
used by horseman in the charge. It's a name that has never really stuck with the unofficial
name of Bone being far more prevalent.
Lightning II Lockheed-Martin F-35
Official name in honor of the famous World War II Lockheed P-38 Lightning. 
Mercury Boeing E-6
The mythological Roman god of trade and commerce known for his speed.
Orion Lockheed P-3
Follows Lockheed tradition of naming their aircraft after celestial objects.
The Greek mythological figure known as "Orion, The Hunter".
Civil variation: Sentinel (P-3 AEW&C).
Osprey Bell-Boeing V-22
Named after the large fish-eating bird of prey (Pandion Haliaetus), well known for its powerful
wing-stroke giving it the ability to lift vertically from the water. A fitting name for a VTOL aircraft.
Pelican Sikorsky HH-3F
USCG H-3 Sea King development, named after the water bird of the
Pelecanidae family.
Poseidon Boeing P-8
Named after the Greek Mythological god of the sea.
Prowler Grumman EA-6B
A-6 Intruder development, a name reflects the aircraft's ECM role of
"creeping around" unseen.
Raptor Lockheed / Boeing F-22
Named after the dinosaur made famous in the motion picture Jurassic Park (1993) - the Velociraptor,
which translates as "swift thief".
Sea Knight Boeing-Vertol CH-46
The "Sea" name reflects the use of the aircraft by the USMC.
"Knight" refers to the medieval horseman.
Sea Ranger Bell TH-57
The "Sea" name reflects the use of the aircraft by the US Navy.
"Ranger" refers to the original Bell Jet Ranger name.
Sea Stallion Sikorsky H-53
The "Sea" name reflects the use of the aircraft by the USMC.
"Stallion" refers to power and size. Super Jolly Green Giant was a USAF name.
Variations: Super Stallion (CH-53E), Sea Dragon (MH-53E),
Super Jolly Green Giant (HH-53B/C).
Sentry Boeing E-3
To "guard" against, reflects the E-3's role as an AEW platform.
Shadow Lockheed ES-3A
S-3 Viking conversion, suitable name for an ELINT aircraft.
Spectre Lockheed AC-130E / H
C-130 Hercules conversion, a "ghostly apparition" which reflects the night-role of this aircraft.
Spirit Northrop B-2
The official name for the B-2, however it's more commonly referred to as the Stealth Bomber.
Spooky II Lockheed AC-130U
C-130 Hercules development, named in honor of the Vietnam-era AC-47D Spooky.
Stratofortress Boeing B-52
Boeing's "Strato" name this time combined with the "Fortress" name for the longest serving bomber
of all time. The aircraft is most commonly, simply referred to as the BUFF - Big-Ugly-Fat-Fellow.
Stratolifter Boeing C-135
Boeing's "Strato" name this time used to reflect the aircraft's use as a cargo mover.
Stratotanker Boeing KC-135
Boeing's "Strato" name this time used to reflect the aircraft's use as an aerial tanker.
Talon Northrop T-38
The claws of a bird of prey, unusual name for a trainer apparently following a convention
of naming trainer aircraft with names beginning with the letter "T".
Variation: Talon II (T-38C).
Texan II Raytheon (Beechcraft) T-6
Named in honor the famous World War II AT-6 Texan.
Thunderbolt II Fairchild-Republic A-10
Official name in honor of the famous World War II P-47 Thunderbolt. This name however, did
not catch on in general use, the nickname of Warthog being so widely accepted that it has
virtually become a semi-official name.
Venom Bell UH-1Y
UH-1 Iroquois conversion, named for a variety of toxins used mainly by snakes for
defense or hunting prey.
Viper Bell AH-1Z
AH-1 Cobra conversion, named after the venomous snake of the Viperidae family.
Voyageur Boeing-Vertol CH-113A
CAF name for a CH-46 Sea Knight development. French word for "traveller". Named here from
Canadian mythology for someone who can carry anything, anywhere.
Wedgetail Boeing E-7
Began as an RAAF name for the 737-700 AEW&C aircraft but appears to have become
semi-official for international sales as well. Named for the Australian "Wedgetail Eagle" bird.

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