Here's a beautiful CAF F8F Bearcat on its take off roll.
Inspired by the FW-190, the Bearcat was fast and agile. Introduced very late in WWII, the war ended before the Bearcat saw combat.
The F-18 Hornet was designed to operate off of carriers, and has beefy landing gear to handle the repeated poundings of catapult take offs, and arrested landings.
This Hornet is from VFA-122 tactical demonstration team, seen with the Nellis control tower behind it.
Making a sharp turn with afterburners right after take off.
The C/D models of the Hornet are also sometimes referred to as 'legacy' Hornets - to differentiate them from the much larger E/F Super Hornets.
View of the landing gear down, and tail hook deployed. The tail hook's job is to grab the arresting cable - which quickly brings the jet to a halt, even under full thrust.
Afterburner on a Hornet is kind of hard to see, when compared with some of the other jets. Here, the Hornet is pulling some vapor out of the dry Nevada air, with a high energy pullup!
With flaps and gear down, the Hornet comes in for a touch and go, or 'bolter' demo.
A bolter happens when the arresting cable is not hooked when attempting to land, and the plane has to apply full power to take off again (because there's no way to stop in time, and the plane would just roll off the front of the ship otherwise!)
Here's the F-18 flying in close formation with the Bearcat.
It's difficult for the Heritage/Legacy flight pilots to fly these types of formations since the jet is going about as slow as it can, while the piston engine prop plane is going as fast as it can!
After the formation breaks up, the Hornet streaks by with a nice high-speed photo pass.
Really liked this unusual shot showing the Bearcat taxiing in close formation with the Hornet!
Both pilots can be seen in this shot.
I read somewhere that this was the last time that Hornet West Demo would be flying a F/A-18C model. They are supposed to be only using Super Hornet (E/F) models from now on. Thanks for the great show!