Attention On Deck!

A Robotech Warrior's Life and Times


Captain Jeffrey Dale Framton, RDFN (ret.)

Glossary of Terms

Version 1.01

ACLS - Automated Carrier Landing System. A system that can automatically land an airplane aboard a carrier within a two by two meter box.

ACS - Automated Control System. Flight control system in transformable combat aircraft (Veritechs) that performs pre-programmed, highly complicated, human-like movements based on control inputs by the pilot. In non-atmospheric operations the ACS mimics atmospheric flight--right pressure on the stick rolls the plane right, pressing the left pedal yaws the plane left, etc.

Air Boss - Nickname for a carrier's Air Operations Officer. Runs the tower and controls activity on flight deck.

Air Wing - Refers to the entire compliment of aircraft on a carrier. Depending on the carrier, comprised of around ten squadrons, six to ten aircraft detachments, and 3,000 personnel (aircrew, maintenance, etc.).

Angels - Brevity code referring to altitude in thousands of feet. "Angels 20" equals 20,000 feet, "Angels 120" equals 120,000 feet, etc.

Ball - Term referring to a carrier's optical landing system. So-called because the indicator looks like a ball and moves up and down like one to provide glide slope information to an approaching aircraft. Also the brevity code that means "I have the Optical Landing System in sight."

Bandit - Adversary that is positively identified as an enemy.

BARCAP - Barrier Combat Air Patrol.

Bat-Turn - A tight, high-G heading change. Refers to the 180 degree turn maneuver in the 1960's "Batman" TV series.

Bingo - Term used to describe a flight from an aircraft's home carrier to another carrier or shore base (usually due to some emergency preventing a normal recovery). Also, the pre-determined fuel level that will force an aircrew to return to the ship for landing or divert directly to a suitable airfield ashore. In short, Minimum fuel for a comfortable and safe return to base (RTB).

Boards - Speed Brakes, Air Brakes. When extended, speed brakes create aerodynamic drag which rapidly slows the aircraft.

Bogie - Unidentified, potentially hostile aircraft.

Bolter - Failed landing attempt.

Browning - Brevity code ordering an aircraft to make weapons hot.

Buster - Fighter direction brevity code signaling an aircraft to use max power.

CAG - Nickname for Air Group Commander, i.e. "Commander, Air Group."

Clara - Brevity code meaning "I do not have the Ball (Fresnel Optical Landing System) in sight."

EDS - Electronic Display Screen. A monitor that displays information vital to a flight crew, such as armament status, systems status, enemy location/speed/bearing/strength, etc.. The pilot can choose which information he wants to see at any time. Also called a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) of Multi-Function Display (MFD).

FAGU - Fleet Air Gunnery Unit.

FOD - Foreign Object Debris. Any object that can be sucked into a jet intake. FOD can severely damage or destroy a jet engine. A jet so damaged is said to have been "FODded."

FRS - Fleet Replacement Squadron.

Furball - Dogfight.

HUD - Heads-Up Display. A system that projects critical flight information--altitude, airspeed, weapons available, weapons selected, rate of climb/descent, heading, target location, G-loading, etc.--onto a plate of glass in front of the pilot, just behind the windscreen. Projected to infinity, the HUD's information is visible no matter what the pilot is focusing on when looking through it. This allows the pilot to operate more efficiently when in a dogfight, as he does not have to constantly divert his view into the cockpit for important flight information. In later models of the VF-1 series (and all aircraft thereafter) the HUD is also incorporated into the helmet so that targeting and other critical information is projected on the pilot's faceplate when not looking at the HUD.

Loud Handle - Ejection seat handle, chord.

Loudseat - Ejection Seat.

MFD - Multi-Function Display. A monitor that displays information vital to a flight crew, such as armament status, systems status, enemy location/speed/bearing/strength, etc.. The pilot can choose which information he wishes to see at any time. Also called a Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) or Electronic Display Screen (EDS).

Marshall - Holding pattern where aircraft wait before making their approach to the carrier. It is a fixed point in space relative to the carrier, described in nautical miles, feet of altitude, and degrees of bearing from the ship.

Mayday - International distress signal. Comes from the French "Meis Deis" (or something similar) meaning "May Day." Use of this signal is to be avoided at all costs by a Naval Aviator with too much pride, for he believes it is better to die in silence than to display the bad form of alerting the world to his predicament. As is often the case, the inability to admit one has a problem often results in a bigger one.

Padlocked - Brevity code that means "I have a bogie/bandit in sight and must maneuver immediately to maintain contact." All other aircraft must give way to a fighter that calls "padlocked."

Pipper - Gunsight symbol on the HUD. Shows where a burst of gun- or laserfire will impact. Placing the pipper on the target while firing should result in a hit.

RAG - Replacement Air Group. Air Wing in which pilots learn to fly a new aircraft. Also refers to an Air Wing undergoing preparations for deployment to a combat area.

RATA - Reconnaissance and Threat Assessment. Long-range intelligence gathering mission into hostile territory. Composed of one intelligence gathering aircraft (ES-11 Cat's Eye) and a three plane fighter escort. About the most unappealing mission one can fly due to the high risks involved.

RESCAP - Rescue Combat Air Patrol.

Silk Elevator - Parachute.

Skull - Callsign of the SDF-1's Air Wing Commander. Also known as "Skull-One" or "Skull Leader."

Tiger Meet - Annual competition stressing aerial gunnery dating back to the late-20th century. Fighter squadrons throughout the fleet send a representative to participate in the competition that lasts for five days. Called the "Tiger Meet" because on the final day of the competition judges choose the best looking "Tiger" paint scheme--painted on the representative aircraft by the members of its squadron.

TOW - Tail Over Water. When an aircraft is parked so close to the edge of the flight deck its tail is actually over the water. Common practice used to save space on the flight deck.

Trap - Arrested landing aboard an aircraft carrier.

Ultra Viper - Nickname for the F-24 "Dragon," because of its incredible agility. The original "Viper" was another highly agile dogfighter, the General Dynamics/Lockheed-Martin F-16 "Fighting Falcon."

Winchester - Brevity code meaning a fighter is out of ammunition.

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Copyright © 1995-98 by Jason Smith

(Author's Note: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual events, persons, etc. is coincidental--even if intentionally so!-- June 1995)

Based on characters and situations from
Robotech, © 1985 Harmony Gold, USA, Inc.

Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

HTML by Jason W. Smith

Copyright © 1997 Jason W. Smith
Version Last Updated: 07 March 1998