410 Cougars

The Canadian Forces were, IIRC, the first foreign force to operate the F/A-18 Hornet (though they designate it the CF-18). They operate a fairly small, but highly respected force. Learning to fly takes time. Learning to fight a Hornet takes 9 months, and a lot of hard work, as well as some natural aptitude.

410 Squadron (Cougars) is the equivalent to what our Navy would call the Fleet Replacement Squadron. That is, it provides transition training into the Hornet, and refresher training for folks that have been away for a while.

A few years ago, an American network debuted a show called American Fighter Pilot, about students transitioning from the T-38 into the F-15C Eagle. It only aired one or two episodes before it was yanked for low ratings. But Canada, having subsidized television production, doesn’t really have to worry so much about ratings. So I came  across an 8 episode series called “Jetstream” that follows the fortunes of a class of students spending 9 months at the Fighter Pilot Training Course. Lot’s of good photography.


There’s Episode 1. If you watch it at youtube, you should be able to easily follow up with the rest of the episodes.

4 thoughts on “410 Cougars”

  1. How terrible is it that my first thought is “that’s a lot of sexually predatory older women” when I read the title?

  2. LOL..me too Mike..I was thinking 72 virgins..then thought 410 Cougars..wow..Art was trying to confuse us old people, lol..

  3. Did the Canadians designate the Hornet the CF-188 at one point? I remember seeing that for the first time and dismissing it as a typo, but later found it to be too consistently used for that to be an explanation.

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