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Boeing F/A-18C Hornet (Blue Angel #4)

Number Built:
McDonnell Douglas
Multirole combat aircraft

The F/A-18 Hornet first flew in 1978 and first entered service with the US Marine Corps in 1983 and the US Navy in 1984. These aircraft replaced the aging fleets of F-4 Phantom II’s and A-7 Corsairs at the end of their service lives. The Hornet was designed as an all-weather, twin engine, multi-roll, carrier borne fighter and attack aircraft. In the fighter role it is primarily used as an escort fighter and fleet air-defense platform. In the attack role, this versatile aircraft is used for ground strike, close air support, interdiction, and fleet force projection extending the fleet’s offensive range.

The first combat for the F/A-18 was in Operation Desert Storm where Hornets regularly had to shoot down enemy targets and bomb ground targets during the same flight showing its true versatility in the fighter and attack roles.

Aircraft on Display:
F/A-18C Bureau Number 163768 served with both Navy and Marine Corps squadrons before joining the Blue Angels in 2011. Two squadrons it flew with were VFA-192 onboard the USS Independence (CV-62) in the early 1990’s supporting Operation Desert Storm and with VMFA-212 “Lancers” in 2002-2003 out of Kuwait supporting Operations Southern Watch and Enduring Freedom.

Please visit our “7 Fun Fact About the Blue Angels” blog post for more information about this aircraft.

Deployment Date
7 January 1983
37 feet 5 inches
56 feet
15 feet 3.5 inches
Fighter, 36,710 pounds; attack, 49,224 pounds
Max. Speed
1,360 mph plus
Service Ceiling
50,000 feet
1,089 nmi (1,253 mi; 2,017 km)
One crew