Going fast; REAL fast!
Many of my friends have asked me over the years what its like to go fast; really fast. Mach 2.0 at 35,000 feet makes the numbers fly by, but to be honest, besides the noise and vibration you can hardly tell. Speed is relative; 1.1 mach or 870 miles an hour (1390 KPH) at 100 feet in your trusty F-4 Phantom, is much more impressive. Yanking your way up the Kings River Canyon at 700 plus will water your eyes. There is just something about going fast, with hundreds or even thousands of feet of granite above you. If you are in a multi-aircraft strike; being chased or chasing another aircraft, now you are talking serious fun!
Unfortunately, I was not much of a camera guy. Ironic now, considering my side job as a technical adviser for movies. I was always having so much fun raging around, I just didn’t think about it.
When I was stationed on Whidbey Island, I flew the EA-6B Prowler, a carrier based Electronic Attack aircraft. To any one else (including the USAF) it was a fighter. Naval Aviators have always described exactly what the mission of each aircraft was in the title: F=fighter, A=attack, S=anti submarine, R=recce, EA= electronic attack and the latest F/A=fighter and attack. A Navy fighter had to have an F in front of it’s number. After being retired for a while, I now realize the only people who knew the difference was other Navy guys and little kids at airshows. To everyone else they were all fighters.
So with that in mind: I’m posting the cockpit view of what it is like to fly 600 miles an hour in the weeds, in a fighter. There really is nothing else like it in the world. The EA-6B has side by side seating for the navigator; the perfect vantage point for a movie.
The route is the VR-1355; my all time favorite, tactical low level route. It goes through the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. Give it a ride; it gets better as you go deeper into the mountains.