35 years of the F/A-18

This year is the 35th anniversary of the Boeing F/A-18 Hornet’s first flight.

Like most of the Pentagon’s inventory, its design is older than I am–which is kinda sad if you think about it (though the E/F models are for all intents and purposes completely new airframes designed in 1990s).

But even though the Navy has started doing the preliminary work to study a next-generation follow-on to the F/A-18 called the F/A-XX, I get the sneaking suspicion that we’ll be seeing another video in 15 years covering the Hornet’s 50th anniversary.

shorentdeck-1200.jpgIn this video, Vice Adm Dave Dunaway, head of the Naval Air Systems Command, who has flown the Hornet his whole career, reflects on why the Navy loves the Hornet. Having had a chance to fly the F/A-18F myself, I can say it’s a pretty sweet ride.

Now, if only the Navy would let me sandbag on an operational sortie, perhaps off a carrier (or Pax River, which is located conveniently nearby).

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