What do you do with military aircraft?

I have not purchased any of the other military aircraft (Xbox X) but I love flying the F-18. It was a challenge to master but it is my most favorite aircraft to fly right now (Kodiak 100 a close second).

Practicing touch and goes or carrier overhead patterns at any NAS is fun and rewarding to me. Planning a long flight using the comparatively archaic navigation system including flying a “bootleg” TACAN approach (thanks Raynen) is fun. In general it is more hands on and not as boring as some of the GA or airliners to me right now. Also, I have found mastering the F-18 makes flying a GA aircraft seem super easy now… YMMV.

You can use military aircraft as ga which you cant with airliners. Some have decent stol capabilities and you dont have to worry about dirt getting into the engine.

I have not purchase any just trainers like kawk t1, Fouga magister. Hawk t1 is not particularly fun and only use it when needing some pace to get home before dinner. Should have bought a proper fighter yet instead

I do stuff with them like fly the Great Loop, buzz my house as low as possible Do some low level flying over my home town and turn ai cars off to practice road landings

It baffles me just as much that there are so many who don’t see the unlimited potential of having a high performance, extremely maneuverable turbine or piston in flight simulator. It doesn’t really matter what it’s role in real life was or how it’s labeled. I get that folks like to simulate real life scenarios by playing bus driver, but “military aircraft” can be for the pure joy of flight, are a challenge in and of themselves, and open up so many new possibilities.


Just find some people to fly with. Happy to form up on your wing vis.a.vis

Still waiting for a c-17, c-5, or c130 since I’m more of cargo plane type of guy. Fighter jets might not be for everybody. I think they are cool but maybe since I work with all the above planes listed I just want to be able to fly one in the sim. If that was the case I would be using the c-5 or c-17 all the time. Just the feeling of flying around ome of those military cargo jet would be so cool. I could replicate some of the real world missions we do since I have access to the aircraft movement schedules with my military clearance.


Seeing the amount of obsession on these forums towards “study level, perfectly recreated procedures” and such probably contributes to my uncertainty. When people often discuss whether they take off at the exactly right speed or use VNAV and all the different approaches correctly, one wonders if flying military craft seemingly randomly might be worth the investment at all. Although in my opinion there is no right or wrong way to play MSFS. Still, while you can recreate real-life operations with GA and airliners, it feels somewhat harder to do in military aircraft. I mean, what do they do with them outside of a war? Just doing training loops and relocating from air force base to air force base?

But I agree they are much fun to fly, being so light and powerful at the same time.

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I only have the excellent Hawk T1 and use it for reasonably believable training missions around the uk. Naviagating using Tacan, or using the compass and stop watching and trying to get time on target. Then theres obviously the Mach loop or low flying over the Lake District, and visiting some of my old RAF haunts. It can be very interesting planning and executing a route.

I dont get the idea of pretending to patrol an airspace however. Its not just the lack of weapons but a lack of system simulations in MSFS thats a problem. Theres a far better simulator out there for that sort of thing.

Outside of war they prepare for war. This would be by practising with training bombs if a strike aircraft, or particiapating in operations maybe with another nation. This is something msfs cannot reproduce. I think for most people they serve as a fast GA.

“What do you do with military aircraft?”

The same thing military aircraft are doing 99.9% of the time - just flying! :smiley:

I know where you’re coming from though. It would be nice if we had the ability to use them for their intended purposes, but the game is rated E, and I’m pretty sure that is going to eliminate the chance of that ever happening.

I used to think jeez - why would I want a military plane in a civilian sim? Now I’ve got a hangar full of stuff! The airplanes are cool to me, and especially on the Navy / Marine side, you can do carrier ops now!


Yeah, I kind of wonder the same thing. There’s another sim where you can actually use them to their full potential, and the VR works better in that sim as well. The only thing that it lacks is whole world coverage.

I use MSFS for GA craft because I have no need to buy the same plane twice.

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Yeah, I think “faster, more powerful GA” is probably the closest to the average use case. I was just curious whether I’m overlooking a completely different playstyle.

Why does it matter what others on the forum are doing? If it’s entertaining to you, aren’t you getting your investment’s worth?

There you go.

