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The F-18 is one of today's most technologically advanced and modern jet aircraft. Currently valued at 36 million dollars it is the centerpiece of the museum collection and inspires youth to pursue careers in aviation, aerospace and the military.
This F/A-18B flew with the Navy's Blue Angels flight demo team. In 2006, actor Harrison Ford (known for his starring roles in Indiana Jones and Star Wars) was given a VIP ride in this very aircraft. The F-18 also performed in the movies Independence Day, Behind Enemy Lines and Godzilla.
In 1975 the USAF announced the F-16 Fighting Falcon as the winner of the Lightweight Fighter (LWF) Competition. Of the main contenders, both the General Dynamics YF-16 and Northrop's YF-17 design were not well suited for Naval Ops. The new F-18 Hornet was based on the YF-17 design and became the Navy's solution to a more economical and versatile aircraft.
Service History of 16194
Delivered: January 31, 1984 as TFA-18A
1/1984 NAVPRO St Louis, MO
2/84-10/85 VFA 125 “Rough Riders” Lemoore, CA
(Navy’s First F/A-18 SQN estb 1980)
11/16/85 VFA 106 Cecil Field, FL
5/86 VFA 106 Cecil Field, FL as FA-18B
1/89 VMFAT 101 MCAS El Toro and North Island, CA
3/91 USN Flight Demo Team NAS Pensacola, FL
2/2000 USN Flight Demo Team NAS El Centro, CA
11/01-5/08 USN Flight Demo Team Pensacola, FL
Stricken: November 12, 2008
MFG: McDonnell Douglas
Built In: St Louis, MO
First Produced: 1983
Thrust: 11,000 lbs
Service Ceiling: 50,000 ft.
Cruise: 660 mph
Top Speed: 1.8 mach (1,122 mph)
Range: 2,000 miles
Empty Weight: 23,000 lbs
Gross Weight: 51,900 lbs
Wing Area: 400 sq. ft.
Armament: M-61 20mm cannon, or 1370 lbs of external ordinances; AIM-9, AIM-120, Paveway, JDAM, AGM-84, AGM-158
Number Built: 1,480 F-18 (A-D models)
Acquired by Yanks in 2012 from the US Navy, this is our only on loan aircraft.