I’ve just had my first full flight with the IndiaFoxTecho T-45C Goshawk and I wanted to relay a few first impressions about the newest military trainer to come to Microsoft Flight Simulator and share my first flight.
Military trainer deserves to start from a military base
For my first flight in the IndiaFoxTecho T-45C Goshawk, I decided to set out from the storied NAS Pensacola. Hailed as the “Cradle of Naval Aviation,” Pensacola is the initial training base for all US Navy, Marine and Coast Guard officers pursuing the naval aviator and naval flight officer designation.
I did try for a cold and dark start but I ran out of time trying to find some of the controls and I decided to move from parking spot (after a thorough inspection) to runway with a short flight plan setup.
Having flown the DCS: F/A-18C Hornet for the last couple of years, there’s a lot in the Goshawk’s cockpit that are similar or almost entirely the same. From some of the gear and systems controls to the MFD’s which use the same basic operations, to many of the symbols and displays on the HSI. Virtual naval pilots familiar with the Hornet are, in particular, going to really feel at home here with most of the controls. For civil aviation pilots coming over, the interface is going to be more stark than you may be used to but it is certainly functional.
Takeoff and cruising around
Takeoff run is straightforward with the throttle moved to full and takeoff flaps set. Rotate speed is similar to the Hornet and once we were up and off the ground the aircraft easily accelerated at 5 degrees nose up. Once again, as with most MSFS aircraft, nose up trim is really required to get the aircraft climbing smoothly. Less typically, a decent amount of roll trim is required to keep the aircraft from rolling left or right.
Cruising in this aircraft is straightforward but where it is really fun is pulling a few G’s and so that’s what I did on my flight. Putting the T-45 into a tight turn feels very fighter jet like and IndiaFoxTecho has got the whole experience feeling pretty good right down to a custom breathing effect for your virtual pilot as they strain under 4-5G loads.
More to say on all of that when I get to the review.
Finally, I did a landing in the aircraft at nearby Tyndall AFB. Landing was relatively straightforward. Stay on glideslope, add and modulate a bit of power as you’re coming in and touchdown. It’s halfway between the F-16 and F/A-18C from DCS in my experience and nothing like the high speed weirdness that you may have experienced flying the MiG-21 in that sim. Of course MSFS is a different sim and most of us feel like the ground effect is perhaps making landings a bit easier than they should be… still this one felt straightforward enough.
For now, enjoy some screenshots and look for my full review of the aircraft coming soon!