FighterSweep sat down with 3 members of the US Navy’s Super Hornet Demo Team to get their thoughts on putting one of the world’s premier fighters through its full paces.

Have you ever wanted to jump in a fighter jet, takeoff in full afterburner, and then bend it around in front of a crowd? If you have ever been to an airshow and seen a full tactical demonstration from the US Navy TACDEMO team, you know just what we are talking about.

Fighter pilots call it being able to “light your hair on fire”. That means putting the jet through its full (and legal) paces. Being at full throttle with the jet 200 feet off the ground in front of a crowd makes it even more difficult–but really fun. The airshow demo is one experience only a handful of extremely lucky fighter pilots (and WSOs) get to perform.

It’s license to steal and the US Navy’s Super Hornet TACDEMO gets to do it every weekend.

FighterSweep sat down with AJ, Beuller, and Purple to get their thoughts on flying the Super Hornet in an airshow environment.

The US Navy’s TACDEMO teams are comprised of pilots and weapons systems officer (WSOs) from the east and west coast fleet replacement squadrons (VFA-106 and VFA-122). The team performs at airshows throughout the United States and Canada. This year they will hit close to 40 show sites stretching from Abbotsford, British Columbia, Canada to Homestead AFB in Florida–and everywhere in between.

Vapes! Courtesy: Bernie Conaway
Vapes! Courtesy: Bernie Conaway

“Some of the best shows are the smaller ones,” said Demo pilot Lieutenant A.J. “Stanza” Turo, a 2007 US Naval Academy graduate. “The airshow is the biggest thing to come through town that year and the organizers are really glad to see us.”

Hometown shows for the Demo members are also a special opportunity to perform in front of friends and family. Demo WSO Lieutenant Ben “Bueller” Kovesci, a native of Akron, Ohio, and an Ohio State Buckeye grad points to the Cleveland Air Show as one of his favorites.

“It’s a pretty awesome feeling to be bullseye nose low pointed straight at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” said Kovesci.