"wild horse"

For the knight on horseback, the bond with his horse was immensely important. The relationship of trust between humans and animals could mean the difference between life and death.
Today, the animals have almost exclusively been replaced by machines and complex specimens like the EUROFIGHTER are, as @jeanpierrekraemer so beautifully put it, “as close to Ironman as technologically possible”. This means that for the pilot, fighter aircraft are not only weapon systems, but also survival equipment. The aircraft enables its pilot to survive altitudes of well over 50,000', warns of threats, fends them off if necessary and, with its weaponry, increases the fighting power of the individual on board to an almost infinite extent. It is a technocratic interplay of electronics, mechanics and hydraulics that creates all of these possibilities. A machine is not a living being and yet I see it as more than just the totality of its parts. In my opinion, the relationship of trust between pilot and aircraft is as important as it once was between rider and horse.
When I approach an aircraft for the first time during a walk-around, the bonding begins. I touch the machine, speak to it. Walk over the wing leading edges, the IRIS-T seeker head, the back of the tanks. For me, machines have a soul and I want to reach them before I trust them. The two of us will be a team in the sky today, we will start together, we will fight together and we will return safely to the ground as one. It is my ritual, my time to bring concentration to full 100% and block out everything that is irrelevant. Every pilot decides for himself how he treats his machine, for me every EUROFIGHTER is a wild horse that wants to be tamed. And then we climb up together, always with the call sign MSTANG ("Mustang")
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