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The United States Air Force turned 70 today

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David Carter
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The United States' position as the sole remaining superpower on Earth is in large part thanks to its air force.

That organization—the United States Air Force, or USAF—turns 70 years old today, and since we know there are plenty of plane spotters and aviation geeks here at Ars, we thought we'd assemble a gallery of some of our favorite USAF planes to celebrate.

Of course, the US military had access to air power before September 18, 1947.

The Army started playing around with planes a few short years after the Wright brothers took to the skies and proved heavier-than-air flight was possible, getting its first airplane—a Wright Flyer, naturally—in 1909.

By World War II, the US Army had its Army Air Forces, which flew combat missions in the European and Pacific theaters.

The Cold War was good business for the aerospace industry that supplied the USAF.

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David Carter
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