Tag Archives: McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

Blue Angels low flyby over Pensacola Beach sends tents and umbrellas flying

A high speed low flyby causes an unexpected side effect on the shore.

Filmed on the shore at Pensacola Beach, Florida, the following video shows Blue Angels #5 perform a low flyby during the airshow on Jul. 11.

While spectators are distracted by the slow speed pass, another one at very high-speed comes almost unexpected.

The wake turbulence caused by the F/A-18 Hornet of the U.S. Navy display demo team causes tents and umbrellas to fly into the air.

No one was injured by the flying beach umbrellas whilst the crowd seemed to really appreciate the stunt.

Fast low flybys are among the highlights of Blue Angels demo flights at Pensacola.


Stunning photos of U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets launching night air strikes on ISIS

Some cool shots of U.S. Marine Corps Hornets launching for a mission in support of Operation Inherent Resolve missions.

Taken on Jun. 10, the following photographs show U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornet from Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232, Special Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force—Crisis Response—Central Command, preparing and launching for a strike mission against Islamic State targets.

Deployed from their homebase at MCAS Miramar, VMFA-232 fly the “Legacy” Hornets in a combination of surveillance flights and kinetic strike missions in support of Iraqi Security Forces in their fight against ISIS.

Noteworthy, the Marines F-18s appear to have been removed of their IFR (In-Flight Refueling) probe cover. In the past, other U.S. warplanes, including the U.S. Navy F-14s involved in Desert Storm, conducted combat operations without the probe hatch in order to prevent it to get jammed with the basket used by some aerial refuelers (like the U.S. Air Force KC-135s) or because it blocked during AAR (Air-to-Air Refueling) ops as a consequence of low temperatures at night.

Image credit: U.S. Marine Corps


F/A-18 Hornet pilot’s first person view of low level formation flying over Fjords

This cool footage was filmed from a Finnish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet pilot.

Nine nations have taken part in Arctic Challenge Exercise 2015, a multinational flying exercise that included approximately 115 combat aircraft deployed at several airbases in Sweden and Norway.

Among the air arms that attended ACE 2015 there is the Finnish Air Force that took part in the drills with F/A-18 Hornet jets based at Rovaniemi (Finland) and Bodø (Norway).

On Jun. 4, at the end of their ACE 2015 mission, two FiAF Hornets returned to Bodø flying over the Norwegian coastline, mountains and fjords: here below you can see the view those pilots enjoyed from their cockpits.

If you can’t see the video below, click here to watch it on FB.

H/T Giuliano Ranieri for the heads-up

F-18s and F-5s provide Davos World Economic Forum 2015 Air Defense

Here’s the Swiss Air Force jets providing air defense over Davos WEF meeting.

From Jan. 21 to 24, the Swiss Air Force contributed to the security of the WEF international conference held at Davos, in Switzerland.

A circular No-Fly Zone, centered in Davos, with a radius of 25 NM, was enforced by the Swiss F/A-18 Hornets of the Fliegerstaffel 11 and the F-5E Tigers of the Fliegerstaffel 8 from Meiringen airbase, main operating base of the air security operation.

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Needless to say, all the aircraft taking part in the air policing missions carried live air-to-air missiles: the Tiger jets carried AIM-9P Sidewinder IR-guided AAM (Air-to-Air Missiles) at the wingtips, whereas the Hornets carried 2 AIM-9X Sidewinders at the wingtips and either two AIM-120 AMRAAM (Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missiles) or one AIM-120 and the ATFLIR (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infra Red) pod underneath the fuselage.

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Some of the Hornets had the text “STDY 121.5” message on their centerline external fuel tank: a message to any intruder to switch to the international emergency frequency 121.5 MHz to get instructions from the interceptor and the air defense radar.

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Many F-5Es sported the former Patrouille Suisse color scheme.

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The images in this post were taken at Meiringen by The Aviationist’s contributor Alessandro Fucito.

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Russian spyplane violates Lithuania airspace, Canadian Hornets intercept it

Two Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet jets intercepted and shadowed a Russian Air Force Il-20 Coot over Lithuania.

On Nov. 8, two RCAF CF-18 (or CF-188) Hornet jets deployed to Lithuania for NATO Baltic Air Policing mission were radar-vectored to intercept and escort a Russian Ilyushin Il-20 Coot-A plane flying off the Baltic coast.

According to Canadian media outlets, the CF-18s were conducting a routine training sortie out of Siauliai airbase, when they were re-tasked to visually ID the Russian ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) plane that had violated Lithuania’s airspace (even if some sources say the Il-20 was reached by the Canadian Hornets as it was flying over international waters – hence, in international airspace).

The CF-18s shadowed the Il-20 for 5 minutes, took some photographs (not yet released), then were ordered to return to base.

The Il-20 electronic reconnaissance plane is, by far, the Russian aircraft most frequently intercepted by NATO fighter jets in the Baltic region.

On Oct. 20, a Russian Il-20 was intercepted by Royal Canadian Air Force CF-188s scrambled from Siauliai in Lithuania; on Oct. 21, Portuguese AF F-16s, also deployed to Siauliai airbase for NATO Baltic Air Policing mission were scrambled to intercept and shadow an Il-20 Coot intelligence gathering aircraft.

The same type of aircraft was involved in the near-miss incident on Mar. 3, 2014, when SAS flight SK 681, a Boeing 737 with 132 people on board from Kastrup – Copenhagen to Rome had to change course in order to avoid colliding into an Il-20, flying without transponder and therefore not visible to the civil Air Traffic Control, about 50 miles to the southwest of Malmö.

Image credit: RCAF