My first viking
I saw my first Viking takeoff today. As I was driving by the runways at the airport I heard engines rumbling (and since I never hear commercial jets in the car with the radio on, it had to be a military jet); looked over and there's an Eagle standing on its tail. Just as it got too high to see (which took maybe 10 seconds from takeoff), the pilot started his rollout. Very cool.
For those not familiar with the term, a Viking takeoff is one where, as the aircraft gets up to flight speed, the pilot pulls back on the stick until the aircraft's nose is pointed straight up. Fighter jets are about the only aircraft that can pull this off, since it requires that the engines produce more thrust than the aircraft weighs. As the aircraft reaches its cruise height, the pilot will "roll out" the aircraft: he rolls it until its back is facing the direction the pilot wants to go, then pull back on the stick until the aircraft is level (but flying upside down) in the direction he wants to go, and then roll the aircraft over until it's right side up. Boeing has some videos of Viking takeoffs up on their media site; look under the F-15 Eagle section.
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