Top Gun War Planes Land In Casper, Wyoming
2 different types of top war planes landed in one day at one airport in Wyoming. We have close-up pictures and video for you, below.
That old Wyoming Army Air Corps base in the middle of Wyoming still sees a lot of interesting military action.
What is now an airport of General Aviation and commercial flights was built as a base to train fighters and bombers back in World War II. That's why it has such big and long runways.
Natrona Country International Airport: Thursday, June 2nd, 2022, two 5th generation F-35 fighters stopped to refuel on their way across the country. Along with them were two F/18A Hornets.
That might make somebody wonder if there was something amiss, or were the planes just coming for or going to training exercises.
The F-35 stopped for a little fuel and a rest stop for the pilots and Atlantic Aviation.
Okay, well, those planes DO NOT use "a little fuel." I'll explain a little more about that later in this article.
These planes are exciting to watch. But keep your fingers in your ears. They are LOUD!
That's a lot of military air traffic in one day for an airport that has not been a part of the military since the end of WWII.
These were F18 model F Super Hornets accompanying. Model F is the 2-seater version.
You can see the F/A 18 do its thing in the recent Top Gun sequel.
The F/A 18 is what replaced the F/14 Tomcat that Maverick flew in the original movie.
So that's Air Force and Navy jets all arriving together to take a break and refuel pretty much at the same time.
You better believe it had the folks at the airport excited.
Interesting planes land in Natrona County all the time.
Natrona Country International Airport airport is the perfect midpoint refueling stop when crossing North America.
You might be surprised to hear who is traveling in what and going where when they had to stop in Wyoming to refuel.
YES! it's important to know where your fuel stops are when you consider the two-seat, twin-engine F/A-18F as you see in the photo above, is a thirsty airplane.
The Hornet burns approximately 1,100 gallons of jet fuel in an hour.
The cost of flying this airplane is $10,507 per flight hour of your tax dollars.
So how much did it take to refuel all of these airplanes that landed on this one day?
Atlantic Aviation must have made some good money this afternoon.
5th generation fighters like the F/35 Lighting are not faster than the hornet, or the F/15. They don't need to be.
Not only do they turn by using their control surfaces, like rudders and ailerons but they have "thrust vectoring."
That means their little "bum hole" can rotate around pointing the airplane's thrust to make sharp turns.
But superior maneuverability is not why this plane is so impressive.
The one thing that the new Top Gun movie got wrong is why these 5th generation planes are so formidable.
They actually don't need to engage in close air to air combat as you'll see in the movie. They can. They train for it. But it will almost never happen.
Here is why the F/35 is so impressive:
This plane is stealthy. The pilot can see in every direction with no blind spots due to the sensor array and head-up display that is part of his helmet. They can see in day and night vision as well as see in radar and inferred and several other ways that the military would rather not talk about.
This war bird is equipped with an array of electronic warfare devices as well as bullets and missiles.
The pilots acquire and fire on multiple targets at once from a great distance. The opposing airplanes do not need to be directly in front of him. They can even be off to the side or behind.
The old-fashioned "dog fights" of WWII, and like you saw in the Top Gun movie, are almost a thing of the past.
So this is what you see when you spend enough time hanging out at an airport in the middle of Wyoming.
You might think that there is nothing going on way out there. But you would be surprised and who and what has to show up there on their way cross country.