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I'm new to Adobe, and to graphic design. I'm trying to figure out how to create illustrations of aircraft like the one below. Is AI the correct platform for something like this???
Yes, a vector graphics application such as Adobe Illustrator is a good tool for a drawing like that P-51 Mustang, because of the complex and subtle curves, shading, and detailed line work.
To do it well, you will want to become familiar with Illustrator features such as:
Here is an example of a tutorial for a simple airplane illustration.
The P-51 you posted is a more photorealistic drawing, so it requires more advanced techniques. Illustrator does have all the tools needed to do it.
although I think this is a spitfire! but it shows you want you can do, there's a bunch of others there too...
There's a lot subtle texturing in the example posted in the initial post. And it's precisely that part, where it can get extremely tricky using Illustrator.