378 – Flying the F-18 Classic Hornet
Guests: Jerry Deren, Nick Anderson
Host: Markus Voelter Shownoter: Bastian Hundt
It’s been 377 episodes and we have not yet dedicated one to the F-18. This changes now. In the episode we first talk with Jerry Deren, a former US Navy Hornet pilot who also flew with the Blue Angels; we cover both aspects of his career. In part two we chat with Nick Anderson, former RAAF F-18 pilot (and co-host of the Airline Pilot Guy podcast). We chat about his experience flying the Hornet Down Under, focussing on quirks and funny stories.
There’s also a nice F-18 walkaround on Youtube with Jerry. Check it out!
Introduction of Jerry Deren00:02:08
Basics of the F/A-18 Hornet00:03:48
F/A-18 Hornet | F/A-18E/F Super Hornet | A-6 Intruder | A-7 Corsair II | F-14 Tomcat | YF-17 | F-16 Fighting Falcon | Aircraft Carrier | Fly-by-Wire | Flight Controls | Arresting Gear | Folgind Wing | Stabilator | Angle of Attack (AOA) | Leading-edge extension | Dogfight | Basic Fighter Maneuvers | Episode OT-376 (German) about Air-to-Air Combat | Falling Leaf
Landing and Handling the F/A-1800:27:38
Head-up Display | Autothrottle | Aircraft Catapult | Glide Slope | Optical Landing System | Indicated Airspeed (IAS) | Tailhook | Trim | Jettison | Aerial Refueling
Cockpit, Sensors, Avionics00:56:00
USS Enterprise | Operational Deployment | C-2 Greyhound | S-3 Viking | Touch and Go | Operation Southern Watch | Night-Vision-Goggle | NATO | MIG-29 | SU-27 | Operation Desert Fox | Landing Signal Officer (LSO) | T-45 Goshawk
Flying with the Blue-Angels01:21:28
Blue Angels | Aerobatics | Thunderbirds | Diamond Formation | g-suit | Traffic Pattern | Aerobatic Maneuver
Nick Introduction and Exchange Tour01:55:50
Airline Pilot Guy Podcast | Plane Tales | Mirage III | RAF Weapons School | Sunderland Flying Boat | Pom | F-16 | F-18 | F-18 in Australia
Anecdotes from Australia02:03:10
AIM-7 M Sparrow | P-3 Orion | Episode with Maz | OCU | Carbon Fiber | Cu Nim | HOTAS | Doll's Eye | Hypoxia | Probe and Drogue | INS | Laser Ring Gyro | Launch Bar | Ayres Rock | Pine Gap | Williamtown | F-111 | LEX
Life after the Hornet03:32:15
Tornado F.3 | Eurofighter | A-330 | A-340
That moving map of Captain Nick in the Mirage III I am very familiar with, and one of the limitations is the film itself, which is generally going to stretch with age, so your displayed position might be quite a bit off from actual position, on the digital display on top. The film sat in a cassette and was fed from one reel to the other, with only a small section at a time being scanned, by moving the magazine in X and Y, in relation to the image gate. Rotation was done with a complex system of optics, that used prisms to rotate the image prior to the projection lens, so it would follow magnetic or true north. Lamp is a 12V 150W halogen lamp, to provide illumination, and the optical system loses around 80% of that light in the system, and thus you have 140W of heat, just from the lamp alone, to dissipate.
Lamp failure was common, so there is a pull button that places the spare lamp in place of the main, another 150W lamp. However very common was failure of the lamp driver, seeing as it was right there wrapped around the lamp, and was poorly heat sinked, so ran ultra hot. The common failure was that either the power transistor unsoldered itself from the leads, or it or the driver transistor went short circuit. First one just no display, or it sprung off enough to short out to the case, and blow the fuses. Second one this then blew the lamp, and the 10A supply fuse for the lamp driver, around half the time. Pilot has no map light, but still an upper display, so pulls the button to engage the spare lamp, without the recommended turn brightness to zero first, or turn map display off. Thus the second lamp fails, either shattering or not, and blowing those fuses properly. Pilot comes back using his paper maps on his leg, or during the day follows the terrain.
Yes many of those map displays coming in with both lamps shattered, meaning you have to strip and clean out the glass from the entire optical path, and also clean the inner parts as well, as they used the same fan to provide cooling.
The F/A-18 is really my favorite from the ‘teen’ series of fighters, so this episode was something I was really looking forward to listening to.
There’s also a really cool F-18 walk-around video with Jerry Deren on youtube, that touches some of the discussed topics as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w7oc0LczBE
Thanks for reminding me of the video. That’s how I found out about Jerry. Was planning to link to it, then forgot. Link added now.
Only just got around to listening to the F-18 episode. I very much enjoyed it, and well done once again, Markus.
I especially enjoyed the second interview with Nick the Pom. As an English-born, naturalised Australian, I greatly enjoyed his sense of humour and the anecdotes on his Australian sojourn.
Cheers from Perth, DownUnder.