FA-18 Hornet Make First Flight




F/A-18 Hornet Make First Flight

NOVEMBER 18--The Navy's new strike fighter, the F/A-18 Hornet, made its first flight at McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis. The Hornet was designed for a combat radius of more than 550 miles and a ferry range of more than 2,000 miles. The Hornet is a direct descendant of the Cobra. In nature's environment, this statement would not make any sense, but in aviation such relationships are not uncommon.



Thus, the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet traces its direct ancestry to the Northrop Cobra, a twin engine multi mission fighter design developed for the export market in the late 1960s. The Cobra was never built in this form. In 1971, the Air Force requested proposals for a lightweight fighter prototype program; Northrop's entry was derived from the Cobra design. One of the two winners in the Air Force competition, Northrop was awarded a contract in 1972 for two YF-17 prototypes, each powered by two General Electric YJ101 engines. General Dynamics was the other winner, building two single engine YF-16s.

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