Most sought after Airframes in Flight School?

Discussion in 'Life After the Academy' started by SuaSponte, May 26, 2013.

  1. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    Hi guys, I've taken an interest to becoming a pilot (not sure if fixed or rotor yet) and was wondering what the most sought after airframes are out of flight school in each branch. Sorry for being vague, but a short list would be awesome.
     
  2. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe Member

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    It only matters that you choose the airframe that you want to fly.

    You right, your question is a little vague, which service are you asking about.
     
  3. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    How about Navy fixed wing? I'd be interested in something like the Super Hornet, although I'm sure by the time I come in the F35C will be an option.
     
  4. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    It mostly comes down to personal preference. Most people want jets, especially fighters or large cargo, others want choppers, etc. However, I would take a stab and guess that more people want an a/c with an "F" prefix than any other category.
     
  5. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    Yeah, that's what all my classmates thought too. :wink:

    In all honesty, the spread of what people on the Navy/USMC side is pretty diverse. Obviously a lot of guys want jets, but many want helos or P-3s instead (Navy side at least). Maybe over plebe summer everybody talks big about wanting tailhook, but over time people realize they don't like the jet community, want to fly with an aircrew, prefer helo/P-3 missions, want more steady deployment schedules, or a whole bunch of other reasons.

    For Marines the two biggest "desires" initially are either jets or skids (huey/cobra) because those communities have the sexiest missions. But, again, over the course of flight school guys realize that they prefer different missions or maybe wouldn't fit in to those communities...skids, for example, have a big reputation for eating their young and that turns some people off. C-130s in particular are actually pretty competitive to get. You also can't go wrong with any platform on the Marine side. They're all cool, for lack of a better word.

    No one wants Ospreys though. That will probably change over time, but I haven't met anyone down here who has it as their number one.
     
  6. Melitzank

    Melitzank Member

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    Why not?
     
  7. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    Definitely stuff to consider, I have no concrete idea of what I really want yet so it'll take some feeling out. My grandpa was a KC-135 pilot in the AF, he got me interested in the whole thing. I do like how the whole mission of USMC aviation is ground support though, it does make everything pretty cool.
     
  8. Hurricane12

    Hurricane12 USNA 2012

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    This is just my pet theory, but I think that it's because there aren't that many "cheerleaders" for Ospreys out there yet.

    Most/all of the other platforms have aviators who have done operational tours in the fleet and come back to places like USNA, NROTC units, TBS, and flight school and talk about how great their job is. Since Ospreys are a pretty new community, they don't have that yet.

    I've talked to a couple Osprey pilots and it's a super capable platform (especially compared to the phrog, which it's replacing) with a lot of great opportunities, the word just isn't really out there yet.
     
  9. raimius

    raimius USAFA Alumnus

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    The very public developmental crashes didn't win the Osprey many fans, initially. There is still a bit of a "what is it?!" stigma, I think.

    People's preferences do change over time. A lot of people want fighters right off the bat, but then realize that kind of flying isn't as much fun for them. Some people want more travel or less travel. Some people like IFR crusing at 40,000ft, while others would be perfectly happy if they never went high enough to see the tops of the clouds. Some communities are more relaxed than others.
     
  10. flieger83

    flieger83 Super Moderator Moderator

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    From my perspective...

    I've got time in heavies, trainers, and fighters.

    a. Trainers are sexy and fun...teaching someone makes you so much better than you will ever be. If you do NOT know what you're doing, you put your student at risk. So you become a MUCH better "pilot/WSO/insert job position here" doing this.

    b. Heavies...challenging flying; you have a crew, must remember that and must get the mission done. MOST heavy crews are doing their "real world mission" all the time. It's key, crucial, and can be a tad stressful "at times" but mostly its just a LOT of work: long days and long missions.

    C. Fighters...SEXY...fun flying; VERY HARD TO EMPLOY...you're busy ALL the time...think 12 hour days to fly 1.5 hours. Physically punishing...I've come down after a 2.5 hour "DACT" (dissimilar air combat tactics) mission (including tanker time) about 12 pounds lighter from all the heavy "G" loads and my G-suit beating me to death. Just wasted. But it IS seriously ego-boosting to go to the bar, see that Marine F-18 pilot and say "weren't you the guy in Area "X" that I popped a FOX TWO on? Good kill? Yep, I thought it was you...and he/she says "yeah...you got me good! Want a beer?!"

    THAT type of bonding...makes it all worth it.

    What am I saying here?

    There is NO bad flying role; all are key and important and need professional aviators doing them. I've been blessed to do three of the "most common/sought after" positions...and none is better than the other.

    Steve
    USAFA ALO
    USAFA '83
     
  11. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    A lot of it is not just what YOU want to fly, but what each SERVICE wants you to fly when you finish flight school. Comes down to how well you do at pilot training (which gives you your class ranking), and what is available when your class graduates. Do well at pilot training, and the chances of getting what you want (or at least type of aircraft you want) get higher.

    That being said, I've seen A TON of very highly ranked grads pick all kinds of aircraft out of the AF's Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT). From heavies, to bombers, to tankers, to Reconnaissance aircraft, to A-10s, to F-22s and F-16s. Becomes a decision for them based on mission, life styles, and future plans.

    What YOU need to look into is all of these factors. There are plenty of threads on here comparing the missions of helos, heavies, fast jets, and the like. Look them up and think about what excites you most. You'll get plenty of opinions afterwards on each.

    BTW, NOTHING beats strapping on a fighter and bringing death and destruction both in the air and on the ground at nearly the speed of sound! :thumb:
     
  12. Bullet

    Bullet Member

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    2nd BTW.

