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Fighter Pilot Podcast

Fighter Pilot Podcast

The Fighter Pilot Podcast explores the fascinating world of air combat: the aircraft, the weapons systems, and most importantly?the people. Numbered episodes feature a guest who helps explain the topic at hand, such as how ejection seats work or what it's like to fly on and off nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.

If you love the roar of a high-speed flyby or are enamored by the poise and confidence of the brave men and women who fly, fix, and fight these aircraft, then this show is for you.

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Fight's On! Putting it all together

?Putting it All Together? takes concepts from the preceding episodes and explains large scale exercises, introducing assets beyond fighters and even beyond aviation assets to train for modern multi-domain joint operations in settings such as Air Wing Fallon, Red Flag, and the Army?s NTC and JRTC. Host and panel stories illustrate the objectives and processes of these events as they have evolved over time as well as further demonstrate the limitations of exclusively physical training ranges and expense of flight hours both in monetary and airframe costs.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted (warrant) officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! takes the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-11-25
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The F4U Corsair and 'Devotion'

November 23rd marks the release of the second great Naval Aviation movie of 2022, Devotion, except unlike the previous--this one is based on actual events. Korean War F4U Corsair pilots Jesse Brown and Tom Hudner became the U.S. Navy's most celebrated wingmen for events expertly described in a book of the same title by Mr. Adam Makos.

On this episode, our warbird cohost Trevor "Boat" Boswell returns to celebrate the movie release with an interview conducted by FPP friend Rick "Nack" Hartnack with former U.S. Marine Corps F-4 Phantom pilot and current F4U Corsair owner John French. After, Mr. Makos joins Boat to discuss his book and involvement in the movie adaptation.

Check out Mr. French's involvement helping injured veterans enjoy the great outdoors at highergroundusa.org, and for a copy of Devotion signed by Congressional Medal of Honor awardee, Tom Hudner, visit valorstudios.com.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-11-23
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Fight's On! The Threat

?The Threat? describes the nature of America?s aerial adversaries and how we simulate them. Host stories and experiences explain the concept and need for DACT and OPFOR while also discussing the changes over time in potential enemy aircraft, the surface-to-air threat, and our own Aggressor/Adversary aircraft including the declining ability of traditional Aggressor aircraft to model modern threats.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted (warrant) officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! takes the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-11-15
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Veterans Day Tribute (Rebroadcast)

The Fighter Pilot Podcast would not be possible without the support of the hundreds of veterans who served both in uniform and, in this case, in the studio.

To those who have served: happy Veterans Day and thank you, from a grateful nation.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-11-11
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Fight's On! We'll Make You Better

This episode explores the world of post-graduate fighter training through the lens of the Air Force Weapons School. Listeners will hear about the evolution of BFM and air superiority as technology changed from guns to first generation missiles through today?s high off-boresight weapons. This episode also introduces the limitations of physical ranges due to high speeds and long ranges of modern aircraft, sensors, and weapons.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted (warrant) officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! takes the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-11-05
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Electronic Warfare Testing at the Benefield Anechoic Chamber

The Benefield Anechoic Chamber located at Edwards AFB, CA, is the world's largest anechoic test facility capable of supporting and handling virtually all DoD aircraft. The facility and its hard working staff test avionics systems in a secure, controlled, and repeatable electromagnetically controlled free-space environment using state-of-the-art simulation technology that closely duplicates real world combat missions.

