As a result of climbing into the cockpit of considered one of these planes, which is able to kind the spine of the UK’s airborne defences for the following few many years, is rather like coming into a large laptop sport.
The pilot is surrounded by graphics from all sides, offering prompt evaluation of the velocity at which the plane is travelling, navigational aids, mapping and terrain data, together with digital camera pictures from all sides giving each conceivable view from the plane.
This latter issue successfully permits the pilot to “see via” the plane and take a look at the land beneath them.
Concentrating on data, navigation and altitude data is in a single place, on one display, making it exceptionally easy for the pilot to evaluate the state of affairs. It is known as ‘sensor fusion’.
And added to and enhancing that data is a helmet that’s wired into the aircraft that allows the pilot to see, always, the place of enemy plane and any incoming missiles they might have fired, in addition to pleasant plane.
When the pilot strikes their head to the left or proper, the information goes with them, so at no level is there any blind spot.
All of that makes it exceptionally straightforward for pilots like Sqn Ldr Edgell to fly the plane.
Touchdown the aircraft is simplicity itself, even for somebody like me, who has by no means flown earlier than.
The plane handles exceptionally properly and solely the slightest contact on the controls will coax the mighty beast on the course set by the pilot.
Touchdown a fighter jet on an plane service in the midst of the ocean would possibly sound like attempting to position a soccer on a sixpence from the opposite finish of the sector however the aircraft does the entire work.
The “raise fan” on the plane, mounted simply behind the cockpit, signifies that the jet cannot solely take off from a really brief distance, however may “hover” above the deck previous to touchdown, like a Harrier bounce jet, making vertical touchdown doable.
When taking off or touchdown, the pilot may see a picture of the raise fan, serving to them know exactly the place they’re within the course of.
As for the cockpit itself, it’s gentle and comfy, as a result of the purpose of the producer has been to make sure the consolation of the pilot always.
Which is comprehensible: for those who’re caught up in a dogfight with the enemy, and even merely patrolling the nation’s airspace whereas armed to the tooth with an array of lethal laser-guided missiles, you need to really feel comfy.