Pushing the throttle forward I set power to 100%. Full power (with afterburners) is not necessary for takeoffs. At 180 knots ease back on the stick and you will be airborne! Retract your landing gear; if you forget to retract your gear it will retract automatically at 275 knots. Normally you would contact departure and start navigating your mission waypoints, but for this mission we’ll just take our new ride around the pattern and bring it back in for a landing. Turning left crosswind: On the downwind I request landing from the tower using the TAB key to pull up the communications menu. Keep in mind that your EMCON level determines whether you can broadcast on your radio or not. We’ll cover communications and EMCON levels in more detail later.
Pressing the “H” key I change the HUD display to the ILS HUD. Once the tower has given me permission to land (there are several different ways to request an approach and landing, we’ll cover those later), an electronic glidepath will be displayed on my HUD. Simply flying through the HUD generated boxes will take me down the proper glidepath to landing. Proper airspeed for the descent down the glidepath is approximately 170 knots (about 57% power). Using speedbrakes (B) can help stabilize your airspeed and don’t forget to put the landing gear down! A reminder that your gear is down are the 3 green dots that appear in the center of the HUD. Above your airspeed on the left side of the HUD is also a rough estimate of angle of attack (AOA) in the form of text that tells you if you are fast, slow or even on speed.