On this bonus episode, guest host Ken Katz welcomes Amarachi Egbuziem-Ciolkosz and Mario Dorado of the 772nd Test Squadron to discuss the critical testing that occurs at this world class facility.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-10-31
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Fight's On! Honing the Craft

?Honing the Craft? will give the listener a basic understanding of the tactics and terminology of air combat terminology such as BFM, CAS, One-Circle vs Two-Circle Fight and others, while also introducing the importance and roles of formations, wingmen, and flight leads. Hosts? stories will illustrate these while also demonstrating the evolution of technology that have increased (or sometimes hurt) capability and situational awareness.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted (warrant) officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! takes the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-10-25
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Fight's On! Aim High

The third Fight's On! episode explores Air Force flight school from selection through primary and advanced training to winging, culminating in assignment to a pilot's first combat unit as told through the eyes of an F-16 combat veteran.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted (warrant) officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! takes the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-10-15
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Fight's On! Down Low

The second Fight's On! episode, Down Low, explores the world of Army Aviation flight school from selection through primary and advanced training to winging, culminating in assignment to a pilot's first combat unit as told through the eyes of an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior and AH-64 Apache combat veteran.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted (warrant) officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! takes the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-10-05
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Fight's On! Wings of Gold

The first Fight's On! episode, Wings of Gold, chronicles the path of naval aviators from college graduate through winging and beyond.

Fight?s On! is an eight-episode series about combat aviation training focusing on how the U.S. takes newly minted officers and warrant officers and molds them into combat aviators able to fight and win in today?s high-tech battlespace.

Told through the stories and experiences of U.S. military aviators in their own voices, Fight?s On! will take the listener on the journey of combat aviators from Initial flight training through advanced tactical training and multi-unit exercises, ultimately describing the current and near future systems and programs that will ensure American air dominance into the future.

Fight's On! is a production of Authentic Media in association with BVR Productions.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-09-25
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Celebrating 75 Years of the U.S. Air Force

September 18, 2022 marks the 75th birthday of the U.S. Air Force and to celebrate, the FPP team created this special episode featuring many of our past USAF guests sharing their thoughts on this momentous milestone.



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2022-09-18
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FPP153 - Space Flight

Pitch, roll, and yaw are familiar concepts to most pilots and aviation enthusiasts accustomed to flight in the earth's atmosphere, but how do astronauts control a 250,000-lb, mach 25-traveling spacecraft when trying to dock to an equally speeding and even larger space station in low earth orbit?

On this episode, retired U.S. Marine Colonel fighter pilot and NASA astronaut Doug "Chunky" Hurley joins us to describe flying orbital vehicles from the space shuttle (two flights) to the SpaceX Dragon (first flight), including some of the actual stick & throttle mechanics of manually flying each vehicle. Chunky and guest host Flounder also take a peek at what the future of space flight may offer.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-09-15
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FPP152 - Aerial Firefighting

Rapid response. Difficult conditions. A deadly adversary. Aerial employment in close proximity to friendly ground forces. Clearance needed to drop... Sound like a close air support mission in support of Marines in combat? Nope, this is aerial firefighting!

On this episode, 30+-year aerial firefighting pilot, Mr. Jim Barnes, joins us to discuss the heroic people?in the cockpits, on the front lines and on the flight lines?who contribute to the dangerous business of protecting people and property from wildland and forrest fires. Think aerial firefighting is as simple as flying over a fire and dropping water? You're about to learn there is a whole lot more to it.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-09-05
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FPP151 - Racing Jets

Jet aircraft are well known for their role in air warfare, appearances on the silver screen, and wowing audiences at airshows worldwide, but did you know a small group of brave, mostly former military, pilots meet in the desert north of Reno, Nevada each September to race them?

On this episode, retired Nevada ANG Major Rick Vandam and retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Peter "Tool" Stavrides discuss the who / what / when / where / why / and?particularly?how former military jet aircraft compete in the Reno Air Races jet class, the fastest competitive motorsport on (...ok, just slightly above) earth.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include how ordnance, fuel tanks, and other stores attach to fighter aircraft, the AN/APX-111 antenna blades on the front of some F-16's and F/A-18's, and why pilots' heads bump forward slightly at the end of an aircraft catapult stroke.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-08-25
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FPP150 - Maritime Patrol

First the earth cooled, then the seas formed, and later humans appeared, and what did they do? Pretty much went straight to war with each other: first on land, then by sea, later below and eventually above the seas. Today, control of the seas remains vital whether in peacetime or during times of war, and unique aircraft, weapons, methods, and airmen are necessary to conduct this vital role.

