Video: US Navy F-18 Squadron Gets the GoPro Treatment

Video: US Navy F-18 Squadron Gets the GoPro Treatment

The VFA-27 "Royal Maces" squadron put some GoPro cameras to good use.

There are no shortage of GoPro aviation videos online, but very few of them are of active combat squadrons in the US Navy.

The VFA-27 Royal Maces, a squad of Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter aircraft, recently took to the skies with some cameras on-board. The video is of training exercises (not live combat), but it should give you an idea of how fighter pilots view the world strapped into a fourth-generation fighter jet.

The Royal Maces are a "tip of the spear" squadron, which means they are typically the first (or among the first) to engage in military combat in certain parts of the world. they currently reside on the USS George Washington, which is part of the Japan-based Carrier Air Wing Five.

[source: FoxtrotAlpha]

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That's pretty cool, but these Polish MiGs are more awesome. :P

That's pretty cool, though I'm not really sure what this whole GoPro thing is. I just looks like a bunch of cameras in a cockpit.

By the way, since I imagine this thread might attract some aviation enthusiasts, I'll leave a question here: is dogfighting still a thing? I mean, do fighter pilots still try to outmaneuver other fighter pilots to get behind them before destroying them, or is modern air combat more of a "my vastly technologically superior plane detects your plane and launches a missile which destroys you before you even realize the threat" thing.

My guess there weren't any shots of the pilot's view because they wanted to keep the instrumentation panel a secret.

dyre:
Is dogfighting still a thing?

If you're talking 4th gen fighters vs 5th gen stealth fighters, then the 5th gen fighters will obviously engage the former in beyond visual range combat while the 4th gen fighters will have trouble getting a radar lock. But things are supposed to get a bit more tricky when it's 5th gen vs 5th gen. With a low enough radar cross section, each of them can deny each other BVR engagement, compressing missile combat distances and timelines. Maneuverability and speed should become crucial in those scenarios.

Remember: no matter how stealthy, the F-22 still packs an M61 Vulcan.

Of course, the F-35 (which is supposed to replace the A-10, F-15, F-16, F-18 and costs $200 million a-piece) loses its stealth function with external payload (and it needs those as it can carry only 4 A2A missiles internally), and is a little shit in the performance department (it can't fly supersonic as its stealth coating starts to melt and accumulate near the exhaust, let alone supercruise). The J-20 just might be vaporware. The F-22 has been produced in too low a volume. The PAK FA is a long time away from being put into service. A network of ground-based passive radar might even render all these stealth characteristics obsolete. Who knows what's in store for the future?

dyre:
That's pretty cool, though I'm not really sure what this whole GoPro thing is. I just looks like a bunch of cameras in a cockpit.

By the way, since I imagine this thread might attract some aviation enthusiasts, I'll leave a question here: is dogfighting still a thing? I mean, do fighter pilots still try to outmaneuver other fighter pilots to get behind them before destroying them, or is modern air combat more of a "my vastly technologically superior plane detects your plane and launches a missile which destroys you before you even realize the threat" thing.

Disclaimer: Sorry if you thought this was someone answering your dogfighting question.

The GoPro is a range of high quality cameras whose key selling point is their durability, and I guess mobility and size. They are small cameras that can capture in high quality, but can take a severe beating. Definitely no fragility to worry about there.

They are typically used for more dangerous or extreme sports. They have their own youtube channel which is filled with videos showing what people have done with them.

They can be fixed to helmets, or skis or handlebars and other attachments.

They tend to capture in the 'fish-eye' look, from what I've seen.

I know about them because one of my friends bought one in order to capture footage when we went snowboarding. It didn't go great, due to our own amateurishness, but hopefully we will get some good footage next time.

Seriously check out their youtube though and look at some of the more watched videos, there's some great landscape shots and sporting shots on there.

RA92:

dyre:
Is dogfighting still a thing?

If you're talking 4th gen fighters vs 5th gen stealth fighters, then the 5th gen fighters will obviously engage the former in beyond visual range combat while the 4th gen fighters will have trouble getting a radar lock. But things are supposed to get a bit more tricky when it's 5th gen vs 5th gen. With a low enough radar cross section, each of them can deny each other BVR engagement, compressing missile combat distances and timelines. Maneuverability and speed should become crucial in those scenarios.

Remember: no matter how stealthy, the F-22 still packs an M61 Vulcan.

Of course, the F-35 (which is supposed to replace the A-10, F-15, F-16, F-18 and costs $200 million a-piece) loses its stealth function with external payload (and it needs those as it can carry only 4 A2A missiles internally), and is a little shit in the performance department (it can't fly supersonic as its stealth coating starts to melt and accumulate near the exhaust, let alone supercruise). The J-20 just might be vaporware. The F-22 has been produced in too low a volume. The PAK FA is a long time away from being put into service. A network of ground-based passive radar might even render all these stealth characteristics obsolete. Who knows what's in store for the future?

I know modern fighters still have miniguns, but I bet it's been a long time since one fighter shot down another using its guns rather than AA missiles. Also, it would be incredibly amusing if all these "5th gen" stealth fighters that the various global military powers are hyping up all turn out to be obsoleted by new radar tecnology by the time they're actually put in service :P

Anyway, thanks for the info.

Ubiquitous Duck:
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Sounds cool, I'll check it out

 

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