It’s been 35 years since the F/A-18 Hornet took its first flight.
The F/A-18 Hornet community celebrated the anniversary during a ceremony Monday at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.
The F/A-18 Hornet took its first flight Nov. 18, 1978. It was originally designed to replace the F-4 Phantom and the A-7 Corsair II. Today, the F/A-18 platform, including the Hornet, Super Hornet and EA-18G Growler, operate in 44 Navy and 11 Marine Corps strike fighter and electronic attack squadrons worldwide.
The F/A-18 Hornet, an all-weather aircraft, is used as an attack aircraft as well as a fighter. In its fighter mode, the F/A-18 is used primarily as a fighter escort and for fleet air defense; in its attack mode, it is used for force projection, interdiction, and close and deep air support.
Capt. Frank Morley, F/A-18 and EA-18G program manager, discusses the Legacy Hornet, Super Hornet and Growler.
F/A-18 by the numbers…
Experience a flight in an F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to the Checkmates of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 during a deployment in 2011 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (CVN 65).
- Nov. 18, 1978: First flight of the F/A-18 Hornet
- Oct. 25, 1982: Canada, the first international purchaser of the F/A-18, receives its first two CF-18s.
- Nov. 8, 1986: The Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron Blue Angels unveils its present aircraft, the F/A-18 Hornet.
- Jan. 18, 1997: First carrier-based arrested landing of the F/A-18F Super Hornet on the deck of the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74)
- Aug. 3, 2006: Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Mullen accepts the first EA-18G Growler during a roll-out ceremony held at the Boeing Co. in St. Louis.
- July 8, 2009: The Royal Australian Air Force accepted its first F/A-18F Super Hornet during a roll-out ceremony at Boeing’s manufacturing facility in St. Louis.
- Aug. 5, 2009: EA-18G Growlers from Electronic Attack Squadron 129 (VAQ-129) and Electronic Attack Squadron 132 (VAQ-132) complete their first at-sea carrier-arrested landing aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75).
- July 12, 2011: U.S. Navy marks 8 million accumulated flight hours for the F/A-18 family of aircraft.
- May 3, 2013: In the first international sale of the EA-18G, the Australian government announces the purchase of Growlers for the Royal Australian Air Force.
Source: Naval Air Systems Command