On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Captain Sean "Leeds" Liedman joins us for an exhaustive discussion on the history, hardware, and humans involved in maritime patrol with special focus on the P-3 Orion and P-8 Poseidon. Due to the interview length, no announcements or generic listener questions are featured this week.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-08-15
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FPP149 - The Future of Air Warfare

Fifth Generation fighters are impressive with their "sensor fusion," low signatures, and advanced handling, but what's next? What happens to air warfare when adversaries' capabilities and lethality reach parity with?or exceed?our own?

On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander Lance ?Pink? Floyd joins new cohost Matt "Flounder" Arny to explore the possible factors and aircraft attributes liable to define air combat in the decades ahead, such as artificial intelligence, extreme speed, optional manning, and more.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include military aviator currency?including annual medical exams, the possibility of an MH-53 Pave Low episode, and altimeter settings during carrier-based flight operations.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-08-05
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FPP148 - Saving Lives: Collision Avoidance Systems

Oversteer protection, anti-lock brakes, and other emerging technologies help automobile drivers avoid accidents, thus saving money and?more importantly?lives. Wouldn't it be great if technological advances could also reduce or eliminate the leading causes of death among tactical military aviators?

On this episode, former episode 121 guest Billie Flynn returns to discuss collision avoidance systems with episode 78 guest Tucker "Cinco" Hamilton who survived a 2008 mid-air collision that killed his F-15 wingman. Developing, implementing, and testing the technology is one hurdle?another is convincing dubious pilots for the need of this life-saving feature.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include how death is handled while underway on an aircraft carrier, what happens when carrier landings occur in a setting sun, and whether aerial refueling will ever be automated.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

Advertising Inquiries: https://redcircle.com/brands
2022-07-25
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FPP147 - Flight Control Systems

Don't let this episode's title scare you off! There's sexy, and then there's important, and on rare occasion you get a combination of the two, but true military aviation enthusiasts understand that middle category is where most subjects in this niche exist, including the systems that make these amazing aircraft not just flyable, but controllable.

On this episode, retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel David "Divot" Kern joins us to describe the theory, considerations, and cutting edge capabilities of flight control systems, including digital and analog fly-by-wire systems. A former test pilot, Divot literally wrote the book on this amazing tech.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include whether the A-37 Dragonfly will ever be featured on the show, what the stickers are on the inside of an A-10 Thunderbolt II canopy, whether Air Force UPT pilots can select the U-2 Dragon Lady straight out of UPT, what happens to a pilot after an at-fault mishap, and propeller nomenclature.

Be sure to help Kai Aiello represent the U.S. at the ISDE RACE in France--and make his dad proud--by contributing to his fundraiser here.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-07-15
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Intermission - Mr. Mixon Goes to Washington

We're taking a break from our usual programming this week following the busy 'Top Gun Month' and in honor of America's birthday July 4th. And in the spirit of that holiday, we instead offer this short visit with former U.S. Navy Reserve fighter pilot and TOPGUN graduate, Luke Mixon, who, having hung up his uniform, aspires to continue serving this great nation and his fellow Louisianans now on Capitol Hill.

Luke Mixon's appearance on this show does not constitute endorsement of his candidacy by the Fighter Pilot Podcast or BVR Productions.



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2022-07-05
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FPP146 - Speed & Angels: The Naval Aviation Documentary, not Movie

After many recent episodes discussing how 1986's Top Gun and this year's Top Gun: Maverick are "movies, not documentaries," it seemed  appropriate to round out 'Top Gun Month' (which ended up being two months) with a look at the 2008 Naval Aviation story that is a documentary.

