In military aviation, the bomber is defined by Encyclopaedia Britannica as an aircraft "designed to drop bombs on surface targets". The earliest known instance of aerial bombardment has been traced to the Italo-Turkish War in December 1911, when an Italian observation pilot dropped grenades on Turkish positions.
Second World War
This section focuses on some of the main types of bomber aircraft used operationally in World War II.
This section focuses on some of the main types of bomber aircraft on standby during the so-called Cold War from about 1945 to 1990.
A supersonic strategic bomber with a crew of four. A variable-sweep wing missile carrier manufactured by Tupolev, its maiden flight was in December 1981, and it is believed that only 35 were built. The Tu-160 entered service in April 1987, only two years before the end of the Cold War; its NATO codename is Blackjack.