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History is an important part of the fighter pilot mystique. The Fighter Pilot University History Department strives to keep the traditions, stories and people that make up that history alive and relevant.
Two branches within the FU History Department are FU Heroes and Nature of the Beast (NOTB). FU Heroes honors the people that put the fight in fighter pilots. These are people from the beginning and throughout the fighter pilot era who developed the tactics, displayed the courage and gave fighter pilots their swagger, confidence and arrogance. Through the stories, tributes, quotes and jabs NOTB reveals a much broader look at the world of fighter pilots and their rich and colorful history.
The FU History Department is not glamorizing or endorsing war. They are simply promoting the brave deeds, expounding the incredible accomplishments and illustrating how common men arise to confront unbelievable challenges and ultimately become a fighter pilot.
History is alive and KICKASS at Fighter Pilot University.
Dean of the FU History Department
NO SLEEPING IN CLASS!!
USA F-105D Thunderchief
Photo courtesy of Photo by Michael Freer
FU HeroesView "FU Heroes" Articles
You've happened upon Fighter Pilot University's tribute to genuine heroes.
Before we give our humble due to these great men, we would like to explain how an individual makes this page. Anyone in the fighter pilot world, who embodies the spirit of the true fighter pilot, and, in addition, goes above and beyond in a single act or in how they live their lives in general, can make the hero list and be recognized as such by our faculty. We may even see an occasional non-pilot that retains these characteristics and add said individual to our list here. If you have someone in mind that you feel deserves this recognition, please send us the details through our Contact FU page and we'll decide if they're a player. We don't care what country they come from or what fighter they fly, in fact, we know there are FU heroes all over the world. If they meet our standards, which are usually established over a dozen beers or cocktails, they could become famous, if they aren't already.
Fighter Pilot University Dean of Greatness
Australian F/A-18 Hornets
Nature of the BeastView Articles
Son, never ask a man if he is a fighter pilot.
If he is, he'll let you know.
If he isn't, you'll only embarrass him.Author Unknown
Will Rogers never met a fighter pilot.Author Unknown
You'll see women playing in the National Football League before you see them flying fighters.
Col. Jimmy Carter (Peanut) as told during a 60 Minute's interview with Mike Wallace (circa 1985)
WARNING: All narratives are guaranteed to contain a minimum of 10% truth.
There are two types of people in the world, those that love fighter pilots and those who hate them. There's really no middle ground. Here at Fighter Pilot University, our in depth studies and statistical analysis indicates that those who love fighter pilots constitute around 97% of the world's population. A staggering statistic.
In spite of that, some people think the fighter pilot is his own biggest fan, conceited, arrogant, big-headed and egotistical. We can't argue with that because for the most part it's true. They've earned that right. Fighter pilots have completed the most intense, competitive and concentrated flying training program their country can develop.
Fighter pilots know that they are the best aviators in the world. Only the best military student pilots are selected for fighter pilot training. Military precision flying teams are filled with fighter pilots. (Although the greatest number of fighter pilots themselves would say there are those who can be fighter pilots and those who choose to fly formation.) Everyone wants to wear a fly suit because they want to look like a fighter pilot. Movies are made about fighter pilots because people are awed and inspired by the skill and coolness of fighter pilots under stressful and near-death situations.
USA F-22 Raptor
Photo courtesy of Stuart Haigh
Even within the fighter pilot ranks there's a hierarchy, at least in the mind of the fighter pilot. Not to belittle the missions of other military pilots, the airline pilot that ferries your family, the crop duster speeding low over the fields, the daring acrobatic pilot or any other aviators who earn their living flying, but it's just a fact that fighter pilots are at the top of the heap. Most fly alone but some fighters also carry a trusted Weapons Systems Officer or Fighter Navigator/Bombardier. In either case, they face the enemy many times far beyond friendly lines and often right in their face.
The fighter pilot hierarchy is made up of several types of fighter pilots: straight air-to-air fighter pilots, multi-mission fighter pilots, and straight air-to-ground fighter pilots. The air-to-air guys get this attitude of fighter pilot supremacy because their mission has certainly been more greatly glamorized in books and movies. Plus, you can't accomplish much down low on the ground if you don't have air superiority up above. Multi-mission fighter pilots, swing role guys, those that dabble in both air-to-ground and air-to-air, quite possibly on the very same sortie, understand their superiority is based on the complexity of their missions and the fact that they contribute to both facets of aerial combat. Straight air-to-ground fighter pilots, the mud movers, attack pilots, base their image of superiority on the fact that they kill the adversary by the hundreds rather than one at a time and, quite often, do it low and right in the teeth of the enemy.
Argentinean IAI M5 Finger
Whether hurtling his jet at the ground from four miles up on a sixty-degree dive bomb pass or dragging his wingman into a 2 v 8 air-to-air engagement, the fighter pilot cannot be concerned about his survival. He is his country's weapon. All his concentration and efforts must be focused on the task at hand. Who are the best fighter pilots? They all are. The following quotes, narratives, stories, tributes, jokes and songs are the nature of the beast, fighter pilots enjoying who they are. They enjoy self-adulation. They enjoy self-deprecation. They take pleasure hearing jabs from others. That's when the ego and arrogance is joyfully displayed to better infuriate the already irritated. These pages honor their profession and the traditions of fighter pilots.
If you have a quote, story, tribute, joke or song you'd like to contribute here send it our way and we'll take a look.
Fighter Pilot University Dean of Students
Some of the stuff on our web site may contain explicit language. Many of the stories, songs and jokes about fighter pilots were created by men while they were in far off places, flying combat missions, looking for ways to relieve the tension of war. Living on the edge brings out strong verbal expression. We'll try to warn you, with the banner below, when strong language is present. When you see the banner, and uninhibited language offends you, that song, narrative or joke may be one you'd prefer to pass on.