What the Heck Wednesday - F/A-18C Hits a Tree

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have an EDF F/A-18C showing us what happens when flight is interrupted by a tree line.

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Don't Stall Near the Trees

This week on What the Heck Wednesday we have an EDF F/A-18C showing us what happens when flight is interrupted by a tree line. It all starts with a nasty stall that sends the jet right into the trees. It bounces off a limb and does a fancy cartwheel spin before landing right on the nose. It should be pretty obvious what happened on this one, but it's still entertaining to watch. Check out the video below.

If you have a video of a weird or entertaining crash and would like to be featured on What the Heck Wednesday, please send me a PM with your submission.

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Mar 17, 2021, 12:27 PM
Registered User
An EDF jet is not an Extra. No wonder....
Mar 17, 2021, 04:02 PM
Flying Hazard
SU-4ever's Avatar
Well... sometimes it's even 'better' than an extra!
Totally depends on the jet design. The F-18 though... certainly not one that takes high angle of attack well in this scale.

Anyway, glad to see that was entertaining, mission accomplished!
BTW, the jet is already repaired and back in the air!

This is the same jet right after the repairs

F-18 Sunset Paradise in FPV!! ✈️ HD 60fps (16 min 18 sec)
Mar 17, 2021, 08:02 PM
iumop ap!sdn w,I
G.P.'s Avatar
Foam taking its rightful place in the universe...packing peanuts!

Latest blog entry: Colour Schemes
Mar 17, 2021, 08:28 PM
Registered User
G.P., I love it!!!
Mar 17, 2021, 09:37 PM
Wanted: More Time to Fly
Topdogzrc's Avatar
Hey, looks like AP was a good luck charm for it to get featured.

Jandro, you probably looked like this after the crash, right?
Mar 17, 2021, 09:45 PM
Flying Hazard
SU-4ever's Avatar
Yep, that was totally me...
The look in the eyes... 10/10
Mar 17, 2021, 10:31 PM
Registered User
scott page's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by shunkman
An EDF jet is not an Extra. No wonder....
Jets are capable of much of the same shenanigans - all depending on the pilot. Thrust vectoring helps as well.
Premier Aircraft F-16QQ PNP (6 min 29 sec)
Mar 18, 2021, 12:43 PM
Flying Hazard
SU-4ever's Avatar
There ya go!
Awesome flight too!

Case in point, I particularly love the Su-35 airframe to pull scale post-stall maneuvers that not even an Extra would make as gracefully.

SU-35 PURE MADNESS ✈️ HD 60fps (18 min 3 sec)
Last edited by SU-4ever; Mar 18, 2021 at 01:07 PM.
Mar 18, 2021, 12:52 PM
Registered User
That is one seriously impressive piece of flying.

The F-18..... not so much. A classic swept wing stall followed by departure.
Mar 18, 2021, 01:13 PM
Flying Hazard
SU-4ever's Avatar
The F-18 has almost no sweep at all. Both the Su-35 and F-16 shown here have more sweep than the Hornet and the stall features of both are better, so that's not quite the issue.

If you dig into the topic, you'd find the fullscale Hornet actually has stable high alpha flight up to 60 AoA more or less, even without thrust vectoring assistance.

But half the trick to achieve that is to use LERX-generated vortices to keep airflow over the stabs, hence why I mentioned scale. In this model size, apparently the vortices break out way too early and that effect gets lost. The Su-35 / F-16 strake design on the other hand seems to still do the job at this scale (plus, there's the thrust vectoring of course).

You can find online videos of the old, lighter wing-loaded and vectored version of the F-18 (no longer manufacutred) performing hovers and rolling harriers.

My F-18 crashing in the video was obviously not set up to achieve that though.
Mar 19, 2021, 09:54 AM
Registered User
Well, it certainly looks like swept wing stall. Very high angle of attack, presumably also accompanied by very high drag, right from the start of the video. If you don’t have the excess power available to power your way out then you must pitch down.

Thrustborne flight certainly confuses the picture.
Mar 19, 2021, 02:31 PM
DFS#000178
Rampage's Avatar
Why would you hold the nose up that high without giving power to compensate? And if you didn't have power to compensate why would you even try?

Textbook case of flying the motor and not the wing..
Mar 19, 2021, 03:08 PM
Flying Hazard
SU-4ever's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Padpilot
Well, it certainly looks like swept wing stall.
And what's the noticeable difference compared to straight-wing stall according to you?

A stall is a stall, some designs handle it better than others. This Hornet handles it terribly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Padpilot
Very high angle of attack, presumably also accompanied by very high drag, right from the start of the video.
Just 'high angle of attack', not really 'very high' at all, which is what makes flying this jet challenging.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Padpilot
If you don’t have the excess power available to power your way out then you must pitch down.
Can't pitch down if you are headed straight into a treeline, hence why I added thrust but I HAD to try and maneuver to avoid the tree. I was not succesful of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rampage
Why would you hold the nose up that high without giving power to compensate? And if you didn't have power to compensate why would you even try?

Textbook case of flying the motor and not the wing..
Textbook case of giving an opinion without even bothering to read what has already been said.
I mention it in the video and video description.

I made a mistake and decided to fly the jet in bad low-light conditions, which caused me to misjudge speed. The video may trick you to think it was 'easy to see the jet' but when it was in final approach I could only see the landing gear light, so I was not able to properly control the aircraft and I let the speed decrease too much.

The error wasn't not knowing how to react to a stall, but inadvertently getting in the conditions for one because I was not able to see.
Mar 21, 2021, 06:49 AM
Registered User
FlyBigElectric's Avatar
It looks like you're having a great time flying. I'm sure you moved on and are still having fun and pushing the limits.


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