Photo: Youtube Screenshot
We stumbled across this great video shot by the pilot of an F/A-18 jet flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains on a flight run. The stills themselves are great pictures, and they also give the viewer a sense of what it’s like to sit in the cockpit of one of the most famous planes in military history.
Here, we take a look at what it takes to ride in an F/A-18, and what makes the jet so unique.
The pilot is flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains and the view from the cockpit is absolutely wonderful
Those two screens above the console — the ones with tops that look like hexagons — constitute the Heads Up Display (HUD) on the jet
Although you can't read it, that display has information about altitude, pitch, armament, speed, and G-forces being applied
That capability makes the flight process more automated, as the pilot doesn't have to do every single little action necessary to remain in the air
To become a fighter pilot for the Air Force, you need at least a bachelor's degree with a high GPA in preferably a science
There are only about 1,400 trainee spots, so it's very competitive to even get into the Air Force's introductory flight training course on a propeller plane
Each of these is a water vapor vortex coming from the F/A-18's particularly large leading edge extensions
The Leading Edge Extensions are small forward extensions on the body of the plane that ease the angle between the body and the wing
On the F/A-18, these extensions generate an abnormally large high-speed vortex that is noticeable at high angles of attack
With a max speed of Mach 1.8 and a combat radius of 460 miles, the F/A-18 is an extremely capable and effective multirole aircraft
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