How long does it take to cross Spain in a F18 military jet? ABC
Fighter pilot reveals how long it takes to cross Spain from end to end: 'If you're flying at top speed...'

Fighter pilot reveals how long it takes to cross Spain from end to end: 'If you're flying at top speed...'

Military man Antonio Mancebo, who flies a Spanish air force F18 jet, compares the time it takes against that of a commercial aircraft

Virginia López Esplá


Tuesday, 21 May 2024


The world of aviation is a big topic of interest for many people. Virtually all of us are used to travelling commercial aircraft for business and leisure travel.

However, military aircraft continue to arouse a lot of curiosity not only because of the flying machine or the missions for which they are mobilised, but also because of the skills required to fly them.

This question was addressed in the popular Spanish podcast 'Búscate la Vida', where they interviewed Antonio Mancebo, a member of the Air Force who flies a F18 fighter jet.

Among other curiosities about his work, he was asked how many missiles the device can carry, to which he replied that "there are many configurations, but you can carry six, seven, eight". He also explained that "there are basically two types of missiles, infrared missiles that seek heat and radar missiles that you fire from a long distance and these are guided by the plane's radar". Whether you carry one, the other or both depends on the threat at the time.

How long does it take for a F18 to cross Spain?

But beyond this, what happens if there is an emergency and a F18 has to head out to a certain point? How long would it take to arrive?

Mancebo operates from Torrejón (Madrid) and would head there in the event of a problem, for example, in the Strait of Gibraltar. If you fly at the maximum speed, you can be there in about 15 minutes," he said.

In the case of a Barcelona-Galicia "it could be half an hour". "To give you an idea, the F18, if we are talking about maximum speeds, goes a little more than twice as fast as a commercial aircraft and can go higher. If in the end you do the numbers with a commercial plane, bearing in mind that it doesn't follow a straight route but has to follow the instructions of the air traffic controllers, it roughly splits it in half and that's how long it's going to take you", explained Mancebo.

With these calculations, the military man pointed out that a Madrid-Barcelona flight in a commercial aircraft can take around 50 minutes, while in a military fighter plane such as the F18, it can be reduced to 20 minutes.

Reporta un error en esta noticia

* Campos obligatorios