McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Legacy Hornet

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Legacy Hornet

About the Aircraft

McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Legacy Hornet

The Hickory Aviation Museum’s F/A-18A Legacy Hornet Bureau Number 162411 was flown in from NAS Pensacola, FL by Blue Angels pilot CDR Frank Weisser. The aircraft is on loan from the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A Hornet is a single seat, twin-engine, all-weather, supersonic, carrier-capable multi role fighter and attack aircraft designed by McDonnell Douglas and Northrop. It first entered service in 1983 with the US Marine Corps and the US Navy in 1984. The F/A-18A Hornet has a top speed of Mach 1.8 and was the aircraft flown by the Blue Angels from 1987-2020, this aircraft flew as Blue Angel #5 . It can carry more than 13,700 pounds of weapons and external fuel stores on nine external hard-points, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, anti-shipping missiles, various bombs and three 330-gallon external fuel tanks. The F/A-18A also carries one 20mm M61A1 Vulcan nose mounted six barrel rotary cannon.

National origin  United States 
Manufacturer  McDonnell Douglas/Boeing 
First flight  18 November 1978 
Introduction   7 January 1983 (USMC) 1 July 1984 (USN) 
Retired  A Models in 2020 by Blue Angels 
Status  Follow on E/F and G Models Operational 
Primary users  United States Navy U. S. Marine Corps Various Countries 
Produced  380 F/A-18A’s 
Number built  1,480 total A/B/C/D 
Propulsion  2 × GE F404-GE-402 Afterburning Turbo Fan Engines 
Unit cost  US $28mil (1996) 
Boeing FA-18A Hornet BuNo 162411

General Characteristics


Crew: 1 Pilot
Length: 56 ft 1 in (17.1 m)
Wingspan: 40 ft 4 in (12.3 m) with AIM-9 Sidewinders on wingtip LAU-7 launchers
Height: 15 ft 5 in (4.7 m)
Wing area: 410 sq ft (38 m2)
Empty weight: 23,000 lb (10,433 kg)
Loaded weight: 36,970 lb (16,769 kg)
Max. takeoff weight: 51,900 lb (23,541 kg)
Fuel capacity: 1,629 U.S. gal internal, 990 U.S. gal with three external tanks (330 U.S. gal) tanks on the outer wing hardpoints and the centerline station).
Thrust to Weight: 0.96 (1.13 with loaded weight at 50% internal fuel)


Maximum speed: Mach 1.8 (1,034 kn (1,190 mph at 40,000 ft Cruise speed: 570 kn (660 mph, 1,060 km/h)
Combat radius: 400 nmi (460 mi, 740 km) air-air mission
Ferry range: 1,800 nmi (2,100 mi, 3,300 km)
Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m)
Rate of climb: 50,000 ft/min (250 m/s)
Approach Speed: 134kts
Hardpoints: 9 total
Missiles/Bombs/Other: Air-to-air missiles: AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder, AMRAAM, MK80, Rockets, Harm, JSOW JASSM, Maverick, Reconnaissance and Targeting Pods, Fuel Tanks, Harpoon