The F/A-18 Hornet is a modern jet fighter built by McDonnell Aircraft Company. The F/A-18 is based upon the experimental YF-17 designed and built by Northrop Corporation during the 1970's under contract with the U.S. Air Force. In a tight competition, General Dynamics' F-16 Falcon was ultimately chosen as the Air Force's mainstay fighter. Later, in an effort to salvage their efforts, Northrop teamed up with McDonnell Douglas to produce a new naval air combat fighter known as VFAX. McDonnell Douglas' experience was useful because of their extensive background in carrier-based fighter design. For this reason, Mcdonnell Douglas became the primary contractor with Northrop being the major subcontractor. The Mcdonnell Douglas F-18 flew for the first time on November 18th, 1987. The F/A-18 is a larger and broader version of the YF-17 adding greatly improved performance. The F/A-18 is powered by two GE F404 engines producing 16,000lbs of thrust each making the airplane's maximum speed Mach 1.8.
Nation of Origin: USA
Constructor: McDonnell Douglas
Type: Multi role fighter
Wingspan: 44.9 feet (13.68 meters)
Length: 60.3 feet (18.5 meters)
Height: 16 feet (4.87 meters)
Wing Area: 400sq.ft
Engines: Two 16,000lb thrust GE F404-400 Augmented Turbofans
Max Speed: Mach 1.7-1.8
Climb Rate: 50,000ft/min
Combat Radius: 405nm
Armament: One fixed 20mm M61A-1 Multi-Barrel Cannon with 570 Rounds; AIM 9 Sidewinder, AIM 7 Sparrow, AIM-120 AMRAAM, Harpoon, Harm, Shrike, SLAM, SLAM-ER, Walleye, Maverick missiles; Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW); Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM); various general purpose bombs, mines and rockets.