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Cool Plane

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The ADF-01 Falken: an ace aircraft for an ace pilot.
"If Kim Basinger was a plane, this is what she'd be."
Tom Clancy, describing the F-22 Raptor

The aerial equivalent of the Cool Car, Cool Boat, and the flying, usually metallic (but increasingly composite) incarnation of the Rule of Cool. They usually fall into two categories:

1. Luxurious civilian plane: This is a sleek and beautifully shaped plane with a sumptuous and spacious cabin which allows a Millionaire Playboy, The Rockstar or Tech Bro to rule the skies with pizzazz. There are no rows of seats; instead, there are only a few passengers in this private jet, and they each get a full-size lounge chair. There may be a VIP suite for the highest-ranking person (President, CEO, etc) with a bedroom. The civilian Cool Plane will not break down, rust, or go out of style (unless the plot demands it). This is a plane that doesn't serve peanuts to its customers: the on-board chef makes a Vesper martini, an aged AAA steak, all served on china, glasses and silverware. As well, there's a side order of whoopass given by a stewardess in a tight uniform who walks with an alluring sway. This plane has a powerful engine and it's full of high-tech gear, both in the cockpit and the passenger lounge.

2. Military, spy or police Cool Planes typically combine high technology features that make the plane fast (hypersonic engines), highly maneuverable (VTOL thrusters), slealthynote , and it is bristling with guns (especially Gatling Good), missiles, bombs, anti-missile countermeasures (chaff and flares) and other weapons. If you get on a military Cool Plane, take note of the exits, as you may be leaving with a parachute if the plane is hit by the enemy.

Cool Planes are probably piloted by a Danger Deadpan Ace Pilot who is calm under pressure. The technology in Cool Planes is not limited to Real Life inventions, so don't be surprised if the plane has "plasma fusion engines", "cloaking technology", laser cannons and the capability to transform into a submarine. The "futuristic technology" in Cool Planes may get dated over the decades due to Zee Rust.

Helicopters and glider planes are included in this category. Airships, however, get their own page. For the Cool Plane IN SPACE!, see Space Fighter and Space Plane.