This week, episode 20 of the F-14 Tomcast is repurposed to further share the story of how Speed & Angels came to be. Tomcast hosts Crunch & Bio welcome past FPP guest Paco Chierici and Meagan "Vargas" Varley who describe how the documentary was imagined and filmed.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include why a pair of aircraft were needed to attack the target in Top Gun: Maverick, inclement weather considerations for fighter cockpits, Super Hornet afterburner use during catapult shots, and why grown men are weeping during Top Gun: Maverick.

Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-06-25
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FPP145 - The Making of 'Top Gun: Maverick'

Good vs bad. Right vs wrong. Humor, redemption, drama, romance, action, closure, and of course, Naval Aviation. Top Gun: Maverick is many things but best of all, it is simple entertainment that people all over the world enjoy. It's the summer blockbuster we all hoped for. And needed.

On this episode, U.S. Navy Reserve Captain Brian "Ferg" Ferguson returns to the show four years and 143 episodes later to explain his role in the making of this film. Part safety officer, part Navy ambassador, Ferg was instrumental in the coordination and details needed between Paramount and the U.S. Navy to ensure Top Gun: Maverick not only thrilled audiences but reflected the proud traditions of the naval service.

Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-06-15
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FPP144 - Filming 'Top Gun: Maverick'

"Real speed." "Real G forces." "Really amazing!"

These are the assertions of those who made the blockbuster Top Gun: Maverick, and those who have seen it, and they're right. On this episode, second-generation aerial coordinator Mr. Kevin LaRosa, with credits on movies such as Iron Man and The Avengers, joins us to discuss the real flying and real challenges of filming Top Gun: Maverick, including the self-imposed requirements to make the film as authentic as possible.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include why F/A-18 Super Hornets are sometimes seen selecting afterburner on the catapult stroke instead of before the shot, and whether aircraft tailhooks can be raised once lowered.

Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcement by Clint Bell.



Support this podcast at ? https://redcircle.com/the-fighter-pilot-podcast/donations

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2022-06-05
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Former TOPGUN Instructors React to 'Top Gun: Maverick'

On this bonus episode, FPP host and former TOPGUN instructor, Vincent "Jell-O" Aiello and past podcast guests and fellow TOPGUN instructors Andy "Grand" Mariner (episode 7), Dave "Chip" Berke (59), and Jim "Jambo" Ray (143) review Top Gun: Maverick immediately following a private screening in San Diego, Calif.



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2022-05-29
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FPP143 - Filming 'Top Gun'

Top Gun (the movie): You probably know the storyline cold and can name your favorite flying scene. You can even quote several lines from the film (e.g. ?son, your ego is writing checks your body can?t cash??), but how much do you know about the behind-the-scenes efforts necessary to get the movie from initial draft to the final product we all know and love?

On this episode, retired U.S. Navy Reserve Commander Jim ?Jambo? Ray and former Navy Lieutenant John ?Smegs? Semcken, two junior officers stationed at then-NAS Miramar, Calif. in the mid-80?s, explain their participation in the filming and storyline development of everyone?s favorite flying movie and, hint, it was a significant effort! Jambo and Smegs discuss filming flying scenes, such as the tower flyby and the time an F-14 pilot almost crashed into the film crew on a Fallon hilltop, as well as how they worked with Paramount to craft the movie (not ?documentary?!) into a product everyone would enjoy.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include how TOPGUN students take notes during syllabus academics and whether graduates return to their previous squadrons as was the case during the pre-1996 Power Projection course. Be sure to check out Jambo?s Rooster Racing organization and Smegs? Land of the Free Foundation to support veterans.

Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcement by Clint Bell.



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2022-05-25
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'TOPGUN vs Top Gun' Revisited

As part of 'Top Gun Month' we are revisiting episode 7 with now-Captain Andy "Grand" Mariner who rejoins the show five years later to update us on his career and the Navy Fighter Weapons School since the retirement of the F/A-18A-D Hornet and the addition of the F-35 Lightning II.

View the Tailhook panel on the Navy's latest shoot down here.



