Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA3574 F/A-18A "RAAF 3 Sqn 100th Anniversary Scheme" A21-27, RAAF Base Williamtown , 2016

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 October 28, 2016 an important celebration was held by the RAAF at base Williamtown, NSW. It was the Centenary of the RAAF 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Squadrons that were formed in 1916. One of the special paint schemes for this historic event was completed for the 3rd Squadron aircraft F/A-18A A21-27. The paint scheme commemorates the 3rd Squadron 2nd highest scoring ACE’s P-40E Kittyhawk that wore desert camo scheme. Wing Commander R. Bobby Gibbes was twice the 3rd Squadron CO and had 10 victories, DSO, DFC and Bar.

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