Remember that just giving the plane's name, saying "<name> is a Cool Plane" or giving a link to another site isn't enough. You need to specifically say in the example which features make it a Cool Plane so that the average reader who isn't an expert on planes can understand it.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Seto Kaiba's Blue-Eyes White Jet, custom-made manufactured by his company (which, before being the primary supplier of the series' Serious Business game, was a weapons manufacturer).
  • Pokémon the Series: Black & White: While Ash Ketchum usually travels to faraway regions via airplane, his first trip to Unova has him riding a giant amphibious plane which lands in the docks rather than airport. Certainly a stylish way to enter in a new region, and a nice transition between Ash's usual travel via ferryboat and the common commercial airlines he would take in future series.
  • Almost every aircraft in Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, friendly or enemy, especially the FFR-41 Mave which the main character, Rei Fukai, pilots (and thus give the most screentime). The titular Yukikaze is the Mave's extremely advanced support A.I., by the way. You can check them all out here.
  • In Ah! My Goddess, the Motor Club finds the lost fuselage of the second J 7 W 1 Shinden prototype (in real life the second Shinden is presumed destroyed) underneath Nekomi Tech, and restore it to flight capability for Keiichi to pilot.
  • In Area 88, Greg realizes that ordinary aircraft won't be effective against Farina's land carrier and immediately orders an A-10 Thunderbolt from McCoy. At the time the manga was written (early 1980s), the A-10 Thunderbolt was a state-of-the-art aircraft.
  • In Hellsing, an SR-71 Blackbird is used to stop the naval invasion of England by Millennium. In the popular fan webcomic And Shine Heaven Now, this is lampshaded with people referring to it as the Incredibly Awesome Plane, except for Alucard, who refers to it as a Deus ex Machina.
  • It's safe to say that any Macross series will have Cool Planes.
    • The VF-1 Valkryie from Super Dimension Fortress Macross, and its successors such as the YF-19 from Macross Plus and Jetfire from Transformers (No, really): Cool Planes that transform into robots.note 
    • There's also the VB-6 König Monster from Macross Frontier. A boxy and ungainly bomber in flight mode, it earns its cool points when it transforms into an updated version of the Destroid Monster (which was more of a walking artillery platform than a mecha), with the firepower to take down escort cruisers and a recoil that can buckle a warship's armour plating.
    • Combined with Rule of Cool and More Dakka with the VF-25 and its full armor pack (also from Frontier). A few previous variable fighters had armor packs that when equipped prevented them from transforming back to fighter mode, but the VF-25's not only allows it to transform with the armor pack on, but gives it the largest missile load of any main fighter in the series.
  • Science Ninja Team Gatchaman
    • The God Phoenix. Imagine a large bright red and blue plane that can go into space, submerge in water, take off and land vertically, goes supersonic, carries about 30 missiles (before being kaboomed), then several large super missiles (after being rebuilt), and carries 4 secondary vehicles inside it. Most spectacularly of all when the plane's really in a jam, it can transform in to a giant flaming phoenix to escape, although this takes a lot out of the team.note  The Battle of the Planets Phoenix had both types of missiles, 30 small and 2 large.
    • Ken himself has the G1. A Cessna plane in civilian form that transforms into a supersonic jet. Later in the series, it gets mounted with a heat laser cannon.
  • Hayao Miyazaki uses this trope as one of his Creator Thumbprints. A love inherited from his father and uncle.
    • Porco Rosso's trademark red Savoia Marchetti S.21 seaplane and Curtis' Curtiss R3C racer are both actual historical aircraft (although the real Savoia S.21 was a biplane, not a monoplane) and would have been considered "cool" planes in their time.
    • The poster for The Wind Rises features a prototype of the Mitsubishi A5M "Claude" in all its inverted gull wing glory.
    • Future Boy Conan has Monsley's Falco, an amphibian cargo plane in an era After the End. The climax of the series involves Industria getting its hands on a "Gigant", a nearly kilometer-wide bomber plane that, in an age where there is no anti-air defenses, can single-handedly help Industria Take Over the World.
    • Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind features the Valley of the Wind Gunship (which has a huge cannon, amphibious landing capabilities and is extremely fast), the Pejitei Gunship (which single-handedly riddles two Torumekian Transports), the Torumekian Transports (which are humongous transport/gunships) and Nausicaa's Mehve (which is more of a Cool Jet-Powered Handglider). The plot makes clear that air power is worth its weight in gold, considering how much of a Death World the Earth has become.
    • The Castle of Cagliostro, one of the Lupin anime that Miyazaki directed, features the Count's autogyro. Lupin makes clear that (In-Universe) it's an antique, making it a symbol of the Count's eccentricities.
    • Castle in the Sky has a number of smaller wacky/cool ships (the pirates' "Tiger Moth" and the government's "Air Destroyer Goliath" are the ones with most screen time, as well as the "Tiger Moth"'s Flaptor squadron, open-topped rocket-boosted ornithopters for fast raiding). The titular Castle, however, is a Cool Airship!
  • The AH 88 Hellhound from the Patlabor movies. Functions mostly like an Apache, but looks way cooler.
  • The Umidori in Zipang a fictional VTOL naval scout craft which looks like the result of a tryst between an Apache attack helicopter and an Osprey.
  • The Golden Condor in The Mysterious Cities of Gold. Exceptionally cool, as it's solar powered and built of gold. And set in the 16th Century.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Academy City's HsF-00 and HsB-07 fighters and bombers. Over 80m in length, capable of Mach 7, can fly sideways or spin in place. The pilot's body has to be placed in cryogenic stasis in order to survive maneuvers, and controls the plane through a direct neural interface.
    • The "Six Wings" supersonic helicopter. These don't even have pilots, and are drones, but are considered the equivalent to an entire conventional armored platoon in terms of firepower.
  • Very prevalent in Gundam. Usually when there's a Transforming Mecha, it will either be this trope (most of the time referred to as a "Flight Mode",) a Space Plane, or both, depending on the application of Minovsky Physics in the setting. Among the notable examples:
    • Both the Zeta Gundam and its variants, and the Delta Gundam and its variants (particularly the Delta Plus) have their "Waverider" modes, which allow them atmospheric flight and atmospheric re-entry.
    • The Wing Gundam's "Bird Mode" does the same thing, with its Buster Rifle mounted on its nose. Ditto with the Wing Gundam Zero's "Neo Bird Mode".
    • The Gundam Airmaster from After War Gundam X can also transform into a jet aircraft in flight mode, but with twin beam rifles.
    • From Mobile Suit Gundam SEED, the FX-660 Skygrasper is one of the few non-transforming examples in the franchise, as it was built as a support fighter craft for the Strike Gundam, with built-in hardpoints for the latter's Striker Packs. It's also capable of VTOL.
    • From Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the Savior Gundam and the mass-production Murasame fill this role with their respective flight modes.
    • From Mobile Suit Gundam 00, the Kyrios Gundam fulfills this role in its flight mode and can be outfitted with a pod for bombing missions. Its predecessor unit from the 00 spinoff manga, the Abulhool, also qualifies, being loosely inspired by the F-22 Raptor in design.
  • Guardian Fairy Michel has Kim's plane, the Honeybee. It's a vintage plane with transforming capabilities that never seems to run out of fuel.
  • The Swordfish II is Spike's personal space plane from Cowboy Bebop, equipped with beam blaster, wing mounted machine guns, and detachable canopy.
  • All of the planes in The Sky Crawlers are either Expies or inspired by the ultimate generation of piston-engine fighters that were left on the drawing board at the end of World War II by the advent of the jet age. Justified in that war has been replaced by a form of aerial gladiatorial combat.
  • Many of the works of Mohiro Kitoh involve aircraft, whether real or fictional— and they are nearly always cool.
    • Bokurano has several, the most prominent of which is the advanced, stealthy Type 88 Light Fighter. During several of the robot battles, we get to see it in action.
    • Kith's currently-running manga, Futago no Teikoku, involves the Mitsubishi A5M, which was the most advanced naval fighter in the world in the 1930s.
  • Big Duo from The Big O is a cross between a Humongous Mecha and a Cool Plane. Its arms double as massive propeller engines (the fingers become the propellers) with retractable wings. As for its firepower, Big Duo has the same Eye Beams as Big O, rocket launchers in its torso, and its legs are actually massive missile launchers. Schwarzwald even discovered Big Duo in an abandoned hangar.
  • In the final arc of Aura Battler Dunbine the villains realise that the titular Aura Battlers potential are being limited by their humanoid shape and so they start incorporating technology from the humans' jet fighters to create the Aura Fighters — a bunch of insectoid fighter jets that run on "Aura".
  • The X-Tornado from Sonic X, a jet plane named for its ability to shift into an X-shaped wing mode for speed. It also had the ability to transform into a heavy armed walker in a Macross-style transformation sequence.
  • The Berserker of Fate/Zero uses his ability to turn any weapon he gets his hands on into his own Noble Phantasm to hijack an F-15 fighter jet.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers' quinjets count as a Cool Plane Fleet. They are supersonic, occasionally heavily armed, occasionally capable of flying up to orbit and in space, and always capable of confortably carrying five to ten of Earth's Mightiest Heroes.
  • Batman: The Batplane has been a mainstay since The Golden Age of Comic Books, usually depicted as a jet plane with bat-like wings. Comics and other Batman-related media since the 1990s have largely replaced the Batplane with the stealth bomber-inspired Batwing. Batman's small one-man copter, The Whirly-Bat has its own legion of fans. Their aerodynamics are often questionable, given the aforementioned need to shape the wings in roughly the form of Batman's insignia, but when powered by Rule of Cool, that's not a problem.
  • Blackhawk: The Blackhawk Squadron has flown a great many Cool Planes over the years, most notably the '40s-era XF5F Skyrocket, whose distinctive look makes it the definitive Blackhawk plane.
  • The SX Swordfish from Blake and Mortimer is an experimental supersonic fighter/bomber in an era (In-Universe and out - the series started in 1946) where airplanes didn't went that fast. A squadron of them, built in secret with Blake as the leading scientist, is the MacGuffin that nearly single-handedly saves the world from World War III in one story arc.
  • In Dallas Barr, Ricardo Garibaldi lives on a plane large enough to have a garden in the cargo hold.
  • Fantastic Four: The second Fantasti-Car is a Cool Plane which splits into four Cool Hovercrafts.
  • Great Ten: The Immortal Man (Men?) in Darkness flies one of these, the Dragonwing, which is based on alien technology and is phenomenally powerful. The current Immortal Man in Darkness isn't ashamed to admit that he's in love with the old girl.
  • Marvel 100th Anniversary Special has the Quin-Jet, a flying pyramid with seats for the travelers.
  • The Strikeforce: Morituri team uses a supersonic ballistic capsule to quickly fly to Horde invasion sites.
  • The famous Invisible Jet from Wonder Woman.
    • Wonder Woman (1942): Not only is it an early version of stealth technology, but it can also travel at least 2,000 MPH or 40 miles/second, be summoned/controlled telepathically, travel into space and even to other dimensions. This was also before Wondy had been given the ability to fly herself, removing the usual question for why she needs a plane.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Since the Post-Crisis Amazons are stripped of their technological advances and science-based society in favor of tying them to the Greek Pantheon, when the invisible plane is reintroduced, it's a sentient transforming craft gifted to Diana by a Sufficiently Advanced Alien.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): The Invisible Plane gets an Adaptational Backstory Change in this continuity. It's a B-17 which has been been painted with Wonder Woman Nose Art and undergone stealth experimentation allowing it to become invisible at the push of a button.
  • X-Men: The X-Men's first Blackbird is literally a modified SR-71, custom made by Lockheed, which illustrates how absurdly wealthy and well-connected Professor Xavier is. Later Blackbirds have little in common with the SR-71, incorporating Shi'ar technology, but retain the name because by that point, it had become an X-Men tradition.

