Below is information on the two planes involved in the collision over the South China Sea.
EP-3E Aries II -- Surveillance Plane
Crew: 7 Officers, 17 enlisted
Typically 3 pilots, 1 navigator, 3 tactical evaluators, 1 flight engineer. The remainder is composed of equipment operators, technicians, and mechanics.
Flight Range: 3000 nautical miles; can stay in flight for 12 hours
Capabilities: Provides near real-time tactical electronic reconnaissance, targeting, suppression of enemy air defenses (also known as jamming), and can intercept a wide range of electronic communications from deep within enemy territory.
Size: 106 feet in length; 99 foot wingspan
Fleet Size: 11 Currently in Use, 12th expected in 2002
F-8 -- Chinese Fighter
Crew: 1 pilot
Flight Range: 800 nautical miles
Capabilities: An intercept fighter developed by the Chinese in the 1980s. The plane has both a gun cannon and can carry multiple missiles.
Speed: Cruising Speed 800 mph; Maximum Speed 1,450 mph or Mach 2.2
Size: 71 feet in length; 18 foot wingspan
Fleet Size: Approximately 100