Take A Ride In The Cockpit Of An F-18

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.

Here's the left side view from the cockpit of an F/A-18

The pilot is flying over the Sierra Nevada mountains and the view from the cockpit is absolutely wonderful

The F/A-18 is a highly manoeuvrable jet designed for multiple uses

The second role is performing as a jet that can attack ground targets with a wide arsenal

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

The F/A-18 can fly at daring angles and make a complete 360 degree rotation

All of that makes the aircraft a very desirable export, as eight allies use the aircraft

1,480 of the have been produced and most remain in service

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

This allows the pilot more time to concentrate on taxing maneuvers like, say, flying upside-down

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

In this shot, notice the water vapor contrails on either side of the aircraft

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

An F/A-18 jet costs between $27 and $57 million in 2006 dollars

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

The F/A-18 was innovative for its time and remains exceedingly relevant today,

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