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2022-05-20
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FPP142 - TOPGUN the Legacy (part 2)

On this episode, author Brad Elward, returns for the conclusion of what he learned about the Navy Fighter Weapons School during his nearly decade-long research and writing of TOPGUN: The Legacy: The Complete History of TOPGUN and its Impact on Tactical Aviation. The 80's, 90's, 00's, and today are covered including the impact of the 1986 blockbuster, Top Gun, and the school's mid-90's move to Fallon, Nevada.

Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcement by Clint Bell.



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2022-05-15
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FPP141 - TOPGUN the Legacy (part 1)

'Top Gun Month' kicks off in earnest with this exhaustive look at the Navy Fighter Weapons School with Brad Elward, author of TOPGUN: The Legacy: The Complete History of TOPGUN and its Impact on Tactical Aviation. A former attorney and college professor, Mr. Elward spent a decade interviewing more than 400 TOPGUN graduates and instructors for this authoritative book.

On this episode, Mr. Elward explains the background leading up to the formation of TOPGUN in the late 1960's, then the institution's first decade developing tactics and instructing students.

Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Top Gun anthem covered by Jaime Lopez / announcement by Clint Bell.



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2022-05-10
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FPP140 - The Falkland Islands Air War

'Top Gun Month' kicks off here on the Fighter Pilot Podcast with a discussion on... wait, what?!

Sure, the long-awaited sequel looks to be "all that" but let's not lose track of what else is happening in the world and that includes the 40th anniversary of the Falkland Islands war between the U.K. and Argentina.

On this episode, retired Royal Navy Commander Tim "Bobsleigh" Gedge joins us to discuss the Falkland Islands air war based on his experiences as the former 809 Squadron boss riding the converted freighter Atlantic Conveyor into battle where he flew more than 30 combat sorties. Cmdr Gedge is heavily featured in Rowland White's outstanding book Harrier 809 which is mentioned frequently during the interview. See his post-military boat building academy endeavors here.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-05-05
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FPP139 - Artificial Intelligence in Military Aviation

Skynet. Cyborgs... When you think of advanced technology in military applications, odds are Hollywood has you convinced it is to our species' peril. Never mind entertainment, what is artificial intelligence, really, and how might it be adapted in military aviation?

On this episode, U.S. Air Force Colonel Randel Gordon, Vice Commander of the 412th Test Wing at Edwards Air Force Base, California joins guest cohost Ken Katz to describe how AI is shaping the way the military trains, fights, works logistics and repairs, and a host of other activities where big data can bring about efficiencies and improved capabilities.

During the listener question portion we learn the distinction between the Navy Fighter Weapons School (aka TOPGUN) and other Navy and Marine Corps adversary squadrons. Check out Ken's book, The Supersonic BONE: A Development and Operational History of the B-1 Bomber.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell. Opening audio clip from Terminator 2: Judgement Day directed by James Cameron (1991, Paramount).



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2022-04-25
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FPP138 - OV-10 Bronco

Being labeled a "jack of all trades" is oftentimes derisively applied to people or things with the inevitable follow up, "master of none." But every once in awhile an exception comes along?an unassuming platform devised for a myriad of missions that it performs so well it remains relevant over six decades later.

On this episode, retired U.S. Air Force Major Carter Clark discusses the OV-10 Bronco's role during the Vietnam War and retired U.S. Navy Commander Phil "Convoy" Clay follows up with how updated Broncos continued serving in the recent war on ISIS as part of the modern light attack armed overwatch program. The Bronco was?and still is?a real work horse.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include whether a boom has ever broken off during in-flight refueling and why the U.S. Air Force is beginning to retire the F-22 Raptor.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-04-15
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FPP137 - Day Carrier Landings (part 3)

You've heard on this podcast?and likely seen videos online?of how pilots land high performance military jets on the angled, steel flight decks of modern aircraft carriers, but how did they do it back in the beginning on wooden, straight-deck carriers?

