I shoot with a D7100 and it is in my opinion the finest camera to use for all but studio photography. The crop sensor gives you a 1.5 multiplier on focal length. The AF
is amazing and the metering is very accurate. Coupled with the large sensor you have the best of full frame and crop sensor cameras at a very good price point.
If you look at the sales literature it is a semi pro camera. Yes, this camera amplifies every flaw in every lens you put on it.
In determining what lens to put with it, I have tried many. For aviation I use a Nikon 70-200 2.8. When I shoot small aircraft I couple it to a 1.7 Teleconverter. To me it is all about the image, with this lens the colors are brilliant, focus so sharp it will amaze and the percent of keepers will be over 90%. The added benefit of this choice you can control the amount of foreground clarity allowing you to make aviation compositions instead of airplane pictures. Lastly it will allow you to advance your skills from an armature to a pro level photographer.
For me what started as a hobby has evolved into a profession, due to my skills and equipment. Think about what you are investing in.