Tag Archives: CVN-68

US Navy flight gear (continued)

Again, Boris Aguilar provided the description of the flight gear worn by CVW-11 during my visit to USS Nimitz:

Pilot and NFO in the cockpit of this F-18F from VFA-41 Black Aces. They are equipped with different helmet setups, the pilot wearing a JHMCS helmet with an MBU-16/P oxygen mask, and the NFO possibly an HGU-68/P helmet with an MBU-23/ P oxygen mask. The mounting bracket used to connect the NVG (night vision goggles) to the helmet, can be seen just above the corner of the black leather panel of the helmet worn by the NFO.

US Navy flight gear explained

After publishing some images I took on board the USS Nimitz, Boris Aguilar, a flight clothing collector and expert living in Australia, sent me the detailed description of the  flight gear worn by the CVW-11 pilots.

VF-14 Tophatters pilot wearing a JHMCS helmet and MBU-23 mask. Note that the helmet is taped, and front section called relay optics mount assembly, a composite shell that houses all electronic and optical components of the display units, is left in its original grey colour.

Both pilot and Naval Flight Officer in the cockpit of this F-18F from VFA-41 are both wearing JHMCS helmets. The MBU-23 mask and LPU-36 life peserver can be seen in the photo. Also note the AIM-9X air-to-air missile fitted to the right wing’s wingtip launcher.

Pilot wearing current US Navy flightgear including tan CWU-27 flight suit, CMU-33 type I survival vest, torso harness, LPU-36 life preserver, CSU-15/p g-suit, helmet bag and brown boots. Note the two officers wear different coloured boots. The one on the top left wears a pair of Belleville M790 in tan. The housing for the upper helmet vehicle interface appears as a bump at the back of the JHMCS.

CVW-11: flight gear in action

Following the post about the patches I took on board the USS Nimitz during my visit on Oct. 18 and 19 (http://cencio4.wordpress.com/2009/10/31/cvw-11-patches/) some readers and visitors of this site requested me to upload some pictures of the flight helmets and flight gear worn by the crews of the CVW-11.

Flying to/from an aircraft carrier with a C-2 Greyhound

After my recent visit on board the USS Nimitz, many readers of this site asked me to describe a flight on the C-2 Greyhound COD (Carrier On-board Delivery) and in particular the trap landing on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier. I thought that the best way to describe the flight was through some pictures I took with a small Powershot camera I had inside my cargo pants.

As you can see from the pictures I took during my 3 hours flight from Manama, all the passengers were required to wear the life jackets, the “cranials” and seat backward! Dealing with the trap landing, the video is self-explaining: everything happens very fast and the strong deceleration make you feel like you are laying on a floor looking at the roof!

In my opinion, departing from an aircraft carrier with a catapult launch is even more exciting than arriving. Unfortunately I have no video available to show you this experience. It would have been almost impossible for me to keep the camera in my hands as the acceleration of the C-2 Greyhound being catapulted off the flight deck, reaching 150 miles per hour in 3 seconds, is unbelievable. Opposite to what I felt when we landed, I felt like I was hanging inside a wind tunnel looking towards a floor (that was actually the seat in front of me) with my arms and legs pointing at it. The following pictures were taken during the return flight. I was lucky enough to get a seat next to one of the two small windows even during this flight that gave me the chance to see Dubai from above.

Compressor stall…in the worst case scenario (part 2)

In the previous post “Compressor stall…in the worst case scenario” I explained what a compressor stall (or surge) basing on a picture I took aboard USS Nimitz. I uploaded an image within that post that I created by merging two pictures I took one after the other. Since that picture provided a view of the last few seconds of the catapult launch by a VFA-86 F-18C, I thought it could be interesting to publish the whole take off sequence that you can find here below.
Compressor stall sequence