13 IDF Aircraft Oddly Similar to Animals They’re Named After

Israel Air Force aircraft names are often inspired by the animal world. Every animal has its own unique features, just like every plane is special for its capacities and upgrades.

Below are a list of IDF aircraft strangely similar to their animal namesakes. Some — like the vulture or sparrow — are more predictable, while some are surprisingly creative. Scroll down to find out.

Beechcraft King Air ‘Northern Orange-Tufted Sunbird’

Entered service: 1990
A patrol and reconnaissance plane with more advanced systems than the earlier version King Airs. The IAF makes extensive use of the Tzufit planes on routine security assignments and in exercises.

Beechcraft King Air ‘Northern Orange-tufted Sunbird'

Beechcraft King Air ‘Northern Orange-Tufted Sunbird’

 

GROB G-120A ‘Swallow’

Entered service: 2002
Instruction aircraft used in the Air-Force for sorting cadets in the flight academy.

GROB G-120A 'Swallow'

GROB G-120A ‘Swallow’

 

Beechcraft B-80 Queen Air ‘Nightingale’

Entered service: 1974
A twin engine transport and communication plane which seats 11. It was developed in the US as a corporate plane, then modified for service in the USAF, where it served for transporting officers and for twin-engine retraining courses.

Beechcraft B-80 Queen Air 'Nightingale'

Beechcraft B-80 Queen Air ‘Nightingale’

 

Israel Aircraft Industries ‘Seascan’ – ‘Gull’

Entered service: 1978
A maritime observation jet. The Seascan is a specialized version of the IAI’s Westwind business plane, developed in the 1970′s.

Israel Aircraft Industries 'Seascan' - 'Gull'

Israel Aircraft Industries ‘Seascan’ – ‘Gull’

 

Boeing AH-64 Apache ‘Elapidae’

Entered service: 1990
A twin seat combat helicopter for day and night fighting, especially against ground targets such as tanks and Surface-to-air missiles.

Boeing AH-64 Apache 'Elapidae'

Boeing AH-64 Apache ‘Elapidae’

 

Israel Aircraft Industries ‘Nesher’ – ‘Vulture’

Entered service in: 1972

The Nesher was the first fighter to be produced in Israel, thus paving the way for the appearance of more advanced planes like the Kfir and Lavi.

Israel Aircraft Industries 'Nesher' - 'Vulture'

Israel Aircraft Industries ‘Nesher’ – ‘Vulture’

 

Lockheed C-130 Hercules ‘Rhinoceros’

Entered service: 1971
A multi-role military transport. The Hercules holds a place of honor in the annals of Israeli military aviation, having played a part in the rescue at Entebbe and Operation ‘Shlomo’ – in which Ethiopia’s Jews were brought to Israel.

Lockheed C-130 Hercules 'Rhinoceros'

Lockheed C-130 Hercules ‘Rhinoceros’

 

Dornier DO-27 ‘Sparrow’

Entered service: 1964
A multi-role light airplane from Germany, which was initially manufactured in Spain because of limitations imposed on Germany after WW2.

Dornier DO-27 'Sparrow'

Dornier DO-27 ‘Sparrow’

 

Aerospatiale HH-65A ‘Dolphin’

Entered service: 1985
The ‘Dolphin’ helicopters are deployed from the Israeli Navy’s ‘Sa’ar’ ships, and carried out routine security missions as well.

Aerospatiale HH-65A 'Dolphin'

Aerospatiale HH-65A ‘Dolphin’

 

Grumman E-2C Hawkeye ‘Kite’

Entered service: 1978
The Hawkeyes are an important complement to the ground control array

Grumman E-2C Hawkeye 'Kite'

Grumman E-2C Hawkeye ‘Kite’

 

Grumman OV-1 Mohawk ‘Bat’

Entered service: 1971
The Mohawk is easily discernible by its camel-like shape. It has an ungainly nose, two engines, straight wings, three directional rudders and a large six-meter antenna under its belly.

Grumman OV-1 Mohawk 'Bat'

Grumman OV-1 Mohawk ‘Bat’

 

Bell-212 ‘Heron’

Entered service: 1975
A twin-engine medium helicopter that serves on varied search and rescue missions and for assault transport.

Bell-212 'Heron'

Bell-212 ‘Heron’

 

Dornier DO-28 ‘Crane’

Entered service: 1971
A twin engine light transport with a high wing and a tail wheel.

Dornier DO-28 'Crane'

Dornier DO-28 ‘Crane’


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