Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

1978 McDonnel Douglas F/A-18A Hornet

F/A-18A Hornet aka “Legacy Hornet”

SN – 161948

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. 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.

F-18 Hornet


Dimensions & Capacity

Crew: 1
Length: 56 ft 1 in (17.1 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft 4 in (12.3 m) with AIM-9 Sidewinders on wingtip LAU-7 launchers
Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.7 m)
Empty Weight: 23,000 lb (10,433 kg)
Max Take Off Weight: 51,900 lb (23,541 kg)


Speed: Maximum – 1,034 kn (1,190 mph, 1,915 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,000 m); Cruise 570 kn (660 mph, 1,060 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 50, 000 ft (15,000 m)
Range: 1,089 nmi (1,253 mi, 2,017 km)


Guns: 1× 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan nose-mounted 6-barrel rotary cannon, 578 rounds​
Hardpoints: 9 total: 2× wingtips missile launch rail, 4× under-wing, and 3× under-fuselage with a capacity of 13,700 lb (6,200 kg) external fuel and ordnance, with provisions to carry combinations of:


  • 2.75 in (70 mm) Hydra 70 rockets
  • 5 in (127.0 mm) Zuni rockets

Air-to-Air Missiles:

  • 2 × AIM-9 Sidewinder on wingtips and
  • 8 × AIM-9 Sidewinder (with double-racks) or 4× AIM-132 ASRAAM or 4× IRIS-T or 8× AIM-120 AMRAAM (with double-racks) and
  • 2× AIM-7 Sparrow or 2× AIM-120 AMRAAM

Air-to-Surface Missiles:

  • 4 x AGM-65 Maverick
  • AGM-84H/K Standoff Land Attack Missile Expanded Range (SLAM-ER)
  • AGM-88 HARM Anti-radiation missile (ARM)
  • 4x AGM-154 Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW)
  • AGM-158 Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile (JASSM)
  • Taurus Cruise missile

Anti-Ship Missile: AGM-84 Harpoon


  • B83 nuclear bomb
  • B61 nuclear bomb
  • Joint Direct Attack Munition JDAM precision-guided munition (PGMs)
  • Paveway series of laser-guided bombs
  • Mk 80 series of unguided iron bombs
  • CBU-78 Gator
  • CBU-87 Combined Effects Munition
  • CBU-97 Sensor Fuzed Weapon
  • Mk 20 Rockeye II
  • MK-77 Incendiary Bomb


  • ADM-141 TALD
  • SUU-42A/A Flares/Infrared decoys dispenser pod and chaff pod or Electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod or AN/AAS-38 Nite Hawk Targeting pods (US Navy only), now being replaced by AN/ASQ-228 ATFLIR or LITENING targeting pod (USMC, Royal Australian Air Force, Spanish Air Force, and Finnish Air Force only) or up to 3× 330 US gallons (1,200 l; 270 imp gal) Sargent Fletcher FPU-8/A drop tanks for ferry flight or extended range/loitering time.

“This aircraft on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum on behalf of the Navy History and Heritage Command”

Visit Us & Soar Through History!