The F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet are some of the most advanced aircraft at the U.S. Navy’s disposal. Since its original introduction in 1978, the original F/A-18A Hornet and its subsequent iterations have been used around the world from the Gulf War to Afghanistan.
The newly improved Super Hornet officially took flight in September 2001. Today, nearly 1500 Hornets and 600 Super Hornets are in service and are used by the likes of Royal Australian Air Force and Spanish Air Force as well as the United States.
Most civilians will never get the chance to experience what it feels like flying at speeds approaching Mach 1 in a Super Hornet. However, incredible video from U.S. Navy Lt. Ian Schmidt takes the viewer on a daring ride inside the cockpit of an F/A-18 during training exercises during 2010-2011 aboard the USS Enterprise.
Check out the exhilarating video below:
In the video, a pair of F/A-18 jets perform some impressive aerial maneuvers and close fly-bys near the carrier. The aircraft speed by in what seems like few hundred feet off the water. The USS Enterprise can be seen in the background of some of the clips as the fighter jets scream past the ship.
The video also includes the pilots performing advanced aerial maneuver like rolls and steeply banked turns. The pilots appear calm, cool and collected as they soar some 50,000 feet above the Earth.
Most impressively, the video also features take-offs and landings aboard the aircraft carrier. When taking off, the jet is catapulted from the carrier at nearly 150mph in under two seconds.
The pilots are required to land their jets on just a few hundred feet of runway with precise accuracy. In order to slow down, the aircraft must catch one of three arresting wires on the deck that pulls the jet to a screeching halt.
The fighter jets in the video were a part of Strike Fighter Squadron 211 (VFA-211) “Fighting Checkmates” and Strike Fighter Squadron 11 (VFA-11) “Red Rippers,” both of which are subordinate units of Carrier Wing One
Carrier Air Wing One was assigned to the USS Enterprise before its decommissioning in December 2012. The USS Enterprise was the nation’s first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and was in service for 55 years, the 3rd-longest of any naval vessel.