Archive for December, 2010

The Most Incredible Aircraft of All Time: F/A-18 Hornet

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by thesprucemoose

   The F/A in F/A-18 stands for Fighter and Attack this alone shows that the Hornet is no typical airplane.  It was designed and built as a multirole fighter meaning it could take off Shoot down and aircraft bomb a target and return to base all in one mission in needed. 

The F-18 demonstrated some unique and ground breaking features.  The first being the LEX or leading edge extensions.  These allow the aircraft to stay in control while the aircraft is flying slow and at high nose up angles.  The F-18 was designed to replace many if not all of the US Navys fighters and other specialty aircraft.  THe F-18 was made with extremely bulky and tough landing gear so it could withstand the intense impact of landing on a carrier, which is what some call ” a controlled crash” more than a landing. 

   The Hornet was superseded in 1999 by the Super Hornet.  This aircraft was an improved version of the Hornet in the sence that it was larger and capable of carrying larger payloads.  It was also equipped with more up to date computers and weapon systems.  It can carry up to four additional fuel tanks for longer missions and can be made into tanker aircraft to refuel planes in mid-flight.

The Hornet will continue to lead the US navy in airpower for years and years to come. 


General characteristics

  • Crew: F/A-18E: 1, F/A-18F: 2
  • Length: 60 ft 1¼ in (18.31 m)
  • Wingspan: 44 ft 8½ in (13.62 m)
  • Height: 16 ft (4.88 m)
  • Wing area: 500 ft² (46.45 m²)
  • Empty weight: 30,600 lb (13,900 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 47,000 lb (21,320 kg) (in fighter configuration)
  • Max takeoff weight: 66,000 lb (29,900 kg)
  • Powerplant:General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofans
    • Dry thrust: 14,000 lbf (62.3 kN) each
    • Thrust with afterburner: 22,000 lbf (97.9 kN) each
  • Internal fuel capacity: F/A-18E: 14,400 lb (6,530 kg), F/A-18F: 13,550 lb (6,145 kg)
  • External fuel capacity: 5 × 480 gal tanks, totaling 16,380 lb (7,430 kg)


  • Maximum speed: Mach 1.8+ (1,190 mph, 1,900 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
  • Range: 1,275 nmi (2,346 km) clean plus two AIM-9s
  • Combat radius: 390 nmi (449 mi, 722 km) for interdiction mission
  • Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,070 mi, 3,330 km)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000+ ft (15,000+ m)
  • Wing loading: 94.0 lb/ft² (459 kg/m²)
  • Thrust/weight: 0.93
  • Design load factor: 7.6 g

The Most Incredible Aircraft of All Time: US NAVY Blue Angels

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by thesprucemoose

   As the Thunderbirds are the performers for the USAF the Blue Angles are the performers for the United States Navy.  The shows may look similar but, the aircraft, the pilots, and the way they fly are all different.  At the airshows I attend each year usually alternates between the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds.  In my opinion, the Blue Angels are the most intense.

The Blue Angels we established in 1946 to keep people interested in Naval Aviation by performing stunts at popular shows know as air shows.  They were the first of their kind and would make history for years to come.  They were stationed in Corpus Christi for the beginning until 1954 when they moved to Pensacola, Florida , were they are still located.  The team is made up of 16 officers and around 110 enlisted members.

   The aircraft set up and formations are almost identical to the Thunderbirds but there are a few differences.  There is the same four aircraft that make up the diamond formation.  The one difference here is that the Thunderbirds Slot pilot moves into position mid-loop after takeoff as the Blue Angels Slot pilot moves there right after takeoff.

   The solo pilots are identical to the Thunderbirds also.  Both #5 and #6 pilots alternate with the diamond formation.  A some point in the show the teams have been known to give a sneak pass.  This is a very low  high-speed pass than not many will see coming. It is sure to make you jump.

   The solo pilots and diamond pilots will then meet and fly in the 6 ship formation.

The other aircraft that makes up the Blue Angels is a C-130 called Fat Albert.  It is a supply aircraft and is equipped with a JATO system or Jet-fuel Assist Take Off.  The aircraft has rockets put on the rear end of the aircraft to help the aircraft make a very short take off.

The Blue angels have been around much longer than the Thunder birds and have had many different aircraft aswell.

F6F-5 Hellcat

F8F-1 Bearcat

F9F-2 Panther

F9F-8 Cougar

F11F-1 Tiger

F-4J Phantom II

A-4F Skyhawk

F/A-18 Hornet

Most Incredible Aircraft Of All Time: F-16 Fighting Falcon

Posted in Uncategorized on December 6, 2010 by thesprucemoose

The F-16 is a multi-role fighter built in the mid 70s.  It was an aircraft ahead of its time putting into effect many new advances in military airpower technology.  The first was a completely revolutionised cockpit.  The Pilot would sit in the seat which is adjustable and leaned back 30 degrees to support the pilot at high G’s.  The cockpit also provided much better vision for the pilot due to a modern bubble canopy. The last huge advance in the cockpit are the controls.  The stick is a side control stick and both the throttle and stick have button controls on them for pilot ease.

The F-16 also has what is called a Fly-By-Wire system.  The aircraft is built aerodynamically unstable, meaning if computers were not in control the F-16 would spiral into the ground every flight.  The system makes thousands of readings per minute to keep the aircraft flying level and straight.  When a pilot makes a movement with the stick the computer reads it and does the work for him.  This gives the aircraft an outragious amount of maneuverability.

The F-16 has been bought by many allied countries and has done its job well and will continue to do so.  The aircraft is reliable and very effective as shown by the USAF Thunderbirds.  It’s Truly and incredible aircraft.

General characteristics