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68

Living Wing The Super Hornet has a living wing, that is to say, the shape of the wing is constantly in motion throughout every regime of flight. Trailing edge flaps, leading edge flaps, stabs, rudders, and ailerons all move in concert to give the pilot the greatest control during particular phases of flight. This is evident by the use of the flaps switch. ...


37

NASA uses them for pilot training and as chase planes for research aircraft. The two-seat F/A-18 support aircraft are normally used for photo or video chase. They are configured to transmit live video pictures from the air back to Dryden so engineers can visually monitor the mission as it is being flown. This feature greatly enhances flight safety. There'...


33

I used to be an avionics instructor teaching maintenance type courses for the F/A-18. I have plenty of hours flying in the simulator where I would get the students to conduct navigation flights to familiarise themselves with the operation of the instruments as well as flight controls. I can confirm 100% that the rudder is barely touched once airborne. There ...


31

Two reasons: The airplane is extremely versatile, while having adequate performance, and is a good choice when a small airforce needs a do-everything airplane to replace multiple types. Being designed for carriers, it's overbuilt for normal land operations in many key areas, which means a longer airframe structural life in its much easier life landing on ...


27

It's for keeping the boundary layer flow from entering the intake, it's called a splitter plate. I think it's done to prevent turbulence inside the turbine (prevent compressor stall) and to make sure the intake doesn't ingest slow air, to maximize efficiency.


27

The rudders are deflected inwards during takeoff of the F/A-18E to help in raising the nose of the aircraft as it leaves the ship. As the vertical fins are canted outwards, deflecting both the rudders inwards generates a downforce, which, due to its location aft of the center of gravity, creates a pitch-up moment. This position of rudders during takeoff is ...


24

The sparks in the video come from the F-18's Vulcan cannon being fired at night. During daytime you'd only see muzzle flash accompanied by a pretty puff of smoke. Low light conditions bring out the sparks, or rather, residual gunpowder still burning (or glowing) as it exits the barrel.


23

It is a "Standby Reticle": A fixed standby reticle (Figure 7–151) is available in the upper right side of the HUD for use in performing visual designations in the event of a HUD failure. The reticle is fixed at a 15-mil depression angle from the gun boresight. If the HUD fails, the HUD symbology is available by selecting HUD via the menu on the left ...


23

Wanting to replace the Dassault Mirage III, and after considering multiple fighters from multiple nations, it boiled down to the F-16 and F/A-18. The F-16 had engine issues, inferior radar, no long-range missiles and BVR capability, single engine, and was technologically immature at the time. Note: There were concerns that the larger more sophisticated F-...


21

These are the auxiliary air inlets for the ECS (Environmental Control System): (image source) They provide air to the primary heat exchanger (A18), which is then exhausted via the ram air exhaust (A20, the tubes visible behind the inlets in your picture).


16

These are generally called "propelled flares", or sometimes "aerodynamic propelled flares". Some antiaircraft systems are able to distinguish between a normal flare and the aircraft, as the flare is not travelling along the expected path of the aircraft. Aerodynamic flares were first developed to allow the flare to continue along the path, but as ...


16

Selection of the replacement of the Mirage III was of course carefully considered by the RAAF, and the most suitable airframe was considered for the mission and circumstances typical for a vast, distant and sparsely populated continent: The fact that it was designed for carrier operation actually was a plus, since it results in a more robust airframe with ...


15

You asked about visual differences. The main visual difference is that there are no guns on the EA-18G, just AIM-120 AMRAAM or AGM-88 HARM missiles. Other than that the visual differences are minimal. The airframe is still a F/A-18F Super Hornet, where -F stands for twin-seat. Engines are also the same General Electric F414-GE-400, however I suspect there ...


15

The real reason: Ground effect was not considered during development. Ground effect reduces the lift curve slope of lifting surfaces, and the low tail position of the F-18 makes this effect very noticeable during take-off. During development, this effect was not considered and, consequently, the F-18 could not rotate at the calculated speed when it went ...


15

They're mostly chase planes (source: NASA). NASA has four of them, two single-seat and two two-seaters. They provide more eyes on the plane for safety purposes (they are in communication with the pilot), and assist NASA's flight test missions. The two-seaters are also useful for photos and videos of flight tests so engineers have more info.


