1824: Identification Chart
Title text: Be careful-it's breeding season, and some of these can be *extremely* defensive of their nests.
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Some aircraft are named after creatures of flight, including birds of prey, other birds, and insects. This comic spoofs an "identification guide" of bird silhouettes, each with the fuselage of an aircraft and the wings of the flying animal from which the aircraft gets its name. All are birds with the exception of the hornet which is an insect. This would be absurd if it was a plane with the feathers designed, as bird wings are usually made to support the lightweight structure of a bird and supporting the parts of a plane with its human pilot would be impossible.
General military training often includes aircraft identification. Silhouette charts are given to ground observers for memorization and reference so that friend or foe can be determined in the field. Conversely, many bird watching books will carry pictures of avian silhouettes from below, as often key details like tail and wing shape are the easiest way to determine what a species a high soaring bird is, especially birds of prey.
The comic highlights not only the various designs of aircraft tails, but also bird wings. Some wings are highly adapted for soaring (eagle), speed (falcon), as well as rapid acceleration and short flights (blackbird).
|Osprey||V-22 Osprey||The osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a raptor with distinctive white and brown coloring. It's also sometimes referred to as a sea hawk or fish eagle due to its virtually all fish diet.
The V-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft that has been in development since the 1980s, and was introduced to the U.S. Armed Forces in 2007. It's a troop carrier aircraft that combines the vertical take-off ability of a helicopter with the high cruising speed of an airplane. (Bell Helicopter and Boeing)
|Hornet||F/A-18 Hornet||Hornets are a type of wasp of the genera vespa or provespa. They're known to be highly territorial and aggressive.
The F-18 Hornet is a fighter developed for the Navy in the 1970s. It's been deployed by air forces around the world in both air-to-air and air-to-ground roles, and is flown by the US Navy demonstration team, the Blue Angels. The airplane is still being produced in an updated and larger version, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet. (McDonnell Douglas)
|Falcon||F-16 Falcon||A falcon is a bird of prey known for its tapered wings that allow for high speed flight and high maneuverability.
The F-16 Falcon is a light single-engine fighter. It's flown by the USAF demonstration team, the Thunderbirds. (General Dynamics)
|Harrier||AV-8B Harrier||A harrier is a hawk that hunts by flying low over open ground.|
|Eagle||F-15 Eagle||A hawk is a large bird of prey with a heavy head and beak. They have very acute vision.
Introduced in 1976, other jets like F-16 have filled its role. The U.S. Air National Guard is the largest operator as of now. (McDonnell Douglas)
|Kestrel||Kestrel K-350||A bird of prey that can hover before swooping in on its prey.|
|Hawk||Hawk T1||A trainer aircraft. T-45 Goshawk is the U.S. designation of a variant of this aircraft. The fuselage silhouette is of a BAe Hawk, although other aircraft have also had Hawk-related names, for example the Hawker Sea Hawk and the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. (BAE Systems)|
|Blackbird||SR-71 Blackbird||A Mach 3+ spy aircraft, known for its speed and engine design (which allowed them to work both as turbines and ramjets). (Lockheed Martin)|
The title text is juxtaposing military air bases with breeding nests of the animals--both of which might earn a hostile response to approach at the wrong time, but in wildly different measure. Encroaching on breeding territory of some of the birds being referenced may result in getting dived at or chased, so the comparison invites the reader to imagine what might happen if the analogous creatures in the comic were defending their nest with aircraft ordnance.
Osprey Hornet Falcon Harrier Eagle Kestrel Hawk Blackbird
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