    Fan Works 
  • Evangelion 303: In this doujin the main characters pilot war planes called F-14E -or "Evangelion"-, a variant of the F-14 model and the most advanced war plane built. Among other things they are fitted with an anti-targetting field capable to render them invisible to radar systems and deflect projectiles.
  • Child of the Storm has the Avengers and SHIELD Quinjets, lovingly describes the Eurofighter Typhoon (one of which brings down a zombified dragon... albeit after having crashed, and the empty jet being used as a giant lance by War Machine), and of course, the famous X-Men Blackbird. The latter meets an unfortunate end in the first major arc of the sequel, Ghosts of the Past, when Magneto hits the Red Son in the face with it.
  • HERZ: The aircraft piloted by Kensuke in chapter 1 definitely counts:
    Kensuke loved this. Some real action! Even if he couldn't pilot Eva, at least he got to fly the largest aircraft in the world. It flew high above the range of normal anti-aircraft missiles, undetectable to conventional radar. In any case normal anti-aircraft missiles did not have warheads that could really be more than a bee sting against this flying fortress.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: The SRI is able to have the last two SR-71 Blackbirds reserved for Terawatt's use. They're capable of going over Mach 3 but were mostly decommissioned because they're so expensive to run. To further improve response times and get around the need for quite a long runway, they're modified to let Terawatt pop in and out of the cockpit in her silvery form while moving; she gets collected via a Glass Smack and Slide at 100mph, then bails out over the target.
  • Fallout: Equestria - Empty Quiver
    • The XB/A-1 Valkyrie in visually resembles the Avro Vulcan with its delta-wing design, while also having the VTOL capabilities of the Harrier. Supersonic, black painted, 5-ton payload capacity and 2 forward facing automatic 40mm cannons, it is a veritable beast of a bird.
    • The Trought F/A-5U "Flying Pancake" is another copy of the Vought XF5U "Flying Flapjack", including the legendary durability. The first one to appear survives getting caught in the blast wave of a half-kiloton Megaspell, after all.
  • The Marabou from Too Huge To Be True. Howard Huge, designer of the Titanium Turkey whom the fic also credits for the Spruce Moose, had outdone all his previous designs by making a seaplane so huge that it can carry entire normal seaplanes, wings mounted and all, inside its fuselage — on two levels, even. This means its wingspan is about as large as the cliffs around Cape Suzette Bay are high (which eventually shows because it can only pass the gap in the cliffs turned vertically; it wasn't designed to enter the Bay, and approaching Cape Suzette is extremely difficult for a whole number of reasons). But despite being probably the largest seaplane ever made, it can (and does) get lost under sand dunes in a desert. It is powered by a dozen large formerly marine V-12 engines converted into high-performance aviation engines which are powerful enough to pull this monster's rear end and twin-boom tail out of a dune. Then again, it's just part of a dream Gadget has after a marathon of TaleSpin which has even worse aircraft. While the Marabou's exact dimensions aren't given, it is probably not necessarily that much bigger than the Iron Vulture.
  • In The Institute Saga, the X-Men's Blackbird gets upgraded with Superman's Kryptonian tech.

    Films — Animation 
  • Cars: The first film has Rotor Turbosky, Strip "The King" Weathers' helicopter, Barney Stormin, a red and white biplane seen sponsoring the final race, and a quartet of fighter jets at the same race composing of Marco, Stu Bop, and two unnamed jets, while Cars 2 has Siddeley, Finn McMissile's stealth fighter jet and his archenemies, the Lemons' Black Helicopter, as well as Everett the passenger plane and an unnamed Samairai passenger plane. The Spin-Off Mater's Tall Tales features even more aircraft: Rescue Squad Mater features a pair of rescue helicopters, Mater the Greater has Props McGee, a blue and red stunt plane, UFM: Unidentified Flying Mater has Captain Munier the attack helicopter, and Air Mater has the Falcon Hawks. Meanwhile, Planes features an entire cast of these.
  • The Incredibles gives us a few, like...
    • The "Manta Ray" jet. It flies in the air and swims under water and even serves Mr. Incredible shrimp cocktail and mimosa all by itself... with no flight attendants! Its creator is a Gadgeteer Genius Ascended Fanboy turned bad, who also happens to be the creator of...
    • The Velocipods — a mook-flown and also crazy baddie invention. Being small, fast and agile, it's basically your car-sized one-man helicopter that can fly tight circles around people. Its arsenal of twin machine guns gives it some raw firepower at a healthy distance, but you know what? It's the blades which make it really incredible: it cuts entire palm trees without hurting itself!
    • And the Big Bad has more! There's even an unpowered glider housed inside a rocket that carries a Humongous Mecha called the "Omnidroid". However, other than its incredible mass for an aircraft, there isn't much to speak of it since it demonstrates nothing else.
    • The good guys, however, get anote  "really fast" private jet. Although it's not up to the incredible standards set by the rest of the other aircraft, it can do some very extreme maneuvers and, if really necessary, jettison flares to confuse SAMs (note that this is something that real military planes can do as well).
  • In Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Wonder Woman stole her famous invisible jet from Batman's Evil Doppelgänger Owlman, calling it a Battle Trophy. It's shown to pack enough heavy artillery to KO even the local Flying Bricks.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The maneuverable, adjustable, submersible one-person fighter craft of Jupiter Ascending outdo many of the space fighters out there.
  • The Last Dinosaur: Masten Thrust's private jet, with its own inner trophy room complete with chimney (although one has to wonder: where does the smoke goes to?).
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has several of these:
    • Slightly more realistic than most other examples in the franchise is Tony Stark's private jet in Iron Man. Comes with a wide-screen television, a fully equipped bar and luxurious leather seats, and the stewardesses double as strippers, complete with poles. And, of course, the Man himself.
    • In Captain America: The First Avenger, we have HYDRA's massive Flying Wing aircraft and rocket-powered helicopter, which were both based on actual designs from the period, even.
    • In The Avengers (2012), the Quinjet is a fighter/troop carrier plane with articulated wings and turbines in the wings for VTOL, as well as a fleet of heavily armored fighters with similar VTOL wing turbines.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, Tony also has a cool helicopter, which contains a storage and activation system for his latest Iron Man armor, as well as a hidden rear hatch so that he can launch from it while it's in flight.
    • Captain Marvel (2019) features quadjets, prototype predecessors to the quinjets (the biggest difference is that quadjets have, as the name suggests, four engines to the quinjet's five) — one is even modified with Skrull engineering into being fully space-capable.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow:
    • The Royal Navy's amphibious squadron can transform in mid-dive into submersibles armed with cluster-torpedoes. They also have an Ejection Seat with built-in Jet Pack, leading to a Moment of Awesome for Angelina Jolie.
    • Sky Captain's modified Curtiss P-40, as it carries the usual six machine-gun loadout as well as grapnel cables and magnetic bombs. Also, it can fly under water and perform aerobatic feats that the real P-40 would be hard pressed to do.
  • The Starlight One hypersonic sub-orbital passenger liner in the 1983 disaster Made-for-TV Movie of the same name, based on experimental NASA Space Plane technology.
  • The F/A-37 Talons from Stealth, as well as the modified model used by EDI, or Extreme Deep Invader. Just how agile they are/can be is vividly highlighted by the CMOA when EDI turns on a dime to track and shred a Sukhoi bird flying past.
  • The MiG-28 flown by the villains in Top Gun, while in reality a Northrop F-5 with a (pardon the pun) jet-black paint scheme and red star markings, gave the heroes a serious run for their money and even terrorized one pilot so bad he resigns.
  • The Blackbird in X-Men: First Class, of course. Stealthy and supersonic on the technical side, sleek and beautifully shaped on aesthetic side.

