F/A-18 Super Hornet In Action …

This should be the best F/A-18 video so far.

Spectacular footage of F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets in action as they operate in the sky. Video footage contains a F/A-18 Super Hornet carrier break, F-18 Super hornet missile launches, the chasing of a cruise missile by a F/A-18 Super Hornet, hi-speed low level flight maneuvers and a F-18 carrier landings. All scenes are filmed from the cockpits of the F/A-18 Hornets and Super Hornets.

Timeline of action:

00:00-00:19 F/A-18 Carrier Break
00:19-1:08 F/A-18 Bomb and Missile Launches
1:08-3:59 F/A-18 High-Speed Low Level Fligh Maneuvers
4:00-7:30 F/A-18 Chasing Cruise Missile
7:30-8:37 F/A-18 Carrier Landing

00:00-8:37 F/A-18 Super Hornet Cockpit View

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft (hence the F/A designation). Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now part of Boeing) and Northrop (now part of Northrop Grumman), the F/A-18 was derived from the latter’s YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The Hornet is also used by the air forces of several other nations, and since 1986, by the U.S. Navy’s Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.

The F/A-18 was designed to be a highly versatile aircraft due to its avionics, cockpit displays, and excellent aerodynamic characteristics, with the ability to carry a wide variety of weapons. The aircraft can perform fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses, air interdiction, close air support, and aerial reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized for its lack of range and payload compared to its earlier contemporaries, such as the Grumman F-14 Tomcat in the fighter and strike fighter role, and the Grumman A-6 Intruder and LTV A-7 Corsair II in the attack role.

During flight testing, the snag on the leading edge of the stabilators was filled in, and the gap between the leading-edge extensions (LEX) and the fuselage was mostly filled in. The gaps, called the boundary layer air discharge slots, controlled the vortices generated by the LEX and presented clean air to the vertical stabilizers at high angles of attack, but they also generated a great deal of parasitic drag, worsening the problem of the F/A-18’s inadequate range. McDonnell filled in 80% of the gap, leaving a small slot to bleed air from the engine intake. This may have contributed to early problems with fatigue cracks appearing on the vertical stabilizers due to extreme structural loads, resulting in a short grounding in 1984 until the stabilizers were strengthened. Starting in May 1988, a small vertical fence was added to the top of each LEX to broaden the vortices and direct them away from the vertical stabilizers. This also provided a minor increase in controllability as a side effect.

F/A-18s of early versions had a problem with insufficient rate of roll, exacerbated by the insufficient wing stiffness, especially with heavy underwing ordnance loads. The first production F/A-18A flew on 12 April 1980. After a production run of 380 F/A-18As (including the nine assigned to flight systems development), manufacture shifted to the F/A-18C in September 1987.

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