Yeah. I mean what does Tom Cruise do with his P-51? Or anyone who owns an L-39? They just fly them for the fun of it. But isn’t that why we all use Flight Simulator anyway? For the fun of it. I’ll never fly any of these warbirds or jets in real life, or get to do stuff like this, and that’s part of what makes it fun for me:


Some easy tasks you can do, similar to what it´s done in real life, that would be better supported when having radars, but that can be still complemented by using any traffic monitoring tool that has a moving map with all AI and their IDs.

  1. Patrol airspaces, specially near country borders, and inspect anything which is flying close to or direct to any restricted air spaces (like military bases). As you can´t contact the AI via radio, as an easy alternative you can try to approach closer and get the airline/tail number to see if it has any active comm with ATC (flight number can be obtained using the external traffic tools):
  • Till you don´t listen to it talking to ATC that´s a potential hostile and you have to fly close to it preparing for an eventual engagement
  • As soon as you listen to it talking to ATC that could be understood as a legit flight
  1. Patrol airspaces containing possible routes used by narcos or by contrabandists. Try to find any small aircraft like a cessna flying low (typical pattern to avoid radar contact). As before try to identify flight and to know if it´s a legit one. This can be also repeated with ships but as currently we don´t have FLIR cams that can be locked on targets that´s harder to do from a moving jet.

  2. Escort airliners until destination airports simulating either a possible failure that would require an external visual inspection during flight or being a flight carrying VIPs.

  3. Fly a patrol pattern over a city. Like in the case of special events requiring enhanced security measures which are held on the city that may require a temporary airspace restriction or just an air patrol on standby, for instance while VIPs are landing in the city. For that maybe is better to just use an helicopter anyway.

  4. Just fly from one airbase to the other. This is used as training, to move assets from base to base or simply for maintenance/retrofit purposes.



Simple, they are much faster and more fun to fly.

I haven’t flown any other planes yet besides the F18 and F22. I don’t care about take off procedures, proper speeds, ATC, or any of that. I just want to randomly fly around and check out the scenery.

I don’t understand how people can fly like they are in real life…cruising speed at the same altitude for hours. That would bore me to death.


I would use the Super Hornet for simulated ferry flights, i. e. fast cruises.
However, without external fuel tanks it is not realistic, and very limited in range.

Simply having fun :rofl:


really long time play fight simulators, i just love fighter conception, and all another aircraft boring me, not absolute! boring relatively fighters. i love all of them. as i said i did fight too much and i almost lost interest, curious, motivation… but only because i does it must be too much, i could fight 14 hours without go to pee or drink. but i can not imagine my self without flight, and flight fighters, different fighters, every single what modeling good enough for me. i get f/a-18e+tacpack(without tacpack she don’t works in p3d) and as long i flew i never ever use any weapon, as msfs p3d for me is civilian simulators/games. and i don’t like military conception in msfs as in p3d. first is not good enough, second - look above. if you ask… i think you don’t need it… or you need it lol. but only you can really answer to your self. as i said every single fighter is stuff, that can do everything, in il-2 first version first years i flew only la-5fn because this fighter in game can do everything that couldn’t another, but after i flew bf109 because of better climb, p-39 because it’s could be tricked maneuvers with speed enough, then i flew fw190 and p-47 because they are can dive like no one… i flew much in modern fighters simulators too… and i’ll say it again… every single fighter is art in your eye, symphony in your ear, and love in your heart… and that not less importantly enjoy for your brain… i think i destroy so many targets, that’s i just don’t need targets any more, and i stay with clean enjoy of the flight in the fighters… i didn’t flight much mustang when i fought, but in p3d(from a2a guys) she become my favorite forever… but most simple couple of words answer. just watch youtube there guys flight different models, and you can see what it is more or less that you will got… most if not every single answer, people ask, could be found only inside asking person… i sure, this one definitely one of those questions… good luck with your and only your choice

…for a quick answer, fly the Hawk around the Mach loop (preferably in VR)!


Everyone can enjoy the simulator however they like but from a realistic military simulation point of view msfs is lacking. Theres a big difference between Tom Cruise and his P51 and someone taking an F35 for a quick jolly when it comes to a likley scenario. But if thats what someone wants to do then brilliant do what you enjoy.

Personally i like realistic scenarios such as decribed by ex Hawk pilot cgaviator with his navigation yoytube videos, and for that trainer aircraft in msfs are perfect. But if someone wants to realisticly simulate the roles of an F14, F16 etc then there are better choices of game as msfs lacks the systems to do so.