Flying Fighter Jet is as easy as to fly airplanes

Published: 11th June 2010
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Being able to fly airplanes and feel like a bird is a dream many people share. However, there's a different class of aircraft available to fly. Many people think to fly airplanes ends at single-engine piston-engine aircraft. This widespread belief couldn't be more wrong: Everybody can fly a true military aircraft and fly a jet fighter. Flying fighter jet isn't harder than flying piston engine aircraft, but it's surely much more of a thrill as G-Forces push your body to the limits while you fly a jet fighter.

Also, actually flying fighter jets isn't hard - the hardest part in a jet flight is surely starting and landing. Since people who intend to fly military aircraft as civilians will be flying fighter jets used for training, they won't fly a jet fighter alone but will be accompanied by an instructor who is flying fighter jets daily. Together with him, civilians fly in a two-cockpit jet fighter for 20 minutes or so. Therefore, the instructor is with them throughout the flight. This instructor will safely start and land the airplane and instruct the passenger how to fly airplanes - or, to be more precise, how to fly a jet fighter. After the instruction, the adventure in the flying fighter begins: the instructor starts the fighter, the jet taxies to the runway and eventually, the jet fighter takes off.

During the fighter flight, control will be handed over to the passenger who will fly the military aircraft by himself and perform rolls, loops, immelman and more maneuvers with the jet fighter. That's the point of ultimate freedom, where the unparalleled power of a military aircraft lay in the hands of a single man.

An example to illustrate the difference between flying fighters alone or in extreme situations are display teams: To fly fighters in formation with a minimal distance of only a few feet between jets requires a lot of skill, no doubt. However, if a jet fighter of a is flying alone, the jet flight is much less demanding to the pilot as he can only concentrate on his own jets without worrying about the other military aircraft nearby.

In short: Military pilots go through a very hard selection not because the actual jet fighter flight is hard to perform, but because the stress situation in an aerial battle, flying fighter in severe weather conditions or to fly military aircraft at night requires high skill. To fly fighters in the blue sky in times of peace is easy enough even for civilians to control the jet - under the guidance, of course, of an instructor who knows how to fly military aircraft.

Vyacheslav Spiridonov graduated the journalistic faculty of MGIMO (MSIIR) in Moscow. He's an observer of the Soviet / Russian Air Force and the military-industrial complex and observes civilians flying fighter jets since 2002. He did a jet fighter ride himself in 2004.

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