The F/A-18 Hornet is one of the Navy's carrier-based fighter planes. It is powered by two turbojet engines and usually carries one pilot; most two-seaters are the -D training versions. Max speed is ~mach 1.8. It is smaller and more manuverable than the F-14. The echos and foxtrots can be recognized by their square-cut intakes; charlies and deltas have roundish intakes.

Also comes in various releases.. F/A-18 E/F superhornets are the latest replacements for the F/A-18 C and D's. Equiped with dual-redundant AMC's (advanced mission computers), and 5x5 active matrix liquid color displays. The back seats of the F's (two-seaters) are now being retro-fitted with an 8X10 inch AMLCD.

The combat-proven F/A-18 Hornet is a single- and dual-seat, twin-engine multimission tactical aircraft. It is the first tactical aircraft designed from its inception to carry out both air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.
A key aspect of the Hornet's popularity with pilots is the ease with which the aircraft can be converted from fighter to strike mode and back again; it's as easy as flipping a switch. During Operation Desert Storm, F/A-18s routinely performed fighter and strike missions on the same sortie. Fulfilling a variety of roles-air superiority, fighter escort, suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, forward air control, close air support, and day and night strike missions-the F/A-18 has proven to be the most versatile combat aircraft in service

The F/A-18 Hornet is actually a decendent of the F-16 Fighting Falcon. In the 1970's the Air Force wished to develop a fighter that was smaller and cheaper than the F-15 Eagle developed a few years earlier, and that could be exported to foreign allies. Northrop's entry into the competition was the YF-17, a dual engine, dual tailed fighter. In the end the YF-16 designed by General Dynamics (now owned by Lockheed Martin) won the competition, but many pilots still preferred the YF-17.

In a joint effort by Northrop and McDonnel Douglas the YF-17 was transformed into the F/A-18. The Navy preferred the dual engines which were safer for long missions over water. It also served as a small manueverable complement to the F-14 Tomcat.

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