The BEST episodes of Air Warriors

Every episode of Air Warriors ever, ranked from best to worst by thousands of votes from fans of the show. The best episodes of Air Warriors!

A winged fighter that hasn’t lost a fight in 26 years, a lifesaver that’s part plane and part chopper, and an attack helicopter our enemies call the Black Death. These are America’s undisputed kings of the sky: the F-15 Eagle, the V-22 Osprey, and the AH-64 Apache. And their success stories are as remarkable as they are improbable. Witness their turbulent journeys, brought to life through rarely seen combat footage and the stories of the dedicated pilots and teams who fly and maintain these ultimate air warriors.

Last Updated: 4/13/2024Network: Smithsonian ChannelStatus: Continuing
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Tornado
star
10.00
1 votes

#1 - Tornado

Season 9 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/15/2022

Dive deep into the evolution and operational history of the Cold War-era Panavia Tornado bomber, developed collaboratively by Italy, the U.K., and West Germany.

Watch Now:Amazon
 Lancaster
star
10.00
1 votes

#2 - Lancaster

Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired 5/8/2022

Learn how the British bomber Lancaster brought distinct power and strength against Nazi Germany and was pivotal to the Allied victory in World War II.

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F-15
star
8.72
60 votes

#3 - F-15

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired 11/9/2014

Meet the undisputed king of winged fighters, the F-15 Eagle. For decades, it's been the U.S. Air Force's weapon of choice when there's any real chance of air-to-air combat, with an undefeated record since its first combat kill in 1979. We reveal how this sleek, powerful jet overcame its skeptics to dominate the skies. Then we explore how it revolutionized the aviation world through rare footage and captivating stories from the pilots who flew into danger aboard this remarkable and resilient aircraft.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
PBY Catalina
star
8.50
4 votes

#4 - PBY Catalina

Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired 5/28/2023

A look at the amphibious aircraft Catalina and the many roles it served during WWII, from patrol bomber to search-and-rescue aircraft.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
F-14 Tomcat
star
8.40
5 votes

#5 - F-14 Tomcat

Season 10 - Episode 1 - Aired 5/21/2023

The true story of the F-14 Tomcat, the military aircraft made famous in “Top Gun,” and how it served as the Navy’s top carrier fighter for a generation.

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B-1 Lancer
star
8.00
3 votes

#6 - B-1 Lancer

Season 10 - Episode 6 - Aired 6/25/2023

Military experts and veterans discuss the history of the Rockwell B-1 Lancer, first conceived as a nuclear bomber during the Cold War, and its evolving wartime roles in the 1990s and 2000s.

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Mosquito
star
8.00
2 votes

#7 - Mosquito

Season 10 - Episode 4 - Aired 6/10/2023

The story of the de Havilland Mosquito, the wooden RAF aircraft that acted as a bomber, fighter, and reconnaissance plane during World War II.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
B-17 Flying Fortress
star
8.00
2 votes

#8 - B-17 Flying Fortress

Season 10 - Episode 3 - Aired 6/4/2023

The history of the B-17 reveals how the aircraft evolved into the USAF’s most lethal bomber in World War II’s European and Pacific campaigns. The Women Airforce Service Pilots organization transported Flying Fortresses, which delivered food to the German-occupied Netherlands in Operation Chowhound in the last days of the war.

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Hawker Hurricane
star
8.00
2 votes

#9 - Hawker Hurricane

Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired 3/7/2021

The Hawker Hurricane, regarded by some as the overlooked underdog of British fighter planes. Fast and versatile, the dogfighter doubled as a bomber and ground support aircraft in every theatre of the Second World War.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
OV-10 Bronco
star
8.00
4 votes

#10 - OV-10 Bronco

Season 6 - Episode 5 - Aired 9/16/2018

The OV-10 Bronco is the Swiss Army Knife of military aviation, faster than a helicopter, more maneuverable than a jet, and able to provide optimal support for troops on the ground in the most difficult of environments. Follow the journey of this light attack aircraft, from its humble origins five decades ago in the garage of two Marines to its heroic missions in Vietnam. Then see how a disastrous role in Desert Storm nearly grounded the warbird for good until it got a shot at redemption two decades later against ISIS.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
F-22 Raptor
star
8.00
7 votes

