Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA5132 F/A-18F Super Hornet VF-102, US Navy, Atsugi Air Base, 2005

The McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is a twin-engine multi-role carrier-based aircraft. The “E” variant is single-seater while the “F” variant is a tandem-seat configuration. The “E” is a much larger, more advanced and more capable variant of the F/A-18C. The Super variant can carry a larger array of weapons as well as more of them and is capable of returning to the carrier while still carrying unspent munitions, a big savings in dollars. The first F/A-18E flight was in 1995 and began delivery to the USN in 1999.

VF-102 was established on July 1, 1955 in Jacksonville, Florida equipped with the F2H Banshee and then the F4D-1 Skyray followed by the F-4 Phantom II and the F-14A. After Jacksonville their home bases have been NAS Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia, NAS Lemoore, California where they were renamed VFA-102 training to use the new F/A-18F. Finally in 2003 the Diamondbacks moved to Atsugi, Japan. In 2005 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the squadron F/A-18F 165882 received an eye-catching paint scheme of red and white with a Diamondback snake on the tail.

McDonnell Douglas original designer, merged with Boeing 1997
F/A-18E Super Hornet
Crew - F/A-18E x 1 / F/A-18F x 2
Role – Multi-role attack and fighter
Performance
Powerplants – 2 x F414-GE-400 turbofans
Thrust (Static) – 22,000 lbs (9,977kg) per engine
Ceiling – 50,000 ft +
Speed – Mach 1.8 +
Weight – Maximum Gross Take-off 66,000 lbs (29,932 kg)
Dimensions
Length – 60.3 ft (18.5 m)
Height – 16 ft (4.87 m)
Wingspan – 44.9 ft (13.68 m)
Armament
1 x M61A1/A2 Vulcan 20mm cannon (internal)
Possible External Payload
AIM 9 Sidewinder
AIM 7 Sparrow
AIM-120 AMRAAM Harpoon
HARM Shrike SLAM SLAM-ER
Walleye Maverick JSOW (Joint-Stand-Off Weapon)
JDAM (Joint Direct Attack Munitions)
An assortment of bombs, mines and rockets