BECOME A MEMBER DONATE TODAY

IMPROVE F/A-18 SUPER HORNET TRAINING AND READINESS WITH MORE MISSILES AND FEWER MISSIONS

The performance of American naval aviators in the early years of the Vietnam War was dismal. Navy fighter jets, launching from aircraft carriers on ?Yankee Station,? flew air-to-air and air-to-ground  missions over North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese sortied their own fighter jets, Soviet-built MiGs to shoot down American aviators, resulting in intense aerial combat between the two forces. From June 1965 to September 1968, U.S. aircraft fired nearly 600 air-to-air missiles. In nearly 360 engagements, the likelihood of a kill was one per ten missiles shot, and the kill ratio between U.S. aviators and the North Vietnam Air Force was two to one. In the Korean War, American fighters had enjoyed a 10-to-1 ratio, in World War II, the Navy F6F Hellcat fighter?s kill ratio was 20-to-1. Something needed to change.

READ MORE

Measuring up: ONR tech makes sure aviators and aircraft are a perfect fit

ARLINGTON, Va.–The aspiring U.S. Navy pilot ran through a series of motions–sitting, kneeling, stretching out his arm–to gauge the type of aircraft cockpit his body would fit.

As the pilot completed each exercise, a technician hovered over him and recorded measurements using a tool called an anthropometer–consisting of several metal tubes formed into a large ruler-and-caliper set and spanning the height of a person. Total time: seven minutes.

Another pilot stood at attention while engineers connected a camera the size of a TV remote to a laptop and took a photo. Thirteen yellow-and-black dots–representing limbs and joints–peppered the pilot’s image on the computer screen. Specialized software calculated the distance between each joint to produce an accurate body measurement. Time elapsed: one minute.

READ MORE

‘She is out there somewhere’: Why it’s hard to find a female Blue Angels pilot

While women have consistently broken barriers in military and commercial aviation in recent years, a woman has yet to fly in formation with the elite U.S. Navy Blue Angels. And it won’t happen for at least another year and half.

When the Naval Air Station Pensacola-based team announced officer selections for the 2020 season earlier this week, a female pilot wasn’t on the list. The news means that the soonest a female pilot might be selected to join the elite fighter jet demonstration team would be for the 75th anniversary season in 2021. Experts say there are good reasons a woman hasn’t been chosen for the exclusive group of Navy and Marine Corps aviators. But when it finally happens, they say, it will be history making.

READ MORE