Survival mode unlocks after you've progressed several missions into the campaign. You don't actually need to defeat all enemies in a wave before the next one begins. With that in mind, you'll want to adopt a defensive play style. Dodge and weave as much as possible, only popping off missles when you've got an opening. Pick a fast plane with good handling, and at least reasonable armor. I went with the F-18, but there are numerous other (and better) choices.
After the first few rounds, you'll probably want to switch exclusively to Assistance Off mode. In this mode you'll be more nimble, as well as more aware of incoming missles. Constantly loop, spin, and circle to dodge the inevitable rain of missiles. Drop flares as needed, and be sure to use/abuse the health/ammo recharge station.
It's easier to survive five waves if you're playing in co-op, but perfectly do-able solo.