  • Firefox, the novel on which the film Firefox was based.
    • One of the earliest, and almost certainly still to this day the greatest, has to be the MiG-31 "Firefox", which was capable of Mach 5, stealth (called "anti-radar" in the book, which predates the term "stealth technology") and carried thought-controllable weapons. For which the pilot had to think in Russian nevertheless.
    • The original cover had the aircraft look like the MiG-25. The distinctive design was a creation of the film and features on all later re-prints. There's irony for you: the real MiG-31, codenamed "Foxhound", is a development of the -25 Foxbat, so the original cover got it right! Of course, the Foxhound can't do Mach 5, is not particularly stealthy and doesn't have thought-controlled weapons; on the other hand, it does tote AA-9 Amos missiles, which are the longest-range air-to-air missiles that the USSR/Russia has; they're said to be the Soviet equivalent of the AIM-54 Phoenix.
    • At least one aeronautically-knowledgeable fan drew up its technical specifications in a journal-worthy white paper, thus making the Firefox one of the most realistic cool machines ever seen in a Hollywood film.
  • The Dale Brown novel Flight of the Old Dog and the series after it is about a junky old B-52 used as a testing platform for state-of-the-art military technology, a dichotomy reflected in its two names, "Megafortress" and "The Old Dog". When a Soviet laser system shoots down a US satellite and a squadron of sleek B-1 bombers, naturally it's the ramshackle B-52 and its rag-tag crew which comes to the rescue. Although it's valuable enough to be overhauled and eventually replaced in the continuity, the Cool Ship naturally never becomes mass-production, because that would cripple its mojo (and would make little sense militarily, anyway). Eventually the Dreamland team switches to heavily-modified B-1 Lancers with, amongst other things, LADAR, "plasma"-warhead missiles and armed UAVs. Later still the Black Stallion spaceplanes show up. The Russians also have some entries of their own, like the Fisikous/Metyor-179 Tyenee/Shadow stealth bomber in Warrior Class. Of course, there are some IRL ones flying around.
  • The science fiction novella "Steam Bird", about how the crew of the titular huge nuclear-powered bomber—die-hard steam enthusiasts to a man— are so keen to have an excuse to finally fly the damned thing, during every diplomatic crisis they tool up and wait in the plane for The Call. When it finally comes, they're rolling in seconds, much to the President's dismay five minutes later when he realizes that he's just ordered a large nuclear reactor into the air. Due to the way the thing's built, once it's moving, it's got to take off Or Else (and set a whole bunch of world records in the process.) Such aircraft were actually proposed by the US Air Force in The '50s.
  • In Johanne Cabal The Detective, the entomopters are jets with a pair of rapidly beating wings similar to Dune's ornithopters. Of the few diagrams in the novel, one of them features the CI-880 Ghepardo fighter-interceptor entomopter which packs a fairly potent punch with twin 15mm Martello "mini-cannons" and the 60mm Zeus rocket launcher which can be swapped out for some heavy bombs.
  • Matthew Reilly
    • His book the Seven Ancient Wonders (Seven Deadly Wonders for US readers) features the Halicarnassus, an extensively modified 747 used as a militarized transport aircraft. It's modifications include VTOL capability, minigun and missile pods, radar-absorbent black paint job, and an impressive military-spec sensor and communications package. Oh, and the best part? It was actually a custom order by Saddam FREAKING Hussein, and the protagonist single-handedly stole it from him during the first Gulf War.
    • His previous books feature the Silhouette (a fighter prototype with a cloaking device), and the Black Raven (a modified Sukhoi S-37 with more weapons than a Bond car). Both include radar-absorbent paint and VTOL. The S-37 was an earlier name for the Sukhoi Su-47, which counts as a cool plane before the modifications.
  • The Wingman series by Mack Maloney
    • It has the main character's F-16, with which he leads the forces of America's restoration. It's the last remaining F-16 in the world after the Soviets won World War III and destroyed most of America's modern equipment during the forced disarmament. It's modified to carry more and more missiles until, in the end, it can lug over twenty, and its performance is somehow not hampered in the least. It later ends up traveling back in time to World War II, then later into the far future — IN SPACE — where it's modified to become a starfighter. The series is even more silly than all of that sounds.
    • From the same series is the gunship known as Nozo, a modified C-5 that is armed with a full 21 GAU-8 Avengers. Its companion plane, the rather spectacularly colored Bozo, is fitted with a bewildering array of machine guns, Gatling guns, rocket launchers, and artillery pieces; said plane becomes the setpiece for an entire novel when it crashes in Vietnam and has to defend itself from constant human wave attacks.
  • The Javelin training jet from Honor Harrington is presented as very cool when it's introduced. Two overpowered engines (Capable of at least Mach 6), minimal computer support, no inertial compensation, a deliberate technical anachronism, and extremely fun to fly.
  • Older Than Feudalism: Ramayana, written long before airplanes existed, introduced vimanas, which were some sort of magical aerial vehicle. The book does not spare words in describing the "sun-equaling" splendor of Pushpaka's vimana, which is "as fast as thought", capable of going anywhere at the pilot's will, and also apparently sentient enough to understand spoken commands. (Or maybe it has a computer with voice-recognition software...)
  • The Albatross in Jules Verne's Robur the Conqueror. The best way to describe it would be as a gigantic helicopter with dozens of vertical rotors to provide lift and two horizontal propellers to create thrust. The novel came out in 1886, long before the creation of the first heavier-than-air craft.
  • The Terror in Jules Verne's thriller Master of the World. It's an electrically powered ornithopter with retractable wings that transforms into an armored car and submarine.
  • The Big One universe series of novels reflects a world in which bombers in general have much-enhanced prestige with their users and where high & fast is a valid means of penetrating enemy defenses. As a result, the novels contain a plethora of really cool military and civilian aircraft, all of which existed as either prototypes or advanced engineering concepts.
  • Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: Grant does admire how luxurious the Bureau's Gulfstream jet is, with wide windows and blinds, polished wood grain hand rests, a leather seat and wide room inside the plane.
  • Tom Clancy's books have featured several notable examples. All but two exceptions were active service aircraft with the US and other militaries at the time of the writing.
    • In Red Storm Rising he featured the F-19 Ghostridernote which is what he assumed the USAF stealth fighter to be. It was a superior aircraft to the actual F-117 Nighthawk, with the ability to carry air to air missiles and to go supersonic.
    • Debt of Honor likewise featured the Comanche stealth attack helicopter, which was a prototype that was canceld before it could enter regular service. Again it had performance vastly exceeding the actual helicopter. The same book also had the first prominent fictional outing of the F-22 just a few years after its existence was publicized, though when the novel was written (1994) there were only a few YF-22 prototypes, which had some differences from the later production models, and the novel uses the old name for the aircraft, Rapier.
  • In Zero History by William Gibson, crossing over between Cool Plane and Cool Boat, Eccentric Millionaire Hubertus Bigend owns an Ekranoplan - specifically, an A-90 Orlyonok. While these were historically developed by the Soviet Union, aerodynamics and ocean weather are not friendly to such designs. While they are vastly more efficient than airplanes in ideal circumstances, they don't work at all in rough seas and inevitably have stability problems.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Bus in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is a VTOL-capable cargo plane that Coulson uses as a mobile base of operations. Inside the plane is a two-car garage, a first-rate science lab, a command center, a brig, and a well stocked mini-bar. But no fish tank. After its destruction near the end of Season 2, Season 3 features an all new VTOL-capable aircraft called the Zephyr One, which looks like part Bus, part Quinnjet and part Helicarrier.
  • The supersonic Airwolf helicopter, star of the show of the same name created by Donald P. Bellisario. Capable of exceeding Mach 1, stealthy and an unrefuelled range that most fighters can't get near.
  • The Luxury Liners in the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica don't do much to warrant coolness but they still look pretty awesome. Technically they are starships but they are modeled after present-day airplanes and fill the same function so it kinda counts.
    • Well, being able to fly constantly for 4 years with little maintenance and taking off from a warzone while dodging fighters is pretty cool too, I guess.
    • What about the Vipers themselves? Designed for maximum maneuverability and capable of taking down eight Cylon raiders in one go or even a Resurrection Ship in the hands of the right pilot, they're the best examples of this trope in the Fleet.
    • The Vipers are also a partial subversion of this trope: the most advanced Mk. VII models turn out to be susceptible to Cylon hacking at first, so the pilots have to use older Mk II models to get any fighting done.
  • The Blue Thunder can't match Airwolf in power or TV ratings, but lowly criminals are just so much fodder when police chopper Blue Thunder hoses them down with 20mm bullets. Later in the series, the Blue Thunder gets an ECM shield to protect it against lasers so it did one-up the Airwolf there.
  • Doctor Who: In "Victory of the Daleks", three Spitfires (already a classic World War II Allied fighter plane) are armed with lasers and made-spaceflight-capable in order to battle a Dalek Flying Saucer. The Spitfires return in "A Good Man Goes to War" to serve as part of The Cavalry yet again.
  • Initially in The Magician, Blake used his Boeing 720 jetliner (named "The Spirit") as a base of operations; it was outfitted as a mobile residence ("It's like any other mobile home, only faster.") with live-in pilot Jerry Anderson.
  • Thunderbirds
    • Thunderbird 1 is the ultimate aerial hot-rod if you don't count space-planes. Reputed to do 15,000 mph, which is 86 per cent of orbital velocity and will get you anywhere on Earth in just over an hour, even allowing for acceleration and slowing down at either end of the trip.
    • The Fireflash nuclear-powered airliner - based on designs of the time, until people realised any crash would result in an unhealthy dose of isotopes over a wide area from the crash site.
    • Thunderbird 2 is not only hypersonic, but capable of carrying very large loads.
  • Nearly every single Ultra Series defense team has a cool planes in their hangars. Although they get shot out of the sky by the Monster of the Week to the point of being a Running Gag, they're all equipped with highly advanced technology that can actually hurt the monsters and have appealing designs. In many series, they're also capable of exiting the atmosphere as they pleased, and some were even Combining Mecha.
  • Wonder Woman (1975): The invisible jet. It was invisible and could apparently be controlled telepathically. In the pilot, Wonder Woman uses the invisible jet to chase down a Nazi spy, board his plane in mid-air, knock him out, drag him onto the invisible jet, trick the Nazi sub into giving away its position, crash the Nazi plane into the sub killing everyone on board, and then fly off with the captured Nazi spy. Any plane that has the capabilities to do all of that, remembering that most of it requires Wonder Woman to not be at the controls of the jet, is unquestionably cool.
    Wonder Woman: You obviously have little regard for womanhood. You must learn respect.
    Top Nazi Spy: I prefer not to soil my hands on female flesh, but if you insist...
    [Wonder Woman knocks him out with one punch]


