This work presents a geometry based vision system for aircraft recognition and pose estimation using single images. Pose estimation improves the tracking performance of guided weapons with imaging seekers, and is useful in estimating target manoeuvres and aim-point selection required in the terminal phase of missile engagements. After edge detection and straight-line extraction, a hierarchy of geometric reasoning algorithms is applied to form line clusters (or groupings) for image interpretation. Assuming a scaled orthographic projection and coplanar wings, lateral symmetry inherent in the airframe provides additional constraints to further reject spurious line clusters. Clusters that accidentally pass all previous tests are checked against the original image and are discarded. Valid line clusters are then used to deduce aircraft viewing angles. By observing that the leading edges of wings of a number of aircraft of interest are within 45 to 65 degrees from the symmetry axis, a bounded range of aircraft viewing angles can be found. This generic property offers the advantage of not requiring the storage of complete aircraft models viewed from all aspects, and can handle aircraft with flexible wings (e.g. F111). Several aircraft images associated with various spectral bands (i.e. visible and infra-red) are finally used to evaluate the system's performance.