McDonnell Douglas FA-18A Hornet Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum San Diego

Plane Details

Plane: F/A-18A Hornet
Manufacturer:  McDonald Douglas
Unit: “Black Knights” VMFA-314
Tail Code: 

F/A-18A Aircraft History

F/A-18A Bureau Number 161749 was the 77th F/A-18A built by McDonnell Douglas. It was accepted by the Marine Corps in 1983 and was sent to the first USMC Hornet squadron, the “Black Knights” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) at MCAS El Toro, California. It spent its entire career at VMFA-314 and was removed from service in 1996 and sent to the Flying Leatherneck Aviation Museum. This aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

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

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
Crew: 1

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