F/A-18 Hornet

One of the most difficult maneuvers a pilot can pull is an aircraft carrier landing. 120718-N-XL102-195F/A-18 pilots are on aircraft carrier duty for the USAF sometimes. It’s wings fold up for easy storage on the aircraft carrier flight deck, to fit more planes on. An F/A-18 Hornet will drop its tailhook and catches an arresting wire, bringing the plane from 150 mph to 0 mph in two seconds.

blue angel.jpgThe F/A-18 is also a main US Navy Blue Angels aircraft. They can fly Hornets with only 18 inch wing separation!

The F/A-18 is a strike fighter, it can attack land or air targets. With the catapult of the air craft carrier, which I’ll get to in a minute, along with it’s amazing top speed of 1,190 mph (more than mach 1.5), a Hornet can get to where it needs to be in next to no time at all.

On an aircraft carrier deck, an F/A-18 will get attached to a holdback device, and starts its two General Electric F404’s, the same engine as the F-117A Nighthawk uses. then, the holdback device releases, and a “catapult” launches it forward. Parts of the flight deck can angle up to deflect the jet blast.

Each heavily armed F/A-18 carries “a variety of weapons including an 0.8-inch(20-mm) cannon, air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles,and laser guided bombs.” page 47 of Flight by Von Hardesty.Exercise RIMPAC 2014

Introduced somewhere between 1983 and ’84 this strike fighter is still in use today, and can refuel in the air.

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