Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3568 EF-18A Hornet 12-09/C15-51, Ala 12, Spanish Air Force, 2020

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 production flight on April 12, 1980. The first 380 aircraft were F/A-18As and in September 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.

ALA 12 wing has been based at Torrejon AB since 1959 and since 1989 the unit has been equipped with F/18A/B Hornets. Between October 17 and 30th 2020 the unit took part in “Exercise Sky 2020” hosted by ALA 46 at Gando AB on the Canary Islands. This exercise is similar to others and is meant to increase operational readiness and improve intra unit efficiency. One of ALA 12’s aircraft that took part was 12-09/C15-51 serial 0781/A567. The main task for ALA-12 is tactical air support and maritime operations.

Specifications for the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B
Role – Fighter/Attack
Manufactured – 1980 to 1987
Numbers Produced
A – 371 B – 40
Crew
A – 1 B – 2
Dimensions
Length – 56 ft 0 in (17.07 m)
Wingspan – 40 ft 8 in (12.4 m)
Height – 15 ft 4 in (4.66 m)
Weight Empty – 28,000 lbs (12,700 kg)
Gross – 38,000 lbs (17,240 kg)
Maximum Take-off – 56,000 lb (25,400 kg)
Performance
Engines – 2 X GE F404-GE turbofans producing 10,600 lb.s.t. dry & 15,800 lb.s.t with afterburning per engine
Fuel Internal – 1,670 U.S. gal (6,322 l)
External – As many as 3 X 330 U.S. gal (1,249 l) drop tanks
Maximum Fuel – 2,660 U.S. gal (10,070 l)
Maximum Speed – Mach 1.8 1,190 mph (1,915 km/h) @ 35,000 ft (10,670 m)
Landing Speed – 150 mph (241.4 km/h)
Combat Ceiling – 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
Maximum Range – 2,875 miles (4,627 km)
ARMAMENT
1 X 20 mm M61A1 cannon in nose
PLUS Hard Points
4 X under-wing
2 X fuselage corner stations
1 X center-line
2 X wing-tip To carry AIM-9 Sidewinder Missiles
Or
AIM-7 Sparrow Missiles Plus Up to 3 external fuel tanks and other assorted ordnance