F/A-18 Hornet -VFC-12
SCALE & KIT
Jarek Rydzu Rydzyński
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 Boeing) and Northrop, 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 has a top speed of Mach 1.8 (1,034 knots, 1,190 mph or 1,915 km/h at 40,000 ft or 12,200 m). It can carry a wide variety of bombs and missiles, including air-to-air and air-to-ground, supplemented by the 20-mm M61 Vulcan cannon. It is powered by two General Electric F404 turbofan engines, which give the aircraft a high thrust-to-weight ratio. The F/A-18 has excellent aerodynamic characteristics, primarily attributed to its leading-edge extensions. The fighter’s primary missions are 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.
The Hornet first saw combat action during the 1986 United States bombing of Libya and subsequently participated in the 1991 Gulf War and 2003 Iraq War. The F/A-18 Hornet served as the baseline for the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, its larger, evolutionary redesign.
Fighter Squadron Composite Twelve (VFC-12) is a United States Navy Reserve fighter squadron based at NAS Oceana, providing adversary training to East Coast air wings. VFC-12 reports to Commander Tactical Support Wing, a component of Commander, Naval Air Reserve Force (COMNAVAIRESFOR). The “Fighting Omars” is manned by selected reservists, full-time reservists (FTS) and active duty personnel.
The squadron’s radio callsign is “Ambush” and their tailcode is AF. Squadron aircraft no longer wear the unique adversary blue camouflage paint scheme which they have been known for but upgraded to the SU-35 Flanker Prototype 2 Arctic Splinter Camouflage in late 2012 when they transitioned back to the F/A-18A+. The Splinter Camouflage paint scheme was designed by veteran; Darrall W. Taylor Jr (former; AD3 Taylor).
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