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    I sent Jell-O from the Fighter Pilot Podcast an email with some basic questions about fuel planning in the Hornet. Trying to skip my fanboyism and admiration in the email, this is what he answered:

    My questions are:

    - Without getting into tactics or specific data, what parameters do you usually plan ahead going into combat? Such as turn capabilities, dive recovery, endurance, etc.

    - Do you guys develop some sort of Take Off and Landing Data card before each flight? If so, how would that work on carrier based operations?

    - Do pilots perform a standard max performance climb/descent everytime you have to change altitudes significantly?


    Hello Gerardo,

    Thanks for your note and the enthusiasm—people like you are why I produce this show! I have recently become aware of DCS but am not currently involved; apparently it is great fun for those who were not blessed to do it for real.

    Regarding your questions, dive recovery rules are taught early in training and never change. They are a “standard.” Turn capabilities are considered usually during briefs or training sessions when we want to compare fighters with different configurations at various fuel settings and altitudes.

    Yes, we always calculate takeoff numbers ashore, specifically distance, single-engine considerations, nose-wheel and main wheel lift off speeds, abort speeds, etc. Afloat, the shooters take care of it for us, we just have to know our gross weight (see episode 12). Landing data is available real time and you simply have to land below a certain weight (less on a carrier than at the field).

    We normally climb in MIL and descend at idle power.

    Hope that helps. Thanks, we’ll see you around the show!

    This dude is a champion.

    PROFESSIONAL IDIOT (ISO 9001 CERTIFIED) || 31+27 / 08+40

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