On this episode, former U.S. Navy Lieutenant Junior Grade Dale Berven joins us to describe the procedures he followed when landing his F9F Panther aboard the USS Philippine Sea (CV-47) in 1953. Adapted from a 2020 Happy Hour discussion exclusive for our Patreon supporters, Dale and host Jell-O have a meandering discussion about more than simply day carrier landings on straight-deck carriers, such as the hydraulic catapults used at the time and even Naval Aviation's contribution to the Korean War.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-04-05
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FPP136 - Centennial of U.S. Carriers

Since the USS Langley?s commissioning in 1922, America's aircraft carriers and embarked air wings have projected power, sustained sea control, bolstered deterrence, and maintained the U.S.'s enduring commitments worldwide.

On this episode, former USS Abraham Lincoln commanding officer Captain Walter "Sarge" Slaughter and episode 83 guest Dave "Mini Me" Kurtz, both U.S. Navy, discuss the relevance of America's carriers since their debut a century ago, through World War 2 to today, and even what the future holds for these capital ships.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-03-25
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FPP135 - Carrier Air Traffic Control

According to the FAA, the primary purpose of ATC is to prevent collisions, organize and expedite the flow of air traffic, and provide information and other support for pilots. That's great for airspace around fixed airfields on landmasses like North America, but what about flight operations around ships at sea?

On this episode, retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander Susan "CATCC Sue" Beckman of PBS Carrier series fame, joins us to discuss the role the carrier air traffic control center plays during flight operations around U.S. aircraft carriers day or night, in any weather conditions.

Listener inquiries addressed on this episode include flight deck shooter stances, how to confirm air-to-air and -ground weapons effectiveness, and why air-to-air missiles don't use radar midcourse and then IR or TV terminal guidance when prosecuting a target.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-03-15
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Saab Gripen E Update

Designed to defeat any adversary for the next 30 years, the Saab Gripen E is made for forward-thinking air forces, incorporating cutting-edge technologies and the latest systems, sensor, weapons, and pods.

On this bonus episode, Jussi "Miyagi" Halmetoja of Saab AB updates us on the Gripen E model in the two years since the JAS 39 first debuted on this show back on episode 68.

As mentioned during the discussion, be sure to check out the Flying the Saab Draken and Viggen - Interview with André Brännström video as well as the Defence Deconstructed - Future Fighter Capability: Saab's Gripen E episode with Mike Palmer.



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2022-03-10
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FPP134 - U.S. Air Force Flight Test Engineers

Military aircraft, the systems they incorporate and weapons they employ, are incredibly complex contraptions requiring extensive development and testing. Pilots fly the aircraft and maintenance professionals maintain them, but who performs the testing?

On this episode, guest co-host Ken Katz discusses the U.S. Air Force Flight Test Engineer profession with retired Colonel Eileen "BJ" Bjorkman, PhD, using her extensive history as a proxy for the many diverse tasks this community performs both in and out of uniform.

Listener inquires addressed on this episode include how to discern similar-looking aircraft as friendly or enemy, and advice to student Air Force pilots on community selection considering workload, time away from family, etc. U.K. listeners interested Ken's latest B-1 Lancer book click here and use the code AUTH30 for 30% discount. U.S. listeners click here and use KATZ30. Offer expires 30 April 2022.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-03-05
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Intermission - STOVL vs Cats / Traps

Short Takeoff / Vertical Landings like an AV-8 Harrier or traditional catapults and arresting gear a la F/A-18 Super Hornet--which do you think is more difficult?

'U.K. Month' wraps up with this replay of an early 2021 Patreon Happy Hour with former Royal Navy pilot Paul Tremelling who has done both.



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2022-02-25
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Replay: Panavia Tornado Interview with "Dangerman"

We're keeping the 'U.K. Month' party going with another bonus--this one from all the way back on episode 48 in 2019. Retired RAF Flight Lieutenant Cameron "Dangerman" McKay returns to explain the swing-wing Panavia Tornado.



