Take a look at how the Super Hornet’s flight control surfaces move during approach.
Earlier this month, our friend Ben Ramsay (UK Aviation Movies) visited Meiringen Air Base, in Switzerland, during the Super Hornet demonstration part of the testing and evaluation of the Swiss Air Force future fighter program, known as “Air 2030”.
The F/A-18F jets that Boeing deployed to Switzerland were 169653/251 and 169654/250. They arrived at the main Swiss Air Force base of Payerne on April 25, 2019, supported by an Omega Air DC-10 tanker N974VV. Interestingly, both aircraft had their VFA-106 squadron markings removed before the “sales trip”: indeed, as noted by Scramble, they were not fresh factory Super Hornets, since they were delivered to the U.S. Navy earlier this year.
On May 1, using radio callsigns “Razor 11 – 12”, the Super Hornets arrived at Meiringen from Payerne: this was the first time that the Super Hornet operated from the relatively small airbase in the Swiss Alps, known to be the main operating base for the aircraft engaging the Axalp range for the famous live firing exercise. The pair landed before lunchtime and spent 2 hours on the ground before departing back to Payerne.
The video below shows the aircraft landing at Meiringen (reportedly for noise testing) and taxi to the apron (with folded wings). Take a look at the movements of the flight control surfaces (ailerons and stabilators) during the final approach.
Boeing is pitching the F/A-18E/F Block III Super Hornet to the Swiss Air Force which, according to Boeing, is ideally suited for Switzerland’s operational requirements, considered that the country already operates the “Legacy Hornet”.
The Super Hornets have completed their Swiss evaluation on May 7.
The F/A-18 Super Hornets have taken off from Payerne after concluding a successful week of flight evaluation tests. Thank you #SchweizerArmee, Payerne Air Base, spotters and Swiss public. 🇨🇭 pic.twitter.com/qoNhqs0wpw
— Boeing DACH (@BoeingDACH) May 7, 2019
Other types being evaluated by the Swiss Air Force to replace both the F-5 and F/A-18C/D include the Eurofighter Typhoon (that was the first to carry out the evalutation – in alphabetical order – in April), Dassault Rafale (next in the schedule in mid May), Lockheed Martin F-35A and Saab Gripen E.
Air 2030 is the second attempt by Switzerland to restructure their Air Force after the 2014 decision to not purchase the Gripen as a direct F-5 replacement.
H/T to Kristian Ramsay Jones for providing additional details about the Super Hornets deployment.