(Editor's note: The Sunday Paper is another in a new series of DT features. Each Sunday we'll feature something that's just plain fun.)
The first Sunday Paper is forwarded to us by DT's good friend Chris Michel, who is the chairman and founder of Military.com, and a former P-3 Naval Flight Officer. You'll remember during WW Cold War the P-3 used to fly around for ten hours at 170 knots looking for subs - and sometimes finding them. But the twelve guys inside the Orion were also aware of equally cool things going on around the fleet.
So dig this, shipmates . . .
Air shows at sea are always a lot better than those on land because the air wing can drop live bombs and fly supersonic. Because the Tomcat was so big and (for the B and D versions with the GE F-110 motors) so powerful, it could easily "bust the number" and then some at sea level. As you can see from the disturbance on the water as the fighter passes between the ships, that puppy's moving some air as it rages beyond the speed of sound.
The Super Hornet can't do that. (I'm sorry; was that out loud?)
During one air show I narrated when I was CAG Ops aboard the USS George Washington, the demo Tomcat flew so fast, so low, and so close to the boat that it actually caused structural damage to some ducting just below the flight deck. The air wing bubbas thought it was hilarious, but the ship's engineers did NOT.(Gouge: CM)