    One of the best threads I've EVER read about the experiences of someone learning to fly the F-16 and their first few years flying fighters is HERE

    Really does a great job capturing what is it is like to start a career flying fighters (F-16 in this case, NOT as good as a F-15E, but we ALL can't be that lucky:wink:), and what the mission and culture is all about.

    Enjoy! :thumb:
     
  13. SuaSponte

    SuaSponte Member

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    Thanks for all the great responses guys, I'll go ahead and read that thread Bullet.
     
  14. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    If you want to fly like a man, the helicopter world is always looking for a few good lunatics. Or you can fly up at 30,000 feet where your biggest hazard is your bladder :wink:
     
  15. EDelahanty

    EDelahanty Member

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    The following was written by Harry Reasoner in 1971 during the Vietnam war.

    "You can't help but have the feeling that there will come a future generation of men, if there are any future generations of men, who will look at old pictures of helicopters and say, "You've got to be kidding."

    Helicopters have that look that certain machines have in historical drawings. Machines or devices that came just before a major breakthrough. Record -changers just before the lightweight vinyl LP for instance.

    Mark Twain once noted that he lost belief in conventional pictures of angels of his boyhood when a scientist calculated for a 150-pound men to fly like a bird, he would have to have a breast bone 15 feet wide supporting wings in proportion.

    Well, that's sort of the way a helicopter looks.

    The thing is helicopters are different from airplanes An airplane by it's nature wants to fly, and if not interfered with too strongly by unusual events or incompetent piloting, it will fly.

    A helicopter does not want to fly. It is maintained in the air by a variety of forces and controls working in opposition to each other.

    And if there is any disturbance in this delicate balance the helicopter stops flying immediately and disastrously.


    There is no such thing as a gliding helicopter.

    That's why being a helicopter pilot is so different from being an airplane pilot, and why in generality airplane pilots are open, clear-eyed, buoyant, extroverts. And helicopter pilots are brooders, introspective anticipators of trouble.

    They know if something bad has not happened it is about to.

    All of this, of course, is greatly complicated by being shot at. American helicopter pilots are being shot at more often and more accurately these days from Khe Sahn to Tchepone than at almost any other time in this whole War.

    It's been a helicopter war all along. And the strange, ungainly, unlovable craft have reached the peak of being needed and the peak of being vulnerable at the same moment.

    Everyone who has flown over combat zones in VN in a helicopter knows the heart-stopping feeling you get when you have to go below 2.000 feet.

    Well the men going in and out of Laos rarely get a chance to fly. They must be very brave men indeed.

    This is a War we could not have considered without helicopters.

    The pilots are beginning to feel like Mark Twain's man who was tarred and feathered.

    If it weren't for the honor of the thing they would just as soon have missed it."
     
  16. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    It's funny he says "no such thing as a gliding helicopter" in the era of the Huey. The Huey auto rotated like a dream. Our newer stuff, with the low inertia rotor systems, doesn't do it quite so well. Nonetheless I'll take an autorotational landing over gliding an airplane in any day. I've done plenty of autos. I may be wrong, but I doubt many jet pilots have done many power-off landings. Then again, their seats can depart the flight...
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2013
  17. FlyingFuzz

    FlyingFuzz Member

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    To be honest, I'm surprised that no one has implemented a downward ejection seat like in the F-104 for helicopters. I suppose though, that it wouldn't be very practical from the standpoint that you guys always fly so low it wouldn't do you much good. I'm sure weight is at a premium as well.
     
  18. LineInTheSand

    LineInTheSand USCGA 2006

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    As a cadet in Port Angeles, Wa., I remember being downtown one day, and seeing a Coast Guard HH-65 (this was pre-MH-65) climb quickly, fall back over its shoulder and went flying towards the ground. I thought I was about to see a crash (which you generally don't want to see), and my stomach lept up into my throat.

    And then someone told me they were autorotating... and I hoped they would stop.


    Fighter jet folks think everyone wants to fly fighter jets.... but that's not always the case. You have the fixed-wing folks and the helo folks. Within those communities you have smaller communities. In the Coast Guard, do you want to land on the smallest flight deck in the military? Then you can only fly the MH-65. Want to to fly longer distances? Fly the MH-60. If you want to do fixed wing you will have two major choices, the HC-130 or the 144. There are a few odd-balls in DC for the Commandant, but that's it. SAR pilots like what they do. I would venture to guess they get as much of a high pulling 47 people from freezing water of the coast of Alaska as fighter pilots get taking out a target. Maybe some of them even get a beer out of it (or at least a hug).

    You just have to figure out if you want to go fast or if you want to hover.

    As far as the Osprey is concerned. I've been able experience one, and it was a blast. BUT know not all Osprey are created equal. I was with a Marine Brig. Gen. who was scared to death to fly in one. BUT it was an Air Force Osprey, which, I've been told are tens of millions of dollars more advanced than the Marine Corps version. In the end, it was cool, transitioning from hover to "plane mode?" Took off like a Jayhawk and then started going MUCH faster.

    Oh, and these were Osprey associated with USSOC, outside of Destin, Fla. GREAT time!
     
  19. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    That's the difference between an MV-22 and a CV-22.

    The MH-65 is an interesting bird, though underpowered. I was really intrigued by the floor-mounted torque gauge.
     
  20. scoutpilot

    scoutpilot Member

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    No, it would not. Kinda hoses the guys you're hauling, too, if you punch out.

    The Russians put one on the Ka-50 series. Very complex system.
     

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