On behalf of all of us here at FighterSweep, we welcome you back to Burner Friday! This week’s edition of fire and noise is brought to you by Boeing’s F/A-18F Super Hornet belonging to Strike Fighter Squadron 106, the Gladiators, out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia.
This particular jet was on loan to Boeing, the image captured during a practice airshow demonstration flown by the company’s Chief Test Pilot, Ricardo Traven, in preparation for his trip across the pond for the Farnborough International Airshow and Royal International Air Tattoo (RIAT).
You could say that Ricardo Traven has one of the best jobs in the world, and that might be a true statement. Such a job doesn’t come without pressure (so to speak) though, as many eyes are watching every maneuver during high-visibility events such as Farnborough. Although open to the public for several days, the show is known for big business as over $200 billion worth of orders were placed at the 2014 event.
Boeing snagged a good chunk of that business, and got to show off its Super Hornet in the meantime, turning Traven into a de facto Super Hornet salesman. Contrary to the Super Hornet tactical demonstrations performed by the US Navy, which cleans up the jet (no fuel tanks, weapons, or even weapons pylons) the Boeing Company likes to load up their jets during their airshow routines. They’ve demonstrated various configurations over the years, showing off the jet’s ability to carry a lot of ordnance – and still max perform with it.
I’ve seen a good number of airshow routines and I don’t hesitate to say that Boeing’s Super Hornet demo is my favorite, though I’m always happy to let that be challenged. It’s intense, impressive, and by golly, it looks like it hurts. Check out the video below to see the Super Hornet being put through its paces. Enjoy, FighterSweep fans, and we’ll be back next week with more burner action!