US Navy conducts F/A-18C final flight

“Classic” Hornet, fighter replaced the F-4 and A-7 in the 1980s and will continue to fly with the Marines until 2030

The US Navy made the last operational flight of an F/A-18C fighter on October 2. The Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 aircraft took off from Naval Air Station Puget Sound, Washington, ending a 31-year period in service.

“Today marked the final United States Navy F/A-18C operational Hornet flight,” said the Commodore, Command Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, Capt. Brian Becker.

During the last year, VFA-106 has transferred over 50 F/A-18 Hornets to various Navy Reserve and US Marine aviation commands, as well as being placed in preservation for future use if needed.

The F/A-18 was ordered by the Navy in the late 1970s to replace jets such as the F-4 Phantom and A-7 Corsair II in attack and air defense missions. It is derived from the YF-17 Cobra, a Northrop prototype that lost competition to the then General Dynamics (now Lockheed Martin) YF-16. McDonnell Douglas joined Northrop to offer the two-engine fighter to the Navy, creating the F/A-18, which began production in 1983.

The US Navy, however, made a controversial decision in the 1990s by ordering an advanced and larger version of the Hornet, the F/A-18E “Super Hornet”, which would become the main US carrier-based aircraft, while replacing jets like the F-14 Tomcat, A-6 Intruder and even the first F/A-18.

The F/A-18C is being transferred to Reserve and US Marine (USN)

Since then, the “classic” Hornet has been taken out of service, especially after the arrival of the F-35. The US Marines, however, still consider the original Hornet valuable and preferred to wait for the delivery of the F-35B and F-35C before withdrawing the F/A-18C from 2030. Outside the US, however, many air forces still fly Hornet such as Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Spain and Switzerland.

Interestingly, the F-A-18C is still flying the Blue Angels squadron aircraft, until the end of 2021, when they will fly with the Super Hornet.

One of Hornet’s prototypes in the 1970s: versatile solution for the US Navy (Boeing)


Popular posts

Previous Post

Airbus may close A220 sales deal for Ethiopian and Interjet

Next Post

Embraer makes first test with autonomous aircraft

Related Posts