F/A-18 Hornet

The F/A-18 is a modern carrier-capable strike fighter jet, designed by the US Navy and Marine Corps to attack both ground and aerial targets. It has been the aerial demonstration aircraft for the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels since 1986. It is used primarily for fighter escort, fleet air defense and reconnaissance. Later developments improved the capability of night attacks.
F/A-18 Blue Angels Squadron


Blue Angels:

The Blue Angels - flying in formation in the image above - are the US Navy’s flight aerobatic exhibition team that consists of six demonstration pilots who fly F/A-18 Hornets at air shows throughout the US. This precision flight team was formed in 1946 and excels at showing off the abilities of airplanes and pilots while flying at high speeds and performing amazing maneuvers.



First Flown
2,070 miles (3,333 km)
56 ft (17.07 m)
Two GE F404-GE-402EPE low bypass turbofans
37 ft 6 in (11.46 m)
Max Speed
Mach 1.8 (1.8 times the speed of sound)
50,000 ft (15,000 m)

Empty: 24,700 lbs (11,204 kg)

Loaded: 50,000 lbs (22,680 kg)

Number Built



One 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon; bombs; rockets

Two F/A-18 Hornets on the deck of an aircraft carrier

Two US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet aircraft, assigned to the "Tophatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron Fourteen (VFA-14), prepare to launch from the flight deck of the USN aircraft carrier, USS Nimitz (CVN-68). The Royal Australian Navy Adelaide (Oliver Hazard Perry) class frigate HMAS Newcastle (FFG 06) is underway in the background. The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group was on a regularly scheduled deployment participating in Maritime Security Operations (MSO) in the Persian Gulf area.


F/A-18 Hornet flying in the sky