PHOTO: First flight of Australia’s Super Hornet

First Oz FA18.jpg
Boeing has successfully conducted the first flight of Australia’s F/A-18E/F Super Hornet in the USA. The aircraft, which was unveiled on 8 July, took off from Lambert International Airport in St. Louis on its inaugural flight that lasted just over an hour.

And it looks like they may not buy any more than the 24 that were ordered under the A$6 billion deal, and will more likely convert 12 of those into E/A-18G Growlers. Somehow, though, something tells me that this is not the end of the story.

If there are any further delays to the F-35, Canberra will need more fighters. So it is more likely that the RAAF is waiting to see where the JSF programmes goes before making a decision.


5 Responses to PHOTO: First flight of Australia’s Super Hornet

  1. Bruce from Stralia 22 July, 2009 at 7:35 pm #

    A comparison of the F/A 18F with the YF 17 would be very interesting – in particular the % weight gain (please insert if available – thanks)

  2. Siva Govindasamy 23 July, 2009 at 11:16 am #

    Hmmm, the information on the YF-17 is here and that on the Super Hornet is here

    The thing we have to remember when comparing the two is that they are not like for like. The YF-17 was the model for the F-18A/B Hornet, and the E/F Super Hornet is a much bigger aircraft and more advanced (still bloody noisy!) than the earlier variants of the F-18.

  3. Bruce from the Land Down Under 24 July, 2009 at 7:57 pm #

    Thanks Siva,

    If Wikpedia is correct the MTOW of a F/A 18 E/F is 66,000lbs and a F 15 is 68,000lbs (as an Aussie not sure what a lbs is but anyway). I delight in tne irony that a supposed lightweight fighter (the YF 17) derivate is within 3% of the weight of the heavyweight fighter it was supposed to complement in a high low mix.

    Of course this weight is dwarfed by the F22 (83,500 lbs) which is heavier than all WW2 four engined bombers except the Boeing B29 (133,500 of those things).


    Bruce (Garry)

  4. Bruce from somewhere after too many beers 24 July, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    Bruce wasn’t aware the Aussies were getting any single seat F/A 18Es – thought us Aussies had only ordered the two seater F/A 18F so the pilot would have a drinking buddy.



    PS and Sheila who helped with this story

  5. Siva Govindasamy 27 July, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Sounds like it was a good night, Bruce!

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