Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3534 McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A "A21-35" "30 Year Anniversary" of
RAAF F-18 Hornet

The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft. The F/A-18s first flew in November 1978 and the first 1987 production switched to the F/A-18C. Variants A and C are single-seat aircraft while B and D are tandem-seats. The Hornet can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases with the capability of in flight refueling. A total of 1,480 A-D variants were built.

F/A-18A A21-35 was built as C/N 588/AF-35 Block 22, delivered on July 31, 1988 and initially went into service with 75 SQN/81 WG. In 2004 the aircraft went to 2 OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) located at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales. A21-35 was chosen to wear a special Red Tail paint scheme for the 2015/2016 season. The scheme marks 30 years since the introduction of the F/A-18 Hornet in RAAF service. The RAAF F/A-18s have undergone major upgrades to keep them flying until around 2020 when F-35s will replace them.

Specifications for the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C/D Hornet
Role - supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft
Crew – 1 x F/A-18C, 2 x F/A-18D (Pilot and Weapons Systems Officer – WSO)
Dimensions
Length – 56 ft (17.1 m)
Wingspan
With AAMs – 40 ft 5 in (12.31 m)
Folded – 27 ft 6 in (8.38 m)
Height – 15 ft 4 in (4.7 m)
Weights
Empty – 23,000 lb (10,400 kg)
Loaded – 36,970 lb (16,770 kg)
Maximum Take off – 51,900 lb (23,500 kg)
Performance
Powerplants – 2 x General Electric F404-GE-402 turbofan
Dry Thrust – 11,000 lbf (48.9 kN) per engine
After Burner Thrust – 17,750 lbf (79.2 kN) per engine
Maximum Speed – Mack 1.8 (1,190 mph) (1,915 km/h) @ 40,000 ft (12,190 m)
Range – 1,089 nmi (1,250 miles) (2,000 km) with 2 x AIM-9s
Combat Radius – 400 nmi (460 miles) (740 km) air-to-air missions
Ferry Range – 1,800 nmi (2,070 miles) (3,330 km)
Service Ceiling – 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
Rate of Climb – 50,000 ft/min (254 m/s)
Armament
1 x 20 mm M61 Vulcan cannon mounted in nose with 578 rounds
9 x Hardpoints - a capacity of 13,700 lb (6,215 kg) with external fuel tanks and ordnance
2 x wingtip missile launch rails
4 x under-wing
3 x under-fuselage
Rockets
2.75 inch (70 mm) Hydra 70 rockets
5 inch (127 mm) Zuni rockets
Missiles
Air-To-Air 4 x AIM-9 Sidewinders
or
4 x AIM-132 ASRAAM
or
4 x IRIS-T or 4 x AIM-120 AMRAAM and 2 x AIM-7 Sparrow
or
Additional - 2 x AIM-120 AMRAAM
Air-To-Surface
AGM-65 Maverick
Standoff Land Attack Missiles (SLAM-ER)
AGM-88 HARM Anti-radiation Missile (ARM)
AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)
Taurus Missile (Cruise Missile)
Anti-ship
AGM-84 Harpoon
Bombs
JDAM Precision-Guided Munition (PGM)
Paveway series of Laser-guided bombs
Mk. 80 series of unguided iron bombs
CBU-87 cluster bombs
CBU-89 gator mine
CBU-97
Mk. 20 Rockeye II
B61/Mk. 57 nuclear bombs
Others
SUU-42A Flares/Infrared decoys dispenser pod and chaff pod
Or
Electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod
Or
AN/AAS-38 Nite Hawk targeting pod (USN only) to be replaced by AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR
Or
LITENING targeting pod (only used by USMC, Royal Australian Air Force, Spanish Air Force and Finnish Air Force)
Or
Up to 3 x 330 US gallons (270 imp gallons / 1,200 liters) Sargent Fletcher drop tanks for ferry flight Or Extended range/loitering time
Avionics
Hughes APG-73 radar
ROVER (Remotely Operated Video Enhanced Receiver) antenna for use by USN F/A-18C strike fighter squadrons
Inertial Navigation System (INS)
GPS
2 x mission computers
HUD (Head Up Display) cockpit display
Very High Frequency (VHF) omni-directional landing system
Multiple-functioning Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) display