    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000 and its spinoff game Aeronautica Imperialis have their fair share of cool planes.
    • Special mention goes to the Eldar Nightwing, which in the words of one reviewer "looks like something Batman would fly". Its page in Imperial Armor contains a background note on an Eldar squadron that shot down more than sixty Chaos fighters in the course of one campaign. Particularly awesome given that that squadron was four Nightwings strong.
    • Deff Skwadron brings us da megabomma, which is not only friggin' enormous, but also glorious enough to an Ork mindset (read: as many guns as could be welded on and a huge payload of angry squigs) that its eventual pilot has to pick his jaw off the floor when he first sees it.
  • This is pretty much the point of Warbirds and is why the corebook has sixteen pages on designing your own; common traits include multiple wings, rear-propeller "pusher" designs, and all the rest of the Dieselpunk stuff. "Courier" games, for example, can use the XS-1200 Fast Courier: the fully-equipped one shown in the book has six gun turrets, four pusher engines, and a lot of contraband space, yet can still move like a fighter (although it can't handle doing stunts); the chassis can, with a sufficiently dedicated/insane crew, mount a 75mm cannon instead of a chin turret.
  • FASA
  • Cyberpunk 2020 features vehicles similar to those featured on Blade Runner or The Fifth Element, or the Real Life Osprey, on Chromebooks advanced fighter planes that take advantage of the development of cybernetic gear in that setting... and the heavily armed and protected tandem rotor helicopter Sikorsky-Mitsubishi "Dragon", that the handbook invites to use as a real dragon: to kill big things and scare the hell out of everyone.
  • In Biohazard Games/Fantasy Flight Games's Blue Planet, despite being set on an ocean planet - boats aren't the most common form of transport. It's jumpcraft, a.k.a hoppers, which are capable of vertical take-off with its turbo-fans and are amphibious as well. The military version is the Assault Jumpcraft which has on a turret two autocannons and missiles to take role of traditional artillery. Dedicated aircraft are rare, but the king of the skies is the VTOL Strike Fighter which has a rotary cannon and can do various roles with its anti-air and anti-surface missiles.

