Aero India: Missing the Super Duper Hornet

Super Hornet new options.jpg

I’d like to think I know a thing or two about fighters,especially popular ones such as Boeing’s F-18 E/F Super Hornet, which I’veprobably seen a few thousand times in print and a dozen times in person.

Hence my dismay when reviewing the flight line this morning.The second F-18 on the line looked different: conformal fuel tanks, big podunderneath, IRST sensor under the nose, etc. All new stuff.  What’s more, the ‘upgraded’ aircraft had nomarkings.

“Did I miss all this when I walked by yesterday?” I askedmyself. “What kind of aircraft observer am I?”

Of course, all the new additions are not for real, only mock-upsof what will one day be available for international customers of the SuperHornet under Boeing’s Super Hornet International Road Map program.

I was relieved when Boeing later told me that the mock-upswere installed the previous evening after I had left the flight line. Goingback through my pictures, though, I saw that my photo of the Super Hornet inquestion was in the process of being ‘upgraded’ during my walk, with a teambusy loading the external weapons bay, and the IRST sensor is apparent beneaththe nose. Oh well, at least I didn’t miss those shape-changing conformal fueltanks.

Incidentally, the aircraft’s markings – the plane comes fromVFA-113 – were removed lest observers get the impression that the navy haddeployed the various options on display.

Super hornet.jpg

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2 Responses to Aero India: Missing the Super Duper Hornet

  1. 2Phast4Rocket 8 February, 2011 at 11:30 pm #

    I would be nice if you post the actual pictures of the F18 E/F being upgraded as mentioned in the article. We have seen the Boeing publicity pictures thousands of times. It’s the behind the scene pictures that we usually never see. Blogs are useful for this kind of stuff. We want more pictures damn it!!!

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