Category Archives: Bugs…er…Hornets

Night Bounce, Put To Canvas


“…..I broke out of the clouds first, because being the flight lead, that’s the nature of things. I looked over and down to check my wingie’s position in the gloom below, and if I tell you will you believe me? That in all my years of flying I don’t know that I ever saw such a wondrously beautiful thing as the glow inside that cloud deck resolve itself all suddenly into an FA-18 leaping from the clouds like a beast darting from a snare, highlighted against the darkness and contrasted with the sun’s dying rays like a rocket ship, herself in full grunt, the afterburners lighting up the cloud and the sky. It made my heart skip, and if I’d had a camera at that moment to take a picture you’d all know my name by now, because that’s how famous I’d be for the taking of it. But for all the unexpected, slack-jawed, childlike wonder of that moment, it’s stuck inside my head and the beauty of it – to which these words do not give justice – will sadly die with me some day.” 

This paragraph is from his wonderful post of his time exploring Iwo Jima. He was there to practice carrier landings.

This segment of an otherwise routine flight probably lasted all of 10 seconds, if it was even that long. And yet the beauty and wonder within that small slice of time stayed with Hizzoner the rest of his life.

The Lexicans recently presented a painting of this cherished memory to The Hobbit. It was created by a Lexican who is also a renowned artist, and loves US Navy aviation.

It is now available as a print, for those interested.

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Filed under, by lex, Flying, Good Stuff, Lex, Navy

The Best of Neptunus Lex


January 30, 2016


I came to know Lex through his writings. A longtime admirer of his, David Foster of, recommended a few of his favorite posts.

After reading the very first one, I was hooked. One could say that at that moment I became a Lexican. Some of Lex’s posts made you laugh and others made you think. He had the gift of showing people what life is like to serve on a carrier.

Until I read Lex, this old Army guy thought sailors had an easy life with clean, spacious accommodations and good food.  I just wondered if they were allowed to take their golf clubs while on a cruise.

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Filed under Airplanes, Best of Neptunus Lex,, by lex, Carroll "Lex" LeFon, Carroll LeFon, FA-18, Fighter Pilot Stories, Flying, Lex, Naval Aviation, Neptunus Lex

(K)V-22 Osprey tanker tests.

Aviation Week has an article on the recent tanker trails of the V-22 Osprey. Boeing wants to push the Osprey as a truly multi-role platform.

Here are some pictures from the trails with an accompanying F/A-18 Hornet:


The refueling system makes use of onboard tanks as well as a roll-on/roll-off bladder, Sparks says. The hose extends 90 ft., about 80 ft. from the end of the ramp of the MV-22. The operator must open the ramp to extend the refueling hose; once extended, the ramp is then raised back up with the top ramp door left open, Sparks says.

Depending on mission profile, the system can offload up to 12,000 lb. of fuel, Karika says.


The F/A-18 Hornet was used to test behavior at that distance below and behind the V-22. More testing with fixed and rotary winged aircraft are slated for the future.

After all, no one kicks ass without tanker gas.


Filed under Airplanes,, Flying, Marines, Naval Aviation, Navy, Plane Pr0n

All Caps, All One Word

Look what turned up this morning out on my airport ramp on the shores of Gitchee Gummi:

Hornet 31 NSAWC-NFWS

Hornet 27 NSAWC-NFWS

In case you had any doubts as to ownership…

Dang Bugs. They’re everywhere this time of year. 🙂


Filed under Airplanes,, Flying, Lex, Plane Pr0n

A Sunday’s drive through the park

FA-18 style.

The description says “No audio”, but the wind zorching past the canopy is audio enough. It’s interesting to hear and see the buffet increase on the canopy with even the least amount of g-loading.

Some days, training flights are just unbearable…

…to watch. The envy is killing me!

Then, there’s this little bit of showboating

Go Navy!


Filed under Airplanes,, Carriers, Flying, Plane Pr0n