This gorgeous aircraft comes with two fire breathing General Electric F414-GE-400 engines. With this great power comes great responsibility. These puppies will blast you into another dimension if you’re not careful.😜 Outfitted with a gorgeous glass cockpit, you’re bound to have some fun dogfighting or carving through the canyons at high speeds.
For the official Infinite Flight video tutorial please visit How to fly the F/A-18E. I will also include the link of the tutorial below for quick access as you read through this topic.
This detailed guide, should get you into the air as well as on your way to a successful landing in just a few minutes. Please read through the notes sections throughout the topic as well as at the end of this tutorial for further clarification on some of the items found within the table.
Bonus: There is a Quick Reference Guide in this tutorial. You’re more than welcome to download and save the PDF for imminent and future use. Found under “F/A-18E QRG”.
What’s the point of this topic? Find out here…
The purpose of this guide is to provide you with ball park speeds, flap settings, and power settings to get you in the air and onto the runway in one piece. These values are not 100% accurate as each flight is different. Weather, airport elevation, weight, runway length and other factors will affect these values.
View the conditions in which this guide was built upon. Also included are the weather & location of this test.
Tests were conducted at Honolulu International Airport (PHNL) /// Airport Elev. 13ft \\\
- Winds Calm
- Runway 08R
- Temperature Standard (15˚C)
- All initial pitch angles were 10˚ nose up until the flight path vector was 3˚ - 5˚ above the horizon before pitching for desired climb
- Heavy Departure/Landing conducted at 90% load. Adjust as necessary.
This is the information you’re looking for. Flying these numbers under the various loads will ensure your safe operations of getting off/on the ground. You may need to interpolate some for aircraft loads that don’t match up exactly.
|Load %||Takeoff Power||Takeoff Flaps||Nosewheel Liftoff||Takeoff Speed||Landing Flaps||VApp ‡||Vref|
|25%||80% = 85% N1||Flaps Half||113kts||130kts||Flaps Full||130kts||125kts|
|50%||82% = 86% N1||Flaps Half||126kts||145kts||Flaps Full||143kts||139kts|
|75%||85% = 88% N1||Flaps Half||145kts||160kts||Flaps Full||147kts*||142kts*|
|>75%***||87% = 90% N1||Flaps Half||154kts||165kts||Flaps Full||—||—|
- Increase power to 55% N1 prior to setting takeoff power
- Maximum Landing GW (MLGW) is 50,900lbs. Landing speeds @75% weight calculated at MLGW
- Landing flare pitch should be about 5˚ nose up for an AOA of 8˚.
- Descent rate should not exceed -1000ft/min on final approach. (-800ft/min is optimal)
- Add 5kts to Vref/Landing speed in gusty conditions or in situations where steeper bank angles may be required.
***Heavy Departures/Landings: Takeoffs over 75% may result in takeoff over Maximum Takeoff Weight (MTOW). This may also result in runway overruns. This could lead to overweight landings depending on your configuration and length of flight. Consider all factors and risks.
‡ Note: APPR not available on this aircraft. If desired, plug in a GPS approach and LNAV/VNAV your way to the runway.
For reference the flap and various limitations for each setting are listed below. Though these are not marked in the cockpit of the F/A-18E, I have done the research to find this number for you.
|Flaps||Speed Limitation||Suggested Extension Speed|
|Half||250 kts||210 kts|
|Full||250 kts||170 kts|
Various notes from testing in the making of this guide. Other helpful pointers to ensuring maximum realism.
- Climb Profile: Above 10,000ft, pitch for 350kts/or desired M# until reaching cruise. Once level in cruise then speed up to cruise Mach.
- For 25-100% loads, Flaps Half was used for data
- “Nosewheel Speed” indicates the minimum speed at which the nosewheel needs to leave the ground to commence the takeoff.
- “Takeoff Speed” indicates the speed at which the main gear/tires leave the ground during the takeoff phase.
