Tag Archives: McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet

Hornet Ball 2014: the best naval aviation video of the year

Once again, Hornet Ball is the best naval aviation video of the year.

The Hornet Ball (Strike Fighter Ball Pacific) is an annual event consisting of all the West coast Naval F/A-18C Legacy Hornet and F/A-18E/F Super Hornet squadrons, their pilots and guests.

Each year the event features a video, produced by “Wingnut”, a Hornet pilot himself, compiled from all the squadrons’ last year of flying in both combat and training missions: catapult launches, trap landings, aerobatics, dogfighting against Su-30s and Mig-29s, live firing of air-to-air missiles, HARM anti-radion missiles, LGBs (Laser Guided Bombs), cluster bombs, low level flying in the desert, ATFLIR  (Advanced Targeting Forward Looking Infrared) pod clips, and much more.

Here’s the Hornet Ball 2013.

H/T Tom Demerly and Al Clark for the heads-up


[Photo] Four F/A-18 Hornets fly over Fenway Park before the first game of the 2013 World Series

Flyovers can be quite a sight, as those of C-5 Galaxy cargos over Gillette Stadium during New England Patriots home games, or extremely noisy (to such an extent they can shatter some windows), as the one made by two Mirage 2000 fighter jets over the Supreme Court and Congressional buildings in Brasíla, Brazil’s capital, on Jul. 1, 2012.

Still, a night flyover by four jets in full afterburner is probably even more spectacular.

Taken on Oct. 23, outside of Fenway Park in Boston Massachusetts before the first game of the 2013 World Series this photo taken shows what a flyover by four F/A-18 Hornet jets at night looks like.

Cool, isn’t it?

By the way, the aircraft should have been legacy Hornets belonging to the VMFA-115 Silvereagles from MCAS Beaufort South Carolina operating from Hanscom Field, MA.

Image credit: Brian D’Amico

H/T to New England Military Air for the heads-up


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Interesting image shows F/A-18E Super Hornet about to land on carrier with afterburner lit

The image in this post is interesting for at least two reasons.

First it shows an F/A-18E preparing to land on USS Nimitz (CVN 68) sailing in the 5th Fleet Area of Responsibilty from an unsual point of view: the one of an accompanying warship of the Nimitz Carrier Battle Group.

Second, the Super Hornet is depicted with the afterburner lit, most probably because the pilot is either in the process of adding more power to keep the proper glide path or about to execute a missed approach (“wave off”).

Image credit: U.S. Navy

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[Photo] Twelve U.S. Marine Corps Hornets return from Persian Gulf deployment

On Oct. 2, twelve F/A-18 Hornet aircraft from VMFA-115 arrived at Lajes Field, Azores.

Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115, also known as the Silver Eagles, were on their way back to Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, South Carolina, from a deployment to the Kingdom of Bahrain that had started on Mar. 4, 2013.

The aircraft, divided into two 6-ship cells and supported by two KC-10 Extender tanker aircraft, departed for their homebase on Oct. 3.

VMFA-115 landing

Image credit: André Inácio

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No match for a U.S. Hornet: “China’s Navy J-15 more a flopping fish than a flying shark” Chinese media say

Even if some analysts compared it to the F/A-18 Hornet, the Shenyang J-15 “Flying Shark” may not be the powerful and deadly threat to the U.S. Navy Air Power in the Pacific.

Indeed, in spite of the recent claims that it had succesfully achieved full-load take off and landing on the Liaoning aircraft carrier, the China’s embarked plane may not be able to operate from Beijing’s first supercarrier.

According to the Sina Military Network, that has (weirdly) criticized the Flying Shark calling it a “flopping fish”, the recent tests with heavy weapons have limited the attack range of the J-15 to a distance of 120 kilometers from the carrier: whilst it is said to be capable to carry 12 tons of weapons, when the aircraft is fully loaded with fuel, it can’t carry more than 2 tons of missiles and munitions, meaning that only two YJ-83K anti-ship missiles and two PL-8 air-to-air missiles could be carried (in an anti-ship configuration).

People’s Liberation Army Navy’s next generation carriers will have electromagnetic catapults that will safely launch heavy J-15s. The problem is the ski-jump ramp of the current, only PLA Navy aircraft carrier, that makes take off of aircraft exceeding 26 tons of total weight extremely difficult unless you have a more powerful aircraft, as the Mig-29K.

That’s why a lone Soviet aircraft carrier with ski-jump is no match for a U.S. flattop. And a J-15 carrying only handful of medium and short range air-to-air missiles in air defense configuration to be able to launch for Liaoning would probably be no match for U.S. carrier-based F/A-18E/F Hornet.

Image credit: www.news.cn

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