McDonnell Douglas FA-18A Hornet Adversary Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum

Plane Details

Plane: F/A-18A Hornet Aggressor Colors
Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas Corporation; St. Louis, MO
Unit: Fighter Training in VMFAT 101  
Tail Code: 22
Function: Carrier-based, all-weather fighter/attack; Close-air support; Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD); fighter escort; air interdiction; aerial reconnaissance
Crew: 1

F/A-18A  Aggressor Colors Aircraft History:

This aircraft bears the “splinter” paint scheme of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron (VMFAT) 101. This unit is currently based at MCAS Miramar. The purpose of this group is to train replacement aircrews (RAC) for the F/A-18 Hornet.

The 44 week training program teaches new pilots how to use the F/A-18 in various combat scenarios. It is broken up into four phases. Phase 1 is called “Transition.” This focuses on aircraft procedures like Naval Air Training and Operating Procedures Standardization (NATOPS) knowledge, aircraft combat systems, navigation, night flying, formation flying, and basic radar intercepts. Phase 2 is called “Strike.” This covers basic dive bombing, low-altitude tactics, high-altitude target attacks, Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM) employment, close air support, and night vision goggle flight. In other words, this phase focuses on teaching pilots how to use the Hornet in ground attack missions. Phase 3 is called “Air to Air.” In this phase, students learn how to dogfight in the F/A-18 in basic fighter maneuvers (BFM). Phase 4 is called “Carrier Qualification.” This is an intense period where pilots practice landing on aircraft carriers. Once they have finished their final tests in this phase, pilots are assigned to fleet squadrons.

Bureau Number: 163152

Airframe History

This F/A-18A was first delivered in 1987 to Marine Strike Fighter Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) at MCAS El Toro, California. It spent time in the U.S. Navy with the “Rough Raiders” of Strike Fighter Squadron 125 (VFA-125) at NAS Lemoore, CA, before returning to the Marine Corps with the “Grey Ghosts” of VMFA-531 back at MCAS El Toro. ‘152 did another tour with VMFA-314 before moving to MCAS Miramar with VMFAT-101 in 2000. On April 4, 2005 this

Specifications F/A-18A Hornet

Length: 56 ft, 0 in
Wing Span: 37 ft, 6 in
Height: 15 ft, 4 in

Max Speed: 1,134 kts (1,305 mph)
Rate of climb: 44,300 ft/min
Ceiling: 50,000 ft
Powerplant: 2 × General Electric F404-GE-400Range: 2,001 nm (2,303 mi)
Thrust: 10,600 lbs each, dry; 16,016 lbs each, AB

Cannon: M61 20mm Vulcan – 570 rounds
Missiles: AIM-9L/M Sidewinder; AIM-120 AMRAAM; AIM-7F Sparrow; AGM-62 Walleye; AGM-65 Maverick; AGM-84 Harpoon; AGM-88 HARM
Rockets: 5 in. Zuni Rocket Pod
Bombs: MK-82 500 lb GP; MK-83 1,000 lb GP; MK-84 2,000 lb GP; GBU-10, 12, 16 Paveway; MK-20 Rockeye II Cluster; CBU-59 BLU-77 Cluster; CBU-78 BLU-91/BLU-92 Cluster; MK-77 750 lb Incendiary

External Stations: 9 – 6 wing, 3 fuselage
13,700 lbs total load

McDonnell Douglas FA-18A Hornet Adversary at the Flying Leatherneck Historical Aviation Museum San Diego