Airplanes are essentially a far quicker way to travel great distances, and can move a much greater distance then their ground counterparts. Airplanes in the Dragon Ball series are commonly seen, most notably being Capsule Corporation models.
Though most of the airplanes in the Dragon Ball universe are fictional in design, some are based on real-world designs. Emperor Pilaf and his gang often use large airplanes for transportation. Organizations such as the Red Ribbon Army and Earth's Military use fighter planes and jets for combat. The jet fighter Colonel Silver flies is based on the experimental Horten Ho 229 built in Nazi Germany during WWII, while General Blue flew a one-seat jetplane. Senbei Norimaki's plane resembles a Korean War-era North American F-86 Sabre. The propeller-driven fighter Colonel Violet uses to escape from the Peck Peck Tribe, though toylike in appearance, bears a slight resemblance to the Bell P-39 Airacobra.
The plane Chi-Chi uses seems to be a hybrid of the Consolidated PBY-5 Catalina and the Heinkel He-162 "Salamander". The jet fighters used by Earth's Military are a hybrid of the Grumman F-14 Tomcat and the McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle. A Boeing 747 "Jumbo Jet" can be seen flying over the Other World. Among Bulma's Bingo prizes in the movie Dragon Ball Z: Battle of Gods, there is a plane that looks exactly like Fokker Dr.I triplane flown during World War I by German ace Manfred von Richthofen, also known as Red Baron.. A toy/model of the Capsule 576 VTOL plane flown by Krillin, Yamcha, and Bulma in Dragon Ball Z can be seen on a shelf in Dragon Ball GT when Chi-Chi slaps Baby Goten.
Appearances in Video Games
A capsule airplane can be used to travel on the map in the video game Dragon Ball 3: Gokuden. Airplanes are on the Muscle Tower battle stage in the Budokai Tenkaichi series. The plane Goku uses to go to Jingle Village in the Red Ribbon Army Saga also appears in Dragon Ball: Origins 2.