Mission: USS Nimitz – F-18 Takeoff

Without a doubt watching the F-18 Hornet catapult off the flight deck of the USS Nimitz is an intense, awesome and full-body experience. The jet engine noise will penetrate to your bones. We had both foam ear plugs and over that wore headphones. Even with the double protection you could hear and feel the power of the jet engine. If you watch the video closely you will see the jet manuever to the catapult latch. The green shirt guy will ensure the jet is properly latched to the catapult. Once secure, he signals to the yellow shirt guy, the Shooter, who then signals the okay to launch. The runway seems extremely short, probably about 100 yards. Each plane reaches a velocity of 120mph in 2 seconds. The engines are on a full power when the Shooter gives the signal. In a matter of 5 seconds the F-18 is reduced to just a spec as it flies off on its mission. All I can say is Wow!

8 thoughts on “Mission: USS Nimitz – F-18 Takeoff”

  1. Glad you caught this Burt. Our camera kept shutting off from the power of the jet takeoff! Video just cannot convey what one actually feels standing there! The heat, the literal vibration of the air from the catapult and jet engines, the smell of jet fuel, the dust that gets stirred up….

  2. Burt,

    Have you got your “land legs” back yet? I haven’t. I still feel like I’m on the carrier. 😉 I never get tired watching videos of the planes taking off and landing. What an amazing time it was aboard the USS Nimitz.


  3. That F-18 take off was awesome. My husband was in the USMC and was in avionics, working on FA-18 Hornets. I think this one was a SUPER Hornet? We would love to watch them streaking across the California sky and have goosebumps when they turned on their after burners.

    Those landings must have been a thriller. I heard that the level of stress that the pilots feel landing on air craft carriers esp at night exceeds the stress levels of combat. Thanks for sharing. I miss hearing those jets. Used to go to air shows too…Harriers, F-16’s F-15’s, 14’s, Stealths, B52’s, blackhawk helicopters, etc. all so neat to watch! We’ve been on a frigate and aircraft carrier and was amazed at the size of the deck. So neat too how the wings fold up to take up less space! Enjoyed your blogs.

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