#11 - F-22 Raptor

Season 6 - Episode 4 - Aired 9/9/2018

In modern warfare, those who remain hidden in the skies gain a clear advantage, and there is no spy plane as undetectable as the F-22 Raptor. Get the inside story of how this war machine became the Air Force's premier stealth fighter, from taking on ISIS over the skies of Syria to chasing mysterious bombers over the Alaskan border. Combat footage of the F-22 and its predecessors plus interviews with pilots provide a rare look at this fast, powerful, and sneaky warrior.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
U-2 Dragon Lady
star
8.00
3 votes

#12 - U-2 Dragon Lady

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired 5/28/2017

Over the last half century, the U-2 Dragon Lady has become one of the most reliable aerial reconnaissance platforms in the sky today. But its history has been turbulent, marked by Cold War scandals that sent relations with the Soviet Union into a nosedive. This spy plane was so secret, it was commissioned not by the Air Force, but by the CIA. See how this plane and its pilots have been pushed to the limit in order to stay off of enemy radar and save the lives of soldiers around the world.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Osprey
star
7.90
20 votes

#13 - Osprey

Season 1 - Episode 3 - Aired 11/23/2014

The story of the U.S. Marine's V-22 Osprey is one of transformation. It can convert from helicopter to plane, and back again. But what led to its invention? And how did it survive more than two decades of political turmoil and media scrutiny? Join us as we look back on this historic tiltrotor's tumultuous history. We detail how it escaped the political chopping block, how it built its reputation in battles and on humanitarian rescue efforts, and how it ultimately transformed the landscape of military aviation forever.

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Prowler/Growler
star
7.80
45 votes

#14 - Prowler/Growler

Season 2 - Episode 2 - Aired 12/14/2014

What they do is untraceable and highly classified. Instead of utilizing bullets and bombs, they use force and frequency. This is the story of the Prowler, the U.S. Navy's electronic warrior, and its leading counterpart, the Growler. These aircraft are the first line of attack, able to locate, jam, and destroy enemy radar, giving fighter planes more time to complete their missions. With the capability to fight in the electromagnetic spectrum, these Air Warriors have an advantage in the new age of defense.

Watch Now:Apple TV
Top Gunships
star
7.75
4 votes

#15 - Top Gunships

Season 7 - Episode 3 - Aired 12/20/2020

Close air support planes are the guardian angels of American ground troops, pro-tecting soldiers with precision firepower. We look at the military's greatest fighters, bombers, and attack aircraft over the last 60 years, from the AV-8B Harrier, the world's most famous vertical/short takeoff and landing fighter jet, to the B-52 Stratofortress, the Air Force's go-to bomber, to the A-10 Thunderbolt, aka, the "Warthog." We also look back on some of the most thrilling gunship missions, saving lives and winning wars in hotspots across the globe.

Watch Now:Amazon
F-86 Sabre
star
7.75
4 votes

#16 - F-86 Sabre

Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired 2/21/2021

The inside story of the F-86 Sabre, one of America's first fighter jets, and its epic battles against the Soviet MiG jet during the Korean War and beyond.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
B-29 Superfortress
star
7.67
6 votes

#17 - B-29 Superfortress

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired 2/28/2021

The B-29 Superfortress changed the face of war. It dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, but was also the first plane with a pressurised cabin and the first that could fly more than 3,000 miles.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
Black Hawk
star
7.64
14 votes

#18 - Black Hawk

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired 12/21/2014

For decades, the Black Hawk has played a role in nearly every American conflict and is used all over the globe. But how did the UH-60 become the Army's go-to bird? This is the inside story of how the military workhorse got off the ground and became a multi-mission lifesaver. See how its pilots and engineers learned from setbacks and tragedies and expanded Black Hawk's capabilities to improve getting soldiers into and out of the heat of the battle.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
A-10 Warthog
star
7.61
23 votes

