Just as humans are broadly generalized as Baby Boomers or Millennials, etc., so too are fighter aircraft lumped into categories—only it has less to do when they are born (or what we would call, IOC) and more to do with various capabilities such as speed, maneuverability, avionics, and weaponry. And what’s more—with upgrades, some aircraft change generations.
On this episode, US Air Force Major John “Skosh” Searcy joins Sunshine on his first solo interview to explain the different fighter categories, from the earliest and least capable 1st generation (or, simply, ‘Gen’) to the modern, highly capable 5th Gen fighters. Much of the discussion centers on the differences between the current slate of 4th Gen fighters (F-15, -16, F/A-18, etc) to the F-22 and, specifically, F-35, which Skosh currently flies as a Test Pilot.
During the listener question segment, we cover cold weather carrier operations, squadron naming conventions, ejection hazards with NVGs, aircraft personality with fly-by-wire, and the connection between the radar and CIT.
Don’t forget to check out our friends at Volatus Wines! Episode artwork by Janek Krause. Bumper music by Jaime Lopez.