OK, I know that you all hate to see these kind of threads but i still think that this is worth to be written. We all know the Hornet as a good
fighter, it has for instance served during "operation Sandstorm" "operation iraqi freedom" and many other operations with exellent grades. The
plane is well-known, but many still think that the Hornet isn't a match for "super fighters". But I think that the Hornets adavntage is that it's
simple, no "overdoing" with the aerodynamics and the computers, just simple and stylish.
The Hornet has a long and interesting history. In 1972 it made it first flight under NASA. The planes name was YF-17 and it was designed to be the
next fighter in the "Lightweight Fighter Program". But that wasn't' good enough, the USAAF demanded a new "top-fighter" to it's carriers,
because the well-known "Northop" F-5 had became wery old and it's top-speed wasn't good enough in dogfights. Because the success with the YF-17
the NAVY demanded that the "Northop" should team up with "McDonnell Douglas" company so that the next plane (of the YF-17 project) would be made
by the best engineers in the country. The engineers had one main idea to follow. The next fighter shold be a cheap lightweight strike fighter to the
expensive and complex F-14 Tomcat.
The resultat was the Hornet A (with one seat) and B modell (for two persons). The Hornet mad it''s first flight in 1978 and entered service in 1983.
It became wery soon clear that the modell was a success and the improoved modell became active in 1987. The next modell had a greter fuselage witch
was the first models weakness. At this time the NAVY and the AF posessed 371 fighters of the Hornet model. The C/D models came shortly after, and they
had an even greter fuselage and better maneuverability.
Because the F-14 was coming to it's "end" (still not retired
), The NAVY/AF decided not to make an improoved model of the F/A-18 C/D but rather
to make a whole new fighter. Because of the sucess with the Hornet, McDonnell Douglas still decided to keep the Hornets "base" models, and improve
it with the best sides of the old models. ANd that's were the history ends, The best Hornet model today in service is the E/F models, and they will
surely not be the las ones.
The F/A-18 base design is same in all the models, just small changes in the plane can tell you that it isn't about an "a model" and not a "C
model" for instance.
The F/A 18 is a twin engine, mid-wing multi mission tactical aircraft, (direct copy
). The Hornet's advantages are it's superbe maneuverability
and it's thrust. The plane is therefore well-known for its maneuverability. An other advantage is the Hornets multi-fuctional display. 4 displays
taht tell you about position, planes weapons etc. etc. Many pilots and engineers think that the plane is designed with maintenance in mind. The
Hornets General electrics produce 17,700 lbf, (79 kN) thrust each. And the engines are also easy to maintain.
The "old" Hornet models, A, B are used primarly for training. And the C/D models are being used as an all weaather strike aircraft. The Hornet's
have made good success abroad. Already 7 countrys posess Hornet in their fleets including Canada, Australia, Finland (Go Finland
), Kuwait, Malaysia,
Spain and Switzerland.
The Hornet is a multi functional air craft. It's main weapon are the "samrt bombs" wich make much damage even thoug they have a small size. The
Hornet contains only one weapon " directly from the shop". A 20 mm gattling gun or M61 vulcan. The machine guns are often used in dog fights or in
preamting strikes, (before the missiles are fired).
AIM-9 Sidewinder, AIM-120 AMRAAM, AIM-7 Sparrow
AGM-45_Shrike, AGM-65 Maverick, AGM-88 HARM, SLAM-ER, JSOW
CBU-87 cluster, CBU-89 gator mine, CBU-97, Paveway, JDAM, Mk 80 series, nuclear bombs
Crew: 1(A/C) 2(B/D)
Unit Cost: $39.5 Million
rime: McDonnell Douglas; Major Subcontractor: Northrop
November 1995 (E/F models)
October 1983 (A/B models)
September 1987 (C/D models)
September 2001 (E/F models)
Length: 56 ft 4 in (17.1 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft (12.3 m)
Height: 15 ft 4 in (4.7 m)
Wing area: 300 ft² (27.87 m²)
Empty: 12,500 lb (5,700 kg)
Loaded: lb ( kg)
Maximum Takeoff: 29,750 lb (13,400 kg)
Engine: 2x General Electric F404-GE-402 enhance performance turbofans
Thrust: 17,700 lbf per engine (79 kN) thrust
Maximum speed: Mach 1.8+
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
Apart from the US Navy, US Marine Corps and NASA (which received 1048 aircraft), the F/A-18 is used by the armed forces of:
Australia (Royal Australian Air Force)
Canada (Canadian Armed Forces, designation CF-188 and CF-188B, a/k/a CF-18 Hornet) 138 aircraft
Finland (Suomen Ilmavoimat, F-18C/D interceptor variant) 64 Aircraft
Kuwait (Al Quwwat Aj Jawwaiya Al Kuwaitiya) 40 Aircraft
Malaysia (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia [F-18D]) 8 Aircraft
Spain (Ejército del Aire, designation C.15/EF-18) 72 EF-18 and an additional 24 F/A-18 from the US inventory
Switzerland (Kommando der Flieger und Fliegeabwehrtruppen) 34 Aircraft
EDIT:Mod edit of oversized images/pictures.
[edit on 9-7-2005 by Seekerof]