Remarkable bird’s eye view of F-18 catapulting from aircraft carrier

  • F-18 fighter jets can take off by catapulting
  • It allows them to use a very small bit of space to get airborne
  • This incredible footage offers a new angle on this amazing feat

Published on Mar 18, 2024 at 7:50 PM (UTC+4)
by Tom Wood

Last updated on Mar 19, 2024 at 7:14 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Amelia Jean Hershman-Jones

This incredible footage shows an F-18 catapulting from an aircraft carrier from above.

It’s a pretty impressive sight to see from any angle, but this shot of an F-18 fighter jet catapult launching straight off the deck of an aircraft carrier offers a perspective that you’ve probably never seen before.

It’ll give you a whole new perspective on these incredible – and vaguely terrifying – military machines.

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Obtaining enough speed to get themselves airborne using only a remarkably short runway and just a few short seconds, the plane takes off over the sea and starts off on a mission.

The footage seems to have been shot from another aircraft – possibly even another F-18 – that is travelling in the skies above the floating fortress.

After watching the video of the F-18 catapulting itself off the end of the aircraft carrier, people have been queuing up to express their awe for this incredible aircraft.

“Sensational,” wrote one person.

“Never seen it from that angle,” said another.

The footage was originally shared by the VFA Fighting Swordsmen, who are a USA Naval Squadron operating aircraft off carriers such as the one in the video.

F-18 catapulting is what they do, and they seem to do it pretty well.

If you head on over to their Instagram page, they are always sharing all sorts of cool videos of fighter planes and aircraft carriers, as well a showcasing the work that they do.

As for the machine itself, the F-18 – to give it the full title, the F/A-18E/F Super Hornet – is one of the most high-tech fighter jets in the US Navy arsenal.

It was actually first built back in the late 1970s – first flying in 1978 – but continues to dominate the skies today.

There have been different manufacturers, with Boeing the latest to develop the technology.

Several of the major powers of the world are using the F-18 in some capacity, with the US Navy employing them first.

In fact, if you’ve ever seen Top Gun: Maverick you’ll have seen the F-18 in action.

To achieve the speed that is necessary to get the jets off the floor in such a short amount of time and space, the planes are launched via a catapult on the deck of the aircraft carrier.

You can get the basic idea of how it works – the plane is strapped to a catapult and then it is dragged as fast as possible behind that wire, achieving speeds that wouldn’t be possible with conventional methods.

Scary stuff, you’d have to admit.

But, that’s just par for the course when you’re a fighter pilot getting behind the controls of one of these machines.


Tom Wood

Tom started his journalism career soon after completing a Masters degree at the University of Salford. Since then, he’s covered a bit of everything – sport, celebrity and world news.