Just finished an interesting article in the latest Smithsonian Air and Space magazine. The Navy’s F/A-18 Super Hornet will be getting an extensive retrofit giving it more range and even though it is a “4th Generation” fighter, some stealthy qualities even though that was not in the initial design.
But through avionics change, it will gain some of that invisibility.
Another interesting bit? At $10,500/hour, it costs less than a third to run as the new F-35.
I’m sure Hizzoner would have had a lot to say about it.
I guess you could say these are a 4th generation Hornet, following the original single seat Legacy version, to the dual seat FA-18E, to the Super Hornet (about 25% bigger) to this revised version.
…a Super Hornet coming off the Boeing assembly line in St. Louis today is not at all like the Super Hornet I last flew in 1998″.
Seems like an intelligent way of utilizing technological improvements to an original airframe without the huge expense of designing a new airframe.
Lex had an interesting history on the original Hornet. Not a bad ending for the “loser” of the original competition. The winner didn’t do to badly, either.
How the “loser” in the competition became the Navy’s frontline fighter.
Posted by lex, on July 29, 2006
From the Navy news service:
Posted by lex, on March 21, 2004
A new series, for Sunday evenings. “Times I Almost Died.”
There are no lessons here. No larger truths. This will not change your world view.
But I have a rather large store of aviation tales, stories wherein things could have gone very wrong, that will take the pressure off Sunday evenings for a while. A month of Sundays, at least.
Posted by lex, on June 1, 2006
For Systems Architecture, subject “Modeling” – in case you were curious (many pretty pictures for the bandwidth constrained to beetle their Luddite brows over):
In 1972, the US Air Force went to the aviation industry with Request for Proposals for a new, lightweight fighter design. Northrop contended with the YF-17, while General Dynamics competed with the ultimately successful F-16 design. Although not successful in the USAF’s lightweight fighter competition, the YF-17 had desirable characteristics satisfying the US Navy’s emergent requirement for a high volume, “low end” strike fighter to replace both the F-4 and A-7 aircraft, especially on the Navy’s smaller, conventional aircraft carriers – ships like USS Coral Sea and Midway – whose flight decks were not large enough to accommodate the “high end” fleet air defense aircraft, the F-14 Tomcat.
By lex, on March 1st, 2012
I’m on the early page it seems, with the 0515 brief burned into my forehead. And the late go as well, so long as your definition of “late” is expansive enough to admit a 1215 brief, 1400 take-off, and 1500 land. With the debrief to follow. Well within the limits of crew day, mind. But a 0415 wake-up, day after day, is rough country for old men.
Especially when, as it was today, the whole thing seems to be for naught.
By lex, on July 7th, 2010
Pinch * put me in mind of a story.
Was a time in the Old Navy where it was fashionable at certain points to wear hemi- semi- demi- quasi-humorous name patches on the flight suits of America’s Finest. There were any number of “Roger Ball” name tags at the O’Club on a Friday night. When things got late, there were even raunchier monikers attached by Velcro: “Hugh Jardon” was but the least offensive. There might even have been a “Heywood Jablome.”
I can’t say.
By lex, on May 23rd, 2011
The Navy’s F-35C variant made its first air show appearance at Andrews AFB this weekend, prior to heading for the test range: