VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WVEC) -- New technology will simplify the process of landing an F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet on an aircraft carrier.
"Magic Carpet" allows pilots to make single-digit flight path corrections on approach to the ship instead of hundreds of corrections. Pilots can control their flight paths more simply and directly without worrying about adjusting roll, yaw, and pitch, adding and reducing power, and predicting how the plane's course will intersect with the moving ship.
"Just within the last few weeks, we've discovered it's going to be accelerated into the fleet, should be fully into the fleet by 2020," said Rick Keys, Director of Aviation Shore Readiness for U.S. Fleet Forces Command.
For people who live around Naval Airs Station Oceana and Fentress Field, there's an added bonus with Magic Carpet.
"We anticipate it will reduce the number of Field Carrier Landing Practice operations required by about two percent per pilot," said Keys. "So, that means less fuel, less noise, and safer landings at the aircraft carrier."
The change is one part of the ongoing switch from older F/A-18 "C" legacy Hornets to the newer, more capable F/A-18 E and F. Super Hornets.
The Super Hornets are more expensive than the older jets. They're larger and heavier, and they are believed to be 5 to 6 decibels louder than the older planes.
The Navy will host two Environmental Assessment meetings this week:
- Tuesday, August 29 at the Columbian Club on Prosperity Road in Virginia Beach
- Wednesday, August 30 at the Hickory Ruritan Club on Battlefield Boulevard in Chesapeake
Both meetings are scheduled to start at 5 p.m. and go until 7 p.m.
"We think the impacts are minor, and we'd like to be able to provide that information to the people and let them ask us questions and talk to us about it," said Kim Flemming, U.S. Fleet Forces Command Environmental Assessment Project Manager.