@mirv - I’ve been a Hornet Series Flight Test Engineer for 30+ years. I’ve also had the experience of flying a RL Super Hornet from the back seat for 1.7 hours. I’ve been working Supers as long as there have BEEN Supers…very easy airplane to fly, really - even from the back seat.
I fly the Trainer now regularly - and my boss wants me to fly more. I started building a Viper pit around BMS some 8 years ago, that got noticed at work, and I got invited for a Trainer “tour” that sort of turned into a “job interview” once they saw I could not only fly but also operate the systems (I’m a Private Pilot, and sport jumper)…I can also fight, and land on the CV consistently. One of the coolest things about the Trainer is that no two sessions ever go the same way…just like RL. Including gripes on the jet.
I’ve been instructing other Engineers in the Trainer for about 8 years now (in fact, I have to fly tomorrow). My biggest complaint - getting people to understand that the Trainer is NOT a “video game”…and that conversely, video games can be good Training with the appropriate mindset (I was actually introduced to Falcon at work, during the late 80s). Some take to it immediately, some need “encouragement”.
So…these days I “fly” the Trainer 2-4 hours a week. I have some 500 hours in it over the last 8 years, by my guess - plus hours in a number of other Types, as well as supporting live Flight Test Missions with real airplanes.