13

The USN Blue Angel demonstration team is transitioning to Super Hornets. According to this press report: “We are supporting the Navy’s plans to transition the Blue Angels to Super Hornet aircraft from classic Hornets by providing engineering for the necessary conversion modifications. ...,” Paul Guse, a spokesman for Boeing, said Thursday in an emailed ...


12

EDIT: I'd just finished writing out my own answer when I stumbled across this answer to a different question, which nevertheless explains the function of the small intake in greater detail. I've included my answer below anyway. A couple of people have mentioned the splitter plate, but failed to address the smaller intake set between it and the fuselage. It'...


10

The rudders on modern fighters are canted mostly to reduce their radar cross section. A straight vertical tail would produce a corner reflector in combination with the fuselage or the wing and would send radar waves straight back to their source. To reduce the detection radius, such a behavior must be avoided. The first aircraft to use this trick was the SR-...


10

Quoting the F/A-18A,B,C,D Flight Manual A1-F18AC-NFM-000, I-2-42 2.8.2.8 Control Augmentation System (CAS) [...] The lateral control system uses ailerons, differential trailing edge flaps, differential leading edge flaps, differential stabilator, and rudders to achieve the desired roll characteristics. Scheduled air data roll rate feedback is used ...


9

You're correct that the leading edge extension (LEX) plays an important part in increasing the maximum angle of attack of the Hornet/Super Hornet. The LEX basically forms a vortex above the main wing, which improves the high angle of attack capabilities by delaying separation. See this question about vortex lift and also another related question. You can ...


8

They're very different aircraft, built to different requirements, meant to fill very different roles. Large tails are good for pitch authority and high-alpha---which are good for maneuvering and dogfighting, but not very relevant to the F-117's missions. The F-117 was a medium-altitude, tactical bomber that spent its life trucking around a pair of large, ...


8

Do the holes in splitter plates reduce the boundary layer? Yes. Suction is applied to remove the slow-moving layer of air close to the surface, so the air entering the intake has as uniform a speed distribution over the intake cross section as possible. That this air is used for cooling before being dumped overboard is sensible, but if cooling were the ...


8

An estimate: An F-18E Rhino can only obtain its maximum speed of Mach 1.8 only at 36,000 ft in ideal air conditions and only in a clean configuration i.e. no external stores. At 36000 ft at STP, Mach 1.8 translates to approximately 550 m/s or 1069 KTAS using the equations: v = M*SQRT(g * R * T) Where v is the velocity of the jet in m/s, M is the Mach ...


8

It may or may not be being used in this application, but they are location markers, usually used in weapons separation tests to record the movement and behavior of stores in the airstream as they separate from the jet. Camera pods, usually mounted on the wingtips or other optimal vantage points record the process for engineering purposes.


7

The intake is for the primary heat exchanger. secondary is on the other side, Same location. The ambient air flows across a large rectangular heat exchanger. Basically a air to air radiator for the Bleed air system used for most functions on the F/A-18. Air conditioning, Wave guide pressurization, cabin pressure, avionics cooling, Gun,Etc. It cuts the air ...


7

It is not smoke. It is bleed air being blown behind the heat exchanger which forces cool air across the front of the heat exchanger, this is only happens on the ground. The left side of the aircraft has a secondary heat exchanger that is also cooled by a water spray nozzle. The water is created by the ECS taking bleed air and cooling it. The water is ...


6

Autotrack means the FLIR (Forward Looking InfraRed) sensor attempts to track whatever object falls inside the tracking area. It means whatever the pilot was trying to keep up with was producing emissions in the infrared (heat) and the system was automatically tracking it. Boxing a moving target is having the tracking system detect and track a target you ...


6

Yes it has differential stabilators. Below is a description from the F/A-18's (A/B/C/D) NATOPS flight manual. Almost every surface including the flaps and leading edge devices are used in rolling the aircraft (fly-by-wire magic): 2.8.2.8 Control Augmentation System (CAS). The lateral control system uses ailerons, differential trailing edge flaps, ...


6

I can tell you my experience during my stay in Zaragoza Air Base in northeastern Spain, in 1998. After heavy maintenance work, the twin-seater was ready to fly. In order to check all work done, we did a parabolic flight in clean configuration (no loads under wings or fuselage). It was a flight test so we decided to push the limits a little and see the real ...


5

It's the rudders acting like a ruddervator to assist in pitching up. This is possible because they lean outwards a bit.


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