DCS F/A-18C Flight Preparation

In anticipation of the F/A-18C entering early access on the 30th of May I have started paying more attention to the NATOPS flight manual. As part of that effort, I anticipate that I will likely have questions, so I thought it might be a good idea to start a conversation and see who wants to go through the NATOPS manual and get educated on the with me?

Mostly this is to cut down on the mad laughter of @near_blind as he drops bombs on us from 30k feet, having spend most of the last year and a half immersing himself in the systems and doctrine as we all struggle to get up to speed :slight_smile:

For those interested, the NATOPS can be found here: https://info.publicintelligence.net/F18-ABCD-000.pdf

The procedures start on page III-6-1 - which is around PDF page 303 when I view that link in my browser.

I am going to start with the Shore Based Procedures, which I expect is what the real world pilots use first. I know the Navy/Marine pilots have no equal but I am pretty sure that they begin their lives on land like the rest of us FNGs (short for Fancy New Guy :wink:).

If you have any questions, this might be a good place to discuss those and get answers. That is my aim anyway.


I’m planning on doing the same, but in a narrative type style, resurrecting my characters from the Resolute Fury series I wrote a while back (after all, this is a mid - 2000’s model Hornet).

Speaking of which, I need to finish setting the scene for that this week…


So a couple of questions (i had hoped to get into the NATOPS earlier but life keeps intruding).

  1. Do we know which serial number range we are going to be in? I am seeing a lot of mentions about “aircraft 161353 thru 162889”.

  2. Which engines are we expecting? F404-GE-400 or F404-GE-402?

  3. On page III-7-11, there are two sections related to ‘If no reset’ and ‘If still no reset’. Are we just assuming that no reset has been done at this point?

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162889 is a Lot 8 F/A-18A, so definitely not us.

The -402s started coming online in the early/mid 90s. Ours was manufactured in the late 90s with a 2000’s software refit. I’d imagine we should be getting the -402s. Being too lazy to go through released media and find it myself, @BeachAV8R or @Chuck_Owl could confirm by making sure the ENG DDI page says EPE

The FCS should be reset prior to taxi on each start up, as noted immediately above those two sections

Is the FCS reset the reason everyone gets the caution light when they start to take off/taxi in every video?

Seriously? I spent 10 minutes going back over the previous sections to see if I missed that and it was right above. Gah!

Thanks for the info (and the patience with this obviously challenged student :slight_smile: )!

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