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Navy Fighter Pilot Slang

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A San Diego, California, listener shares some slang used by her father, who was a Navy fighter pilot. To “bang off the cat” is to take off from an aircraft carrier. The meatball refers to the landing system that requires lining up with an amber light. And bingo fuel is the exact minimum amount of fuel a jet needs to get back and land on its designated runway. Some of these terms pop up in a 1954 New York Times Magazine article called “Jet-Stream of Talk.” This is part of a complete episode.

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