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The F/A-18 Super Hornet cockpit simulator might just be the ultimate video game to some. After all, it’s designed to match exactly what a pilot would see upon climbing into the U.S. Navy’s advanced frontline strike fighter. But service members, aerospace reporters, lawmakers and even a few real test pilots who recently sat in the cockpit believe it’s a lot more than a great game.
Boeing Flight Simulation Manager John Keeven takes the simulator across the United States and around the world, inviting people to come inside and take a ride. The traveling trailer showcases the F/A-18’s state-of-the-art capabilities, allowing visitors to go full-throttle, touch the large screen displays and even launch a few weapons at an anonymous enemy plane.
“For us, the best response we can get is when one of our test pilots gets in and says it flies very close to the real jet,” Keeven said.
During the trailer’s recent stop on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond, R-Mo., whose state hosts the Super Hornet production line, urged reporters to go into the demonstration trailer to experience flying the Super Hornet for themselves.
At a press conference, Bond joined Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and other political heavy-hitters to rally behind the Pentagon’s decision to buy a total of 124 more Super Hornets and EA-18G Growlers, the electronic attack derivative of the F/A-18F, in a potential multi-year contract.
Watch this video following the F/A-18 Super Hornet demonstration trailer as it visits Capitol Hill and the Pentagon on its recent trip.