ONLINE EXTRA: Pauleen explores an F/A-18 Super Hornet simulator

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OSHKOSH - FOX 11's Pauleen Le had a unique experience at this year's EAA AirVenture convention. She spent some time in the Boeing simulation trailer, practicing flying the F/A-18 Super Hornet jet.

Pauleen: We are inside the boeing simulation trailer, one of the fun features that you could check out all week long at EAA Airventure and we're learning more about it this morning. We've got John here from Boeing. Good Morning.

John Keeven, Boeing: Good morning Pauleen.

Pauleen: Let's just talk about what this is simulating. What am I sitting in right now?

John: You're sitting in F/A-18 Super Hornet right now, which a lot of people don't get to do, but that's why we bring this trailer out and to get people to fly this simulator and they're somewhat like the aircraft.

Pauleen: For people who don't know, this aircraft, it's a pretty popular one.

John: It is. It's very popular. It is the main fighter attack aircraft in the Navy right now.

Pauleen: It's the backbone of the -

John: It is the backbone of the Navy, Naval aviation right now yeah.

Pauleen: OK. Lets fly it. How do I, what do I do?

John: OK. Well, we're going to hold this like a pistol grip and that's the steering wheel. That's the stick in the aircraft here. Here's your gas pedal here. There's two engines on this jet so there's two throttles. If you push your hand here and push this forward, We'll go into after burner. You'll actually hear that.

Pauleen: Oh, I do hear it.

John: You'll actually see us now, the airspeed is increasing greatly, and now you can fly wherever you want to fly.

Pauleen: So I can go, I can go -

John: Let's go up and -

Pauleen: Does this go in a circle?

John: Yeah, we'll do a full loop. If you want to turn over to the right, just push to the right and we'll and we'll do a full roll as well.

Pauleen: It does feel like you're doing a full roll.

John: It is amazing how much feel you get for flying the aircraft in this simulation, yeah.

Pauleen: OK. What else can this do?

John: Well we can shoot missiles, we can go air-to-ground, we can also land on the aircraft carrier. I think for now, we'll have you maybe roll back down towards the ground and we'll let you shoot a missle at a threat that we see out here on our threat display. There you go. We're going to roll out there and we're going to do this and I'm going to let you pull the trigger. Squeeze the trigger right here very hard and that will be your missile launch and there's your am-ram missile.

Pauleen: There it goes.

John: There it goes. We'll follow that over that way, but you can see its relatively easy to fly the jet and that's what people learn when they get into the simulator.

Pauleen: Wow. That's amazing.

John: The difficult part is, of course, understanding all of the avionics that are here.

Pauleen: Right. What else can we do?

John: Well, actually one thing we can do is look at this new display. This is showing some of the advanced processes that are going into the new advanced super hornet. So the new super hornet is going to have a number of changes, including conformal fuel tanks and new engines and this whole new display that replaces a number of smaller displays that this allows the pilots to do a number of things including move displays around and actually form a cockpit according to their specifications and save that off.

Pauleen: That is incredible. Will you be back at EAA next year?

John: We will be back. Boeing will have a presence here again next year and we look forward to seeing everybody again.

Pauleen: Thank you so much for letting me try this simulator.

John: Thank you, Pauleen. Well done.