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2022-02-20
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FPP133 - SEPECAT Jaguar

U.K. Month continues with a look at the SEPECAT Jaguar. The anglo-French jet that was too much of a handful to serve as a trainer as designed, found success as a low altitude strike platform, including nuclear strike. Our guest, RAF Wing Commander Dheeraj "D-Reg" Bhasin MBE, shares his experiences flying the "Jag" including in extreme operations such as when taking off in high, hot, and heavy conditions.

Listener questions addressed on this episode include which branch commemorates deceased WW2 U.S. Army Air Corps members, what happens to aircrew proficiency when squadrons exclusively fly operational missions, and the biggest differences between U.S. and NATO fighter pilots. For a good read, check out the new book Five Nickels that chronicles the life and death of heroic Desert Storm A-10 Warthog pilot, Steve Phillis.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-02-15
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Replay: British WW2 Mosquito Pilot Fights the Japanese

'U.K. Month' deserves extra servings so here is a replay of our May 2020 Happy Hour chat with Mr. Jeffrey Brain, a World War 2 Royal Air Force pilot who fought the Imperial Japanese in the Pacific instead of the Nazis in the European Theater as one might assume.

Mr. Brain was 98 when this feature was originally recorded and his son, Ben (heard during the discussion), reports he is doing fine now approaching his 100th birthday.



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2022-02-10
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FPP132 - English Electric Lightning

U.K. Month kicks off with a look at the English Eclectic... make that 'Electric' (oops!)... Lightning. Actually, that's no Freudian slip because with vertically stacked engines, guns & rockets attached to the front of fuel tanks, and highly swept wings, the Lightning is one of a kind! Our guest is retired RAF Squadron Leader Ian "Blacky" Black; follow him on Twitter (@blickyIan) and check out his website, firestreakbooks.com.

The only listener question addressed on this episode concerns the host Jell-O's advice for a new student naval aviator. If you're into vintage-looking stickers of modern military aircraft, check out retro-pilot.com.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-02-05
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FPP 131 - Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines

We turn the way-back machine to 11 on this in-depth discussion on aircraft of the vintage and golden eras of aviation, courtesy of the folks who fly these magnificent aircraft in the skies over New York today, just as was done over 100 years ago.

On this episode, Mr. Stewart Sommerville, General Manager of Cole Palen?s Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome, joins us to discuss how this 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization started, what it?s all about, and some of the fascinating education and entertainment programs in the works, both on the ground and in the air!

We also answer listener questions on disqualifying medical conditions for aviators and whether aircrew wear radiation measuring devices. And our friends FROM Warbird Digest Magazine stop by for a quick update.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-01-25
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FPP130 - Flight Surgeons

'Flight surgeon'?that must be a specially-trained medical doctor who performs surgery on a specially-adapted aircraft, right? Not exactly.

On this episode, U.S. Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel Rocky "Apollo" Jedick joins us to explain what flight surgeons are, how they are trained, what they do, and who they serve (hint: it's not just pilots). Former episode 6 guest, now retired U.S. Navy Commander Sue "Cyclone" Jay returns to help explain how flight surgeons compare and contrast with aerospace operational physiologists. Check out Apollo's online aviation medical service at goflightmedicine.com.

Listener questions answered on this question include why Navy aircraft fly with their arresting hooks extended, what causes the distinct Hornet hum when an F/A-18 starts engines, how being a fighter pilot changes someone as a human, and how a young aspiring pilot should choose between serving in the U.S. Air Force or Navy.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2022-01-15
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Intermission - 'Happy Hour' Barricade Story with "Oyster"

We took a well-deserved break over the holiday season, so our first episode of 2022 is this replay of a 'Happy Hour' discussion from our Patreon page. It's a harrowing story with one of only two pilots to ever engage an aircraft carrier barricade in an F/A-18 Hornet--and he did it in the dark of night!

We'll be back on January 15th with our first feature episode of the new year.



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2022-01-05
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End of Year Recap - 2021

Show hosts Jell-O and Boat take a look back at this tumultuous year and clear out the mailbag before offering a sneak peek at the year to come.

(Contains some mild language in one part.)



