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F/A-18 Super Hornet -- A cut above (Video)

Boeing's large area cockpit display, currently under development.


Boeing's large area cockpit display, currently under development, will allow pilots to customize their panel and greatly enhance situational awareness. The touchscreen operates the same as a tablet or smart phone.

Not only can Boeing’s F/A-18 Super Hornet perform nearly every mission in the tactical spectrum, but it’s also on the cutting-edge of fighter technology.

Currently in development are two features that will improve the pilot’s experience and enhance the Super Hornet’s performance.

The large-area cockpit display is an 11 x 19-inch color touch-screen panel that users operate exactly like a tablet or smart phone. The pilot will have the ability to view rich, three-dimensional color displays and move around instruments per need or personal preference.

The result is unmatched situational awareness, where pilots see everything around them as well as targets or threats that are out of range, and easily manipulate the screen for any situation.

In addition to the large area cockpit display, engineers are designing conformal fuel tanks that will be a part of the plane’s upper fuselage. Not only will the conformal tanks allow the plane to carry additional fuel, but recent wind-tunnel tests confirmed what engineers had expected -- enhanced capability for the Super Hornet.

With fuel stored in conformal tanks, the plane is able to carry added weaponry onboard through an Enclosed Weapons Pod, which attaches to the belly of the aircraft.

“It’s all upside for the warfighter,” said Mark Gammon, program manager for Advanced Capabilities on the F/A-18 and EA-18. “We can bring these capabilities quickly, affordably and with low risk.”