    Video Games 
  • The absolutely giant passenger airliner in Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. The passenger compartment in First Class is two full stories tall (one "story" for passengers and one for a lounge area and in-flight shop), and the cargo compartment is also two stories tall. The first class seats are extremely luxurious, equivalent to what one might enjoy on a private jet. Given the layout that we see, that means that the airliner is at least 3 stories tall, possibly 4. As a result, this plane would be larger than any passenger airline flying today (compare the Airbus A380, currently the largest passenger airliner in the world, but somewhat less than 3 stories tall; it almost certainly could not have supported the giant cargo hold depicted in the game). Implausible to be sure, but who wouldn't want to sit in a first-class seat that comfortable?
  • The Ace Combat series was designed from the ground up to feature as many examples of Cool Planes as possible, and allow aviation nerds the world over to simulate flying them in combat. Every single plane in the games all count in some form or other, but here are the noteworthy picks:
    • Ace Combat 2 was the first to have fantasy-made aircraft. A recurring example is the fan-favorite XFA-27, whose design looked like it came straight out of Macross, as it heavily resembles a VF-11 but minus the ability to turn into a mecha, is way more maneuverable than any other aircraft, and being able to fire four missiles at once (a mini-Macross Missile Massacre?), something that no other plane could do until the fourth game onwards. The ADF-01 FALKEN (pictured above) made its debut in this game as an Optional Boss, which is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere because the first time you fight it, you have absolutely no idea what the heck kind of aircraft it is and no you can't fly it.
    • Ace Combat 3: Electrosphere runneth over with Cool Planes, including the XFA-36A Game, the UI-4054 Aurora, the R-352 Sepia (a space fighter), the R-201v Asterozoa (a double artillery airplane), the XR-900 Geopelia, and the X-49 Night Raven ( a Super Prototype, piloted by a skilled but Delicate and Sickly girl in the original version or a murderous AI in the export version. Just to hammer down the point, the Eurofighter Typhoon, prototyped in 1994 and saw service starting in 2003 (the game is released in 1999), is the equivalent of flying a World War II airplane in-universe!
    • Ace Combat 04: Shattered Skies gave us the X-02 Wyvern, a unique combination of variable-geometry and forward-swept wings, which came back upgraded as the X-02S Strike Wyvern in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown with its folding wings and later railgun as its main gimmick.
    • The Arkbird from Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, an absolutely massive space-capable aircraft, fitted with lasers to deal with meteor debris around the planet but just as well capable of blasting a submerged submarine from orbit. Though you don't get to fly it, you do get to use it as a Kill Sat and then shoot it down when it's taken over by the enemy.
    • Being the first Ace Combat game following the game's timeline, Ace Combat Zero: The Belkan War gave us the granddaddies of the fictional planes of the series: the ADFX-01 Morgan and its upgraded version, the ADFX-02. Sadly, you can only fly the former, which is still an absolute blast. Both planes are so utterly off-balance, that the 01 can actually complete several entire missions with a single subweapon shot. And while the 01, for balance reasons, only carries one of said subweapons (either a massive bomb, a laser cannon or a missile spoofing system), the 02 has all three.
    • Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation has the CFA-44 Nosferatu. The plane nearly ruined the economy of its native country due to its development costs and for good reason: top-tier stats, able to fire up to twelve missiles at the same time, to adapt its stealth camouflage to spoof almost any radar and goes into battle accompanied by twin railguns and a small squadron of Attack Drone.
    • Skies of Deception has the YR-302 Fregata, XR-45 Cariburn, XFA-33 Fenrir, XFA-24A Apalis, and the YR-99 Forneus. All six are super-maneuverable and a blast to fly, and were formerly the page image for this trope.
    • Despite taking place in the real world, Ace Combat: Joint Assault and Ace Combat: Assault Horizon gave us the GAF-1 Varcolac and the ASF-X Shinden II respectively. The former, despite its enormous size and goofy looks (it looks like a guitar viewed from above) flies like an angel. The latter was designed by Shoji Kawamori himself and would fit right at home, performance and looks wise, in a Macross episode. However, for obvious reasons, it can't transform into a mech.
    • Considering the role played by drones in real warfare, Ace Combat also has several Cool UAVs. Starting with Zone of Endless in Ace Combat 2, which used existing planes remote controlled by an Artificial Intelligence, the series gave us the Malgebolg (the support drones of the above-mentionned Nosferatu), the Quox and its bigger brother the Quox Bis (the support drones of the Ace Combat Infinity version of the Nosferatu, itself remote-controlled) and the so far culmination of the drone warfare in the series, in Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown: the ADF-11 (and its prototype, the ADFX-10), able to go toe-to-toe with the best pilots of the world and, if needs arise, update their strategies in real time to counter a dangerous foe and detach from their main body to gain speed and agility in order to escape.
    • The F-22 Raptor isn't the signature plane of the series for nothing, folks. You can ace four of the toughest enemies in the series with one shot. Yeah, the Cool Plane outshines even its fictional counterparts, with his main rival being usually the Su-37 Terminator or the Su-57 / T-50 PAK FA.
  • All 4 Air-frames of the MMORPG Ace Online are Cool Planes in their own right:
  • In Act of War there's plenty of cool real-world and near-future concept aircraft like the Tu-160 Blackjack, or the B-2 Spirit. The most unique perhaps, is the V-44 Heavy Transport VTOL Rotorcraft from Task Force Talon. Loosely based on the Bell Boeing Quad TiltRotor - it's a stealth capable, 4 rotor armored transport that can carry tanks or plenty of infantry and packs a twin 7.62 gatling gun to deal with ground forces.
  • Boogie Wings have you piloting a cool biplane in the Golden Age of Aviation. It's a heavily-armoured, gadget-laden aircraft with an electric generator allowing you to clear the screen of enemies, Smart Bomb-style, and even have a grappling hook underneath it (called the "skyhook") that can grab mooks and throw them into objects.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals: Zero Hour
    • The Spectre gunship is also based on the AC-130H Spectre. The only difference is that while the Real Life counterpart runs on somewhat slow turboprops, the fictionalized one runs on jet engines and takes a huge amount of punishment!
    • One general is even exclusive air power, but other players can make do with the superior air to air Raptor, fire breathing fururistic MiG 1.44, Stealth F-117 bombers, carpet bombers, Aurora fuel air bomb droppers and B-2 MOAB bombing.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert has the Soviet Yak fighters (for infantry, ala the first mission) and Su bombers for armor and structures.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 has Harrier Jump Jets and the Korean elite Black Eagles where entire missions can, and have, been won on these guys alone. The Soviets get their Cool Airship Kirov and Yuri has a cool spaceship.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 gives us the Allied Vindicator. It's stubby, not terribly fast, carries just two little bombs, and can't even kill other aircraft. What it can and will do is consistently and constantly knock out enemy resource collectors, vehicles, buildings and just about anything else. It's like a little sniper rifle you point at whatever you want dead and let fly. Entire strategies were built around the reliable little guy, and it pretty much entirely defined Allied strategy throughout the patch cycle. A tier one Allied faction power makes the Vindicator even scarier, giving it a stat boost and a 50% boost in bomb capacity.
    • The Century Bomber is like the Vindicator on steroids. If you can get around the prohibitively expensive price tag, this bigger, fatter cousin has enough grunt to devastate ground forces and tough enough to come back from all bar the most overzealous air defense.
    • And for something even bigger, get a load of the Allied Harbringer gunship. It's more or less the Real Life American AC-130H Spectre on steroids... and the Harbringer's very much based on it (Harbinger replaces the Spectre's howitzer with Proton Collider cannons and gets a forward mounted 25mm machine gun).
  • The Command & Conquer: Tiberium saga is loaded to the brim with Cool Planes — fictional ones, that is. The most iconic of them all is the GDI Orca of the Tiberian Dawn era. Its twin tiltjet technology was so useful and reliable that in Tiberian Sun, GDI derived five different variants from the original Orca. Nod eventually catches up with GDI's technological advancements, though, namely with the introduction of the Scrin-based Banshee attack aircraft and in Tiberium Wars, Venom gunships and the Vertigo stealth bomber.
  • The entirety of action RPG Consortium takes place on a futuristic passenger plane.
  • Being a game about Sky Pirates, Crimson Skies runs on this trope (along with Cool Airship). Of special note is the Hughes Aviation Bloodhawk model "Blue Streak", a reasonably well-armoured and -armed single-propeller craft which is the first plane capable of using the Nitro Boost that the player acquires. It is also the fastest aircraft in the entire game and second in maneuverability only to the Hoplite autogyro.
  • Each entry in the Deus Ex franchise sees the player character ferried from location to location in their own Cool Plane:
  • Digital Combat Simulator is built around this trope, with numerous examples of aircraft like the F/A-18. What makes them cool is the exacting detail that the high fidelity models have, down to the numerous, functional buttons and switches.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: The Kinreikan grant the hero team an attack-ready jet airplane to travel from Japan to France, with enough passenger space to accommodate the team and firepower to take on any of Dark Force's attack saucers if it came to aerial engagement. It even comes with security cameras inside the aircraft... for the team's safety, of course. Unfortunately while it's armed to the teeth for craft-to-craft combat, a swarm of Spy Flies clogging the engines, crashing into the windshield, and stabbing the pilot through the jaw are harder to defend against.