#19 - A-10 Warthog

Season 2 - Episode 1 - Aired 12/7/2014

The A-10 Thunderbolt II was made for durability and power. With seeming indestructibility, it can eliminate armored vehicles, tanks, and even buildings with remarkable accuracy, all the while protecting American troops on the ground. Over the decades, it has repeatedly proved its worth, not only on the battlefield but in the eyes of its toughest critic: the U.S. Air Force. Discover the story of the ugly duckling affectionately named "Warthog," and see how this clunky but robust fighter continually out-flies and out-guns its competitors.

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P-51 Mustang
star
7.60
15 votes

#20 - P-51 Mustang

Season 4 - Episode 3 - Aired 6/26/2016

With its long-distance range and highflying dogfighting abilities, the P-51 Mustang was designed to dominate the skies and help end World War II. And it did. Take flight on an aircraft that symbolized the power and romance of the fighter, a plane that continues to stun and amaze today. We track the history of this nimble, robust Air Warrior, from its international origins to the challenges it overcame in the battle for air superiority over Europe, captured through compelling firsthand testimony and rarely seen combat footage.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
F-16
star
7.58
12 votes

#21 - F-16

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired 6/12/2016

It's fast, it's acrobatic, and it's built to get in your face before you even know it's there. The F-16 Fighting Falcon is the lightest fighter in the Air Force inventory, and ushered in a new breed of dogfighter. Witness its origins during the Vietnam War, as the U.S. military raced to create a fighter that could hold its own against the Russian's MiG. Then see how it evolved over the decades, adapted in order to stay relevant, and continued to soar to become the undisputed king of the multirole fighters.

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F-18
star
7.50
4 votes

#22 - F-18

Season 7 - Episode 4 - Aired 12/27/2020

The F-18 has been the backbone of U.S. Navy carrier operations since it was first introduced in the 1980s. It's built to pack a one-two punch as both a fighter and an attack aircraft, capable of dominating both the skies and the battlefield. We examine its origins, beginning in 1973, when the Navy looked to update its aging fighters, including the F-4 Phantom. We then follow the F-18 Hornet and Super Hornet on their most thrilling and perilous missions, from the baptism by fire in Desert Storm to recent bombing campaigns against ISIS.

Watch Now:Amazon
P-38 Lightning
star
7.50
2 votes

#23 - P-38 Lightning

Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired 5/26/2019

It was one of the most unique and deadly warplanes of World War II, with devastating agility and unmatched speeds of over 400 mph. But before the P-38 Lightning seized control of the air from the Japanese and the Germans, some of its pilots were forced to learn on the job. Follow its dogfighting journey, from Alaska to Africa and from Berlin to Tokyo, as the Lightning earned its name, blazing into battle and delivering a killer strike into the hearts of its enemies.

Watch Now:Amazon
MiG
star
7.50
2 votes

#24 - MiG

Season 6 - Episode 6 - Aired 9/23/2018

For over five decades, the Russian MiG aircraft has been American airpower's fiercest rival, taking on U.S. fighter jets in Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq. But it first took flight against a common enemy: Nazi Germany. Follow the evolution of this quick, durable, and powerful menace in the skies, from its shaky start in the Second World War to its recent and deadly incarnations. See how its ongoing battle with the U.S. for air superiority has compelled both nations to develop better tactics, training, and aircraft.

Watch Now:AmazonApple TV
F6F Hellcat
star
7.50
2 votes

#25 - F6F Hellcat

Season 6 - Episode 2 - Aired 8/26/2018

The F6F Hellcat was built for one reason: to take on the striking force of Japan's Imperial Navy and its premier dogfighter, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. This is the inside story of how the U.S. Navy, bruised and battered in the Pacific, tasked the engineers at Grumman's to upgrade their current fighters into faster, more agile, and unshakeable warplanes. Witness its creation and impact in the battles of the Philippine Sea and Leyte Gulf, which helped turn the tide of war in the Allies' favor.

Watch Now:Apple TV