Plane: FA-18A Hornet Adversary
Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
Tail Code: 22
F/A-18A Aircraft History:
F/A-18A BuNo 163152 was first delivered in 1987 to the Black Knights of 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 the “Sharpshooters” of VMFAT-101, the Marine Corps’ F/A-18 Fleet Replacement Squadron, in 2000. On April 4, 2005 this aircraft was struck from inventory and towed to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. This aircraft is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola Florida.
F/A – 18A Description Story
The F/A-18’s missions are close air support, Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD), fighter escort, air interdiction, and aerial reconnaissance.
The F/A-18 Hornet was developed from the Northrop YF-17 in the 1970’s and brought into Marine Corps service to replace the F-4 Phantom II. Originally the plan was to acquire two variants, the F-18A fighter and A-18A attack aircraft, but improvements in avionics, multi-function displays and a redesign of external stores stations, the A-18A and F-18A were able to be combined into one aircraft. The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II is scheduled to replace the F/A-18A and B models.
All F/A-18s can be configured quickly to perform either fighter or attack roles or both, through selected use of external equipment to accomplish specific missions. This “force multiplier” capability gives the operational commander more flexibility in employing tactical aircraft in a rapidly changing battle scenario. The fighter missions are primarily fighter escort and fleet air defense; while the attack missions are force projection, interdiction, and close and deep air support.
Specifications F/A-18A Hornet
Wingspan: 40 ft
Length: 56 ft
Height: 15 ft 4 in
Weight: 36,970 lbs
Max. Speed: Mach 1.8
Service Ceiling: 50,000 ft
Range: 1,089 miles
Engines: Two General Electric F404-GE- 400 turbofans