Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power
HA3569 F/A-18D ATARS 164886, VMFA(AW)-224 "Bengals", MCAS Iwakuni, Japan 2009

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.

On May 1, 1942 VMF-224 “Bengals” was commissioned and in 1951 received their first jet, F2H-2 Banshee. In 1952 VMF-224 became VMA-224 flying the Panther. In 1965 VMA-224 went to Vietnam and in 1966 received the A-6A Intruder and a unit name change to VMA(AW)-224. In 1993 saw yet another unit name change to VMFA(AW)-224 and upgraded to the F/A-18D Hornet. Starting in January 2009 the Bengals spent time at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan until July that year. F/A-18D 164886 was ATARS equipped (Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System), electro-optical sensor package which replaces the nose gun.

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 – Mach 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