Aircraft Advances Through the Years in the US Military

Executive Producer Mickey Markoff of the Hyundai Air and Sea Show talks aviation through the decades.

Mickey Markoff
4 min readAug 30, 2022


photo of USAF aircraft Photo by Nick Morales on Unsplash; posted on mickey markoff 2022 article on military aircraft
Photo by Nick Morales on Unsplash

This article was previously published on Mickey Markoff’s Livejournal.

There are a few notable discoveries and inventions in human history that have irrevocably changed the course of humanity. The invention of the wheel was an important discovery that transformed transport and laid the building blocks for what would later inform mankind’s first automobile. As the decades turned into centuries, discovery after discovery moved the meter forward, inching inventions further, expanding our reach of what we thought possible. It was not long ago that humankind found land travel as we know it today improbable, let alone air travel.

The Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903 yet again transformed our understanding of travel, despite the event only lasting a few seconds. Fast forward a century, and a mere twelve second flight trial paved the way for transcontinental flights that can last for hours on end without interruption. In the 21st century, land and air travel continue to expand, and are ever present in almost every facet of life.

From helping our businesses to streamline supply chains, to helping world militaries to transport service members, these inventions have changed multiple facets of our daily lives. If it were not for air travel, for example, enabling the shipment of critical food and health supplies around the world would simply not be possible. If we consider the impacts that aircraft have had on military branches, too, there are many.

Aircraft not only help to transport of brave service members to their stations around the globe, but also transport messages from loved ones who may live afar. Aviation plays a critical role in many different aspects on human life, and, with respect to its role in aviation, it extends beyond merely transport.

While enabling the efficient transport of our service members is indeed a benefit of air travel today, airplanes provide other functions. Perhaps the most obvious use for aircraft in the military is warfare, and this is certainly applicable. The United States Air Force utilize planes on the regular for these purposes, as do other branches of US military. The US Air Force is perhaps most well-known in this regard for their impressive array of aircraft, but they are not alone in their possession and regular application of aircraft in their oprations.

The US Army also possesses a range of aircraft, from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) to an array of helicopters. UAVs are often used to carry out reconnaissance missions and/or to perform air strikes without risking pilots or passengers on board. The US military’s helicopters are equally diverse in function, with different ones designed for different uses. The UH-60 Black Hawk, for example, is considered highly versatile, with the ability to carry heavy weights at high speeds.

This makes the Black Hawk useful for both troop transport as well as combat missions. The AH-64 Apache is another one of the US Army’s many helicopters, and is used primarily for assault. The helicopter comes equipped with a weapons system capable of delivering heavy payloads, and is also rigged with a chain gun for further assault purposes.

The USAF has employed a wide range of aircraft throughout the years, each designed with a different purpose in mind. The F-35A Lightning II, for example, is the Air Force’s latest fighter, crafted to withstand extreme environments that pose a threat to aerial combat. The aircraft provides enhanced speed, stealth, avionics, and other features designed to provide greater performance. Other USAF craft such as the A-10C Thunderbolt II was designed to provide close support for ground support. The craft can also help to defend against maritime attack.

There is a diversity of aircraft in use by the multiple branches of the armed forces in the United States, each made possible by seemingly humble discoveries early in human history. Today, we see continued innovation in the aviation space, making for more efficient designs capable of providing more security, safety, and stealth to our brave service members.

Helping to educate civilians on these lesser-known facts of aircraft and the armed forces more generally is one of the many reasons behind Mickey Markoff’s mission for the Hyundai Air and Sea Show. Since bringing the concept of public-private sponsorship to the Air and Water Show in Chicago, Mickey Markoff has helped to produce dozens of Air and Sea Shows in South Florida, as well. Each annual event showcases each branch of United States armed forces, and provides displays and educational reenactments of air and seacraft.

The 2022 Air and Sea Show featured aerial displays from the Navy’s Blue Angels, as well as impressive aeronautic displays by the USAF Thunderbirds. Throughout the years, the event has grown, helping to not only educate civilians about our armed forces, but also to pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in pursuit of our nation’s freedom. To see these impressive aircraft in action, be sure to check out the 2023 Hyundai Air and Sea Show!

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About Mickey Markoff

Mickey Markoff is best-known as an executive producer of the Hyundai Air and Sea Show. Markoff is also President of MDM Group, an innovative South Florida firm that develops effective multidimensional marketing campaigns. Learn more about Mickey Markoff , and the history of the air and sea show here.

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