  • Fallout's Enclave uses the infamous Vertibirds, and yea, verily, they are cool. Also, there's a quest in Fallout: New Vegas where you can restore a crashed B-29 use it to rain death on your enemies. Awesome.
  • With the exception of the Dodo in Grand Theft Auto III, most of the aircraft available to the player in the Grand Theft Auto franchise are like this. Standout examples include the RM-10 Bombushka (a Russian cargo plane that can also be used as a bomber), the Hydra (a VTOL jet fighter), the B-11 Strikeforce (a copy of the A-10 Thunderbolt) and the Luxor DeLuxe (a gold-plated private jet).
  • The Combine's Hunter-Chopper from Half-Life 2, used to hunt down Gordon Freeman and resistance members who oppose the aforementioned Big Bad. It is a mish-mash of a few real-life based helicopter designs (namely the CAIC Z-10, Harbin Z-19 and the RAH-66) while combining them with an asymmetrical layout that proves to be uncanny and cool at the same time.
  • Hardwar's moths (think a plane meant for another planet's atmosphere) are generally squat-looking, boxy, function-over-form utility machines. Then you get the Swallow: sleek, aerodynamic, elegant and very deadly, it owns everything else in the skies with ease.
  • Tom Clancy's H.A.W.X. contains several cool planes, but there are some cool ones not mentioned in that page. For example:
    • The FB-22 (F-22 bomber variant), SR-71 combat-capable prototype YF-12, and the fictional XA-20 Razorback.
    • The Razorback is a really cool one. It is officially designated as a ground support plane but it has the loadout to give even Raptors a really hard time. Especially since the Razorback is stealthed which means slower missile lock against it. And with the exception of one mission, no one in the singleplayer campaign flies this girl; after finishing the game though, you do.
  • Mass Effect's A-61 Mantis is usually used as a gunship, but the codex says that it can easily act as a fixed wing aircraft. Its design in the game reflects this, making it look like a fixed wing aircraft that's been turned and contorted in various ways with fold-up parts. Also according to the codex, in this role it can fulfill the role of any aircraft, whether it be a fighter, ground attack aircraft, or high-altitude bomber, all while being faster and more maneuverable than any equivalent aircraft we have today (i.e. Harriers). While the models you encounter in Mass Effect 2 are shitty stripped down ones used by mercenary bands, the "Stolen Memory" DLC and Mass Effect 3 let you see the normal, military-issue versions. All models of the Mantis pack dual unlimited ammo cannons and ten missiles, and the military models have very powerful Deflector Shields.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 has the Nomad, a unique transport plane that serves as the mobile base for Solid Snake and Otacon. Loaded with computer equipment, it also has living quarters for several people, a chicken coop, space enough for their helicopter and facilities to create inventions such as the Octocamo suit and small robots based on the Metal Gears.
  • Monster Hunter has no airplanes per se (they have yet to be invented in-universe), but there are two monsters inspired by them:
    • Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate: Valstrax can be described as an Elder Dragon that moves like a sound-speed fighter craft, using its wings as jet engines powered with Dragon element. Not only can it move rapidly to charge at its enemies (including hunters), but also fly through the high skies to prepare a supersonic dive onto the ground and hurt (or even kill) them with a very powerful Shockwave Stomp.
    • Monster Hunter: World: The Bazelgeuse is a flying wyvern, but it still counts because it both looks and acts like a Boeing B-52. It soars over hill and dale with its enormous wings, dropping a barrage of grenades from above onto anything that looks like a tasty meal to it. The Iceborne expansion introduces the variant Seething Bazelgeuse, which is even more dangerous.
  • Killian's VTOL jet personnel transport / gunship in Perfect Dark Zero.
  • Planetside has tons of examples. The Galaxy Gunship used by all three factions (and sadly no longer in the second game) has four defence turrets and can carry squads of infantry, MAX suits and a light vehicle into the battle. The New Conglomerate Reaver is essentially a flying tank with armour and firepower to match, with the trademark Air Hammer cannon (which is effectively an upscaled nose-mounted shotgun); the Terran Republic's Mosquito is light, fast and excels at air superiority with its Banshee and M18 rotary cannons; the Vanu Sovereignity's Scythe is a reverse-engineered alien fighter craft mounting cannons with Energy Weapons.
  • Project Wingman, being made by Ace Combat fans, has its fair share of Cool Planes with some tweaks and modified names for copyright reasons. The two-seaters such as the F-4 Phantom or F-14 Tomcat gain however an extra level of coolness due to your WSO being a fully-fledged character instead of being as expressive as a dummy. The three endgame planes take the cake, however:
    • The Chimera, made by Kickstarter backers, looks like a fusion between a F-22 and a Su-57 and flies like one, being the best plane to use a "conventional" loadout.
    • The SP-34R looks like a squat variant of Ace Combat's FALKEN and doesn't have any missiles, but flies like an angel, carries every kind of gunpod in the game, and has a railgun.
    • The PW.MK1 is the SP-34R on steroids; same railgun, a rapid-fire mini-missile launcher, and even better stats, the only complaint about being that it's not a two-seater.
  • Raptor: Call of the Shadows has the titular attack plane of The Future. The Raptor packs a punch with 3 "always on" weapons - twin machine guns, a weak Plasma Cannon and micro-missiles and a selectable weapon of far greater power including a Death Ray or Twin Lasers plus it carries a limited supply of Megabombs. It's also capable of operating in space as you clear enemies from the moon.
  • The DLC for Saints Row 2 let you take up Ultor's version of the A-10 Warthog to carpet bomb Stillwater in.
    • Saints Row: The Third has the F-69 VTOL, STAG's primary fighter jet. In addition to looking sleek and futuristic and, well, being a VTOL, it has a microwave laser cannon for it's primary armament, as well as laser-guided swarm missiles, which you can charge up for a greater blast radius if you really want to bring the pain. Additionally, Big Bad Cyrus Temple uses a special jet black one for his boss fight which you unlock in the post-game, and a DLC pack added one in Saints-purple as well. And just in case you didn't already feel like a badass while flying one, it sounds like a Transformer while switching between Hover and Flight modes. Meanwhile nothing is stopping you from calling in air strikes and controlled missiles yourself.
    • Saints Row IV unleashes the Screaming Eagle (a flying eagle armed like the F-69) and even when destroyed can be immediately re-summoned except for instances that immediately destroy any vehicle and it has to be done on foot.
  • In Secret Agent Barbie, Barbie and her team have their own, very large and very pink, private jet, which acts as their primary mode of transportation, as well as their secret headquarters.
  • Many Shoot 'Em Up and Bullet Hell games feature these, oftentimes overlapping with Space Fighter or Space Plane if their games have levels that take them into space. Notable examples include the Fighting Thunder series of planes from Raiden, the Vic Viper from Gradius and the titular ship from Ikaruga.
  • The Steam/Diesel Punk mini-flyers used by the heroes in SkyGunner.
  • Miles 'Tails' Prower started out piloting the Tornado, Sonic's red WW1 biplane that got regularly upgraded over the series. In Sonic Adventure it gets shot down and replaced by the Tornado II, which had the ability to shift into an X-shaped wing mode, and got upgraded in the sequel (Sonic Adventure 2) so it can transform into a Mini-Mecha called the Cyclone and a car. A new red Tornado (or perhaps a repaired and upgraded version of the original) called the Tornado-1 was later introduced.
  • Strike Commander features a plethora of "mundane" Cool Planes, but the last two missions have you stealing an F-22 (the game was made well before it entered production), and later using it to dogfight with a prototype YF-23 (specifically, the Black Widow II).
  • Can be built in TerraTech. While hard to get right, properly-made planes can glide, do acrobatics, bombard helpless enemies with bombs and missiles, refine and sell resources on the wing or even craft new blocks after landing.
  • Vector Thrust
    • Being a Spiritual Successor to the Ace Combat series, it also offers all the real-life standards like the F-22, Su-47, F-14, and others. Worth noting is that the game boasts several variants of each aircraft that are even cooler- The F-22X "Alvaraptor" and F-35X "Silver Lightning" come to mind, being modified versions of their traditional airframes with forward-swept wings.
    • More recently in a show of support for the Pride of Wardoge tournament they came out with the AXF-14G Digital Tomcat, which is a stealth-capable F-14 Tomcat with synthetic vision modules and completely modernised control surfaces.
  • You can craft various VTOL types in Warzone 2100, while the specs and roles vary depending on the parts used - VTOLs are unmatched in moving speed and have very good survivability - with some designs being essentially a tank in the sky. While they have a limited ammo supply similar to Orcas in Command & Conquer, the VTOL weapons are more powerful than their ground unit counterparts to make up for that.
  • XCOM gives us the soldiers' main transport ship, the SR-77H Skyranger. In the 2012 remake XCOM: Enemy Unknown, it's able to get from one end of the Earth to the other, and back again, in a single day on a single tank of fuel. Nice.
  • Xenonauts gives us the X-59 Marauder, which your chief scientist outright describes as a "flying tank". Using armour, weaponry, engines, and avionics derived from invading alien craft, the Marauder is capable of crusing at nearly 4,000 kilometres per hour whilst still carrying an autocannon and two missiles heavy enough to destroy a tank. For comparison, your average fighter is capable of Mach 2-2.5 and can be taken down by a couple of anti-air missiles, whereas this thing is designed to shrug off plasma bolts. In a Moment of Awesome, the plane is even capable of flying with both wings destroyed as if nothing happened.
  • Zombie Gunship already has you being the gunner on an AC-130 gunship but in the war against zombies, your particular plane has been souped-up to accept weapons outside of the standard load-out on the plane including modified anti-material rifles and special weapons like the ND 37 an autocannon that fires super-heated shells which can reach a point where the shells will explode into flames.
  • Le Temple Perdu de l'Oncle Ernest has the Aero-Condor, a one-person-sized plane shaped like a condor with an Inca aesthetic. The coolness mostly comes from the plane's design.