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2021-12-31
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FPP129 - B-24 Liberator

Bomber Month concludes with the Consolidated B-24 Liberator.

World War 2 was brewing but the United States had yet to officially join the war. Using the power of the Lend Lease Act, the call went out to aircraft manufacturers to create a new heavy bomber that could be sent to Europe and go faster, climb higher, and carry more payload than the legendary B-17 Flying Fortress. What was created was the unheralded, yet highest produced aircraft in U.S. history.

On this episode, Mr. Jim Harley joins us to discuss the oft overlooked B-24, describing  its strengths & weaknesses, and why over 18,000 of these bombers were chosen to fill this skies of both the European and Pacific theaters throughout the course of the war. With over 2,500 hours in B-17s, B-24s, and B-25s, Mr. Harley also compares and contrasts the three bombers and tells us which one he would want to fly into battle.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2021-12-24
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Replay: NORAD Santa Tracker

In 2020 we released a bonus episode describing the Canadian and American forces of NORAD, or the North American Aerospace Defense Command, who continuously monitor the airspace of our two countries--and indeed most of the world--to ensure threats to our nations are identified and managed.

But not everything that enters our airspace is a "threat." Every year, NORAD ensures the safe and unhindered passage of jolly ol' St. Nick and his precious cargo of Christmas cheer to all the North American children on his 'nice list.'

Enjoy this replay of how Santa Claus is detected, tracked, and even escorted on the NORAD Santa Tracker website.



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2021-12-23
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FPP128 - Bomber Flight Test

Bomber Month rolls on!

This week, retired U. S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Addison Thompson joins us to discuss his career as a test pilot and his role in the development flight testing of the B-1B Lancer. The complex and highly capable 'Bone' presented numerous challenges during its development, and LtCol. Thompson describes how those challenges were met to give the operational B-1B force a safe and effective weapon system.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2021-12-14
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Attack on Pearl Harbor

?December 7th, 1941, a date which will live in infamy...? are some of the most famous words ever spoken by a United States President and have reverberated on every year on this day for the past eight decades.

On this special bonus, author Bert Kinzey, of Detail and Scale Aviation Publications, joins us to help explain the full significance of the attack and what took place on that fateful Sunday morning. Having conducted extensive research for his book Attack On Pearl Harbor, Japan Awakens a Sleeping Giant, Bert gives detailed examples of all sides of the engagement including the array of forces, scale of the attack, and the short and long term toll on both sides.

Episode artwork by Richard "Rock" Roszak. Bumper music by Jaime Lopez.



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2021-12-07
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FPP127 - FB-111A

Here on the Fighter Pilot Podcast it?s once again Bomber Month!

First up this year is the General Dynamics FB-111A supersonic swing-wing strategic bomber. Retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Bill Moran joins us to explain how this aircraft differs from the F-111 and how it was used in Strategic Air Command operations. During the Cold War, SAC bombers and missiles were on alert 24 / 7 / 365 deterring the threat of nuclear war. The FB-111A was a key part of the SAC alert force during the final two decades of the Cold War.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2021-12-04
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FPP126 - Mitsubishi A6M "Zero"

As the storm clouds of war once again formed in the late 1930's, the Japanese Imperial Navy requested proposals for a new aircraft carrier-based fighter that would dominate all competitors in aerial combat. The result was one of the most revered fighter aircraft to ever take to the skies: the Mitsubishi A6M Type 0, or as it later came to be more affectionately known: the "Zero."

On this episode, Messrs. Mark Murphy and Charlie Lynch join us to discuss the history of the Zero--unarguably one of the most capable carrier-based fighters of World War 2. They also share what it's like to fly one of only five remaining flyable Zeros in existence more than 80 years after its inception.

After the interview, Mr. "Mo" Aguiari stops by with an update on new content and great holiday gift ideas available from our friends over at Warbird Digest Magazine.

Bumper music by Jaime Lopez / announcements by Clint Bell.



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2021-11-24
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