1994 The first flight of the Eurofighter Typhoon. Beginning with the first jet fighters of WWII, fighter development has been broken down into generations, with each generation seeing successive improvements in speed and capability, as well as refinements to basic aircraft design and improved aerodynamics. The most technologically advanced fighters in service today belong to the 5th Gen. fighters that feature advances such as stealth, thrust vectoring, and networked battle management. But by far, most jet fighters in service today are 4th Gen. fighters, or somewhat more advanced aircraft that are considered generation 4-and-a-half. Most were conceived in the 1970s and entered service in the 1980s, and were developed as significant improvements over their 3rd Gen. ancestors.