    Web Animation 

    Web Original 
  • In the Diesel Punk Web Serials The Chronicles of Taras, the bad guys and later what remains of the protagonists pilot a wingless, wide and cylindrical Diesel Punk airship with four neon-blue searchlights, a pair of mounted guns and a detailed interior called the "Collins RB-434 Hunter-Scavenger".

    Western Animation 
  • C.O.P.S. features Bullseye's Air Raid helicopter, which has a sleek, futuristic design and twin cockpits with red and blue glass.
  • The Venture Bros.
    • The "X-1" used to be a cool plane, in the 1960's. Now it's just the supersonic daily driver for the family.
    • Jonas' EX-X-1 however, is a cool plane. It can pilot itself, has Space Invaders in the lounge... and at that it has a lounge!
  • G.I. Joe has plenty of Cool Planes in both the Joes' and Cobra's fleets. The early vehicles were at least inspired by known real-life vehicles; by 1987, made-up, "futuristic" designs became the norm, with the older craft repurposed for special units (sometimes for the other side). Some of the vehicles based on real ones:
    • Skystriker XP-14F (later XP-21F) - based on the F-14, with a modified forward intake.
    • Dragonfly XH-1 - based on the AH-1 SuperCobra, with a jet turbine stabilizer in place of a conventional tail rotor.
    • Conquest X-30 - a twin-engine fighter with forward-swept wings based on the Grumman X-29.
    • Rattler - based on the A-10 Thunderbolt II, with the engines moved to the wings, a third engine on the tail, and VTOL capability.
    • Night Raven S3P - loosely based on the Lockheed A-12/M-21/SR-71 series with a detachable "recon jet" even more loosely based on the D-21 drone.
  • Transformers
    • By default, virtually every Transformer with a plane alt-mode is one of these: Starscream (F-15, F-22, something that looks suspiciously like the Su-47 Berkut and a YF-19 "Alpha One") and Blitzwing (A MiG-25 Foxbat that also turns into a tank) only being two examples. (An obvious drawback to listing them all is the fact that many of the flying Transformers are just repainted Starscreams.)
    • The G1 Aerialbot Air Raid was not only the only Autobot F-15, his toy is one of only two using the F-15 alt mode that was not based on Starscream's design! The other, Talon, was released at the very end of the G1 line (as part of the Predators subline) and was never released in the United States. Oddly enough, Combiner Wars Air Raid is now an F-14.
    • In fact, some continuities (such as Animated and Prime) make planes and other air vehicle altmodes a distinctive trait of the Decepticons, to contrast with the Autobots' ground vehicles.
    • Optimal Optimus' flight mode in Beast Wars, while looking a bit cumbersome, was definitely badass, and what it lacked in speed it made up for in armor and firepower.
    • Transformers: Cybertron gives us a fair few. Earth planes (and one helicopter): Jetfire turns into an Antonov An-225, Thundercracker (Not a Starscream mold-mate, for once) turns into a Sukhoi Su-37, Evac turns into a Eurocopter Dauphin rescue chopper, and Wing Saber turns into a modified A-10. Cybertronian and other non-Earth: Megatron has a very menacing, evil-looking jet mode, Starscream's altmode is an homage to the pre-earth Tetrajet modes of the G1 Seekers, Sideways' looks distinctly alien, as does Soundwave's bomber mode (though his is similar in shape to some Earth stealth bombers). Mashup: Optimus Prime's Flying Fire Truck mode. Thanks for killing our wallets, Hasbro.
    • The 2010 offerings brought some new blood into the mix: Lugnut as a post-modern B-52 with a Wave-Motion Gun in the tail and Terradive as a Sukhoi Su-47 with a trident ((the melee weapon, not the missile) are probably the highlights.
  • TaleSpin
    • Baloo's Sea Duck is an old but tricked-out cargo seaplane that can pull off some amazing stunts in Baloo's hands.
    • The Snow Duck is literally a Cool Plane: Wildcat crafts it out of ice and a ventilator while at a Thembrian prisoner camp. Actually, the main reason why it flies is because it's Baloo who pilots it.
    • The Spruce Moose was designed as a humongous six-engine cargo seaplane that got its name from being shaped like a moose head, the wings with their top-mounted engines being the antlers. It is so large that it could never leave Cape Suzette. And it is so large that it was eventually converted into a rather spacious ballroom. Even then, it remained fully airworthy.
    • The Titanium Turkey. Maybe the coolest of the bunch. It's the Norman Bel Geddes Airliner Number 4 transferred into TaleSpin, and In-Universe, it was in fact cobbled together from parts of various stolen aircraft.
    • The Iron Vulture isn't strictly an airplane, getting its lift from a combination of vertical propellers and hollow spaces filled with gas lighter than air. Nonetheless, it is still a fierce-looking flying hangar armed with — among smaller weapons — two artillery guns. And it is large enough for a plane the size of the Sea Duck to maneuver inside it.
    • On the other side of the scale is Don Karnage's very personal Tri-Wing Terror. It's little more than an engine and six stubby wings, each of which with a machine gun inside. Piloted by Don Karnage, it can give Baloo and other cargo pilots quite a hard time since the short wings and its overall tiny size make it extremely nimble.
  • Batman: The Animated Series
    • The Batwing is capable of flying through a tunnel and spearing a car, and ripping off its door with a claw. It's Batman, so Rule of Cool is in full effect.
    • In the episode "Zatanna", the Villain of the Week is also flying a Norman Geddes Airliner No. 4.
  • The SWAT Kats' custom-made jet, the TurboKat. It was built from junkyard scrap, and yet has three engines, VTOL capabilities, a cement-spewing machine gun, a boatload of missiles for every occasion (from blinding enemy fighters (the Tarpedoes) to cutting a pilot out of his seat (the Cookie Cutter)), the capacity to carry vehicles like the Cyclotron motorcycles and a Drill Tank called the TurboMole, and even the ability to go into space with four extra engines and heat shielding.
  • Jimmy Two-Shoes. Subverted with the Misery Flyer. It's hyped up throughout the episode as a great plane, and is used to try and rescue Jez. It is quickly crashed.
  • The enormous and extremely luxurious plane in the Totally Spies! episode 'Evil Airline Much?'. It resembles the Norman Bel Geddes Airliner Number 4, albeit with jet engines.
  • Quack Pack. The "Mega Death-wing of Doom", a Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird-esque bomber plane that attacks Con Donald Duck at the end of the episode where Donald is forced to go back into the Navy.
  • The Thingamajigger from The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That!, which is a bizarre helicopter-like vehicle which the Cat flies around in.
  • The helicopter the Pack used in Gargoyles is quite cool with its protection against lasers. And then after Lexington forces them to eject with the help of Brooklyn and Broadway, after crashing it safely, he manages to repair and rework it with a fitting "gargoyle" motif.
  • Fantastic Voyage. The team travels around in a jet plane called the Voyager, which was built by the team's tech genius Busby Birdwell. It has both missiles and a beam weapon and can engage in stunning aerobatic feats such as incredibly tight turns.
  • Teen Titans has the T-Ship, capable of functioning as a submarine, an aircraft and a spaceplane and can separate into five vehicles that can be individually piloted by each Titan.
  • Dick Dastardly's devil-red aeroplane on Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines is easily the coolest vehicle among the members of the Vulture Squadron. Too bad he can't keep from regularly crashing it out.


Alternative Title(s): Cool Planes


No Time to Die

The only way to get inside the villain's hideout is with this sleek, convertible plane.

How well does it match the trope?

4.62 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / CoolPlane

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