- Takeoff Power - The first percentage is your throttle amount. The second value is the N1 read out as indicated in green above your throttle.
- 10 - 15% trim was used to conduct these tests.
- (Trim is personal preference based on how you calibrate and hold your device. Adjust as necessary)
Note: Fuel flow, thrust and other aircraft performance factors may apply.
A quick reference guide for you to view/save for your own personal needs. From taxi out to taxi in, everything all on one sheet can be found here.
If you would like a quick reference guide, you’re more than welcome to utilize this one that I’ve condensed into a 1 page sheet. It has just about everything you’ll want to know in terms of “What do I use for takeoff/cruise/landing?” and “When do I add/remove flaps or power?”. Below is a screenshot of what this document looks like as well as a PDF download link for that crisp picture and saving for future use.
Click the link below if you wish to download the PDF of the above image
Boeing F/A-18E Reference Guide.pdf (39.7 KB)
NEW! An AOA Indexer within the F/A-18E is available for those wishing for a more realistic cockpit experience. View this section to find out more on the various AOA displays you may encounter.
Featured within the F/A-18E is a new functional AOA Indexer or commonly known as an AOA Indicator. This is located and mounted to the left side of the HUD in the cockpit. This instrument is sensitive to relative aircraft pitch and the path that the aircraft is currently flying. Take note of the 5 possible displays as this will guide you to a smooth and stable approach. Remember, to make small pitch and power corrections. Over controlling the aircraft could lead to an even more unstable approach.
|AOA Indexer (Red “V”)||Too Fast||0˚ - 6.9˚|
|AOA Indexer (Red “V”, Amber “O”)||Slightly Fast||6.9˚ - 7.4˚|
|AOA Indexer (Amber “O”)||On Speed||7.4˚ - 8.8˚|
|Item||Speed Status||AOA ˚|
|AOA Indexer (Green “V”, Amber “O”)||Slightly Slow||8.8˚ - 9.3˚|
|Item||Speed Status||AOA ˚|
|AOA Indexer (Green “V”)||Too Slow||9.3˚ - 90˚|
There’s a reason why I put this at the end. So if you’ve made it this far into the guide, you’re in for a treat. At specific airports listed in here, are some cables that you can “capture”. You can’t physically see the cables, but they’re there.
Looking to practice carrier landings?
Look no further. These airports currently have an arresting system installed at each end of all of the runways. Simply land the aircraft on the 1000ft markers (Solid white box painted on runway) within ± 100ft.
Ensure the arrestor hook is down, flaps full and on speed.
- KLSV ~ (Nellis AFB)
- KEDW ~ (Edwards AFB)
- KNUC ~ (San Clemente NALF)
- KVAD ~ (Moody AFB)
- KSSC ~ (Shaw AFB)
- KNLC ~ (Leemore NAS)
- KNTU ~ (Oceana NAS)
- KNPA ~ (Pensacola NAS)
Fun fact: The hook will capture at 350kts, Flaps Up. That was the highest I could capture the line at. It ate up pretty much all of the runway. So if you beat me, Congratulations. Please rub it in and let me know! 😅
Various topics that are noteworthy to look through as you learn or fly the F/A-18E
Below is the official Infinite Flight tutorial for the F/A-18E.
With the power of this new jet does come some responsibility when operating on the Expert Server. Please take some time to familiarize yourself with the newly updated rules regarding Fighter Jets on the Expert server.
Feel free to add any questions or other helpful tips/pointers that you may find beneficial to others and myself or our helpful community members will gladly address those.
Please also check out other guides I have created for other recently new/reworked aircraft. I plan on making this series a regular thing as aircraft are reworked or new from the factory as a handful of folks seem to appreciate the quick start information. With the Embraer 175/190 being reworked you can expect to see those guides in the very near future.
Much thanks to these fine pilots of the F/A-18E for providing feedback. They’re the ones who taught me all that I should know about this bird. ❤️
I hope you enjoy this aircraft as much as I did in making this guide! Now get out there and have fun! ✈️