The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft. The F/A-18s first flew in November 1978 and the first 1987 production switched to the F/A-18C. Variants A and C are single-seat aircraft while B and D are tandem-seats. The Hornet can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases with the capability of in flight refueling. A total of 1,480 A-D variants were built.
F/A-18A A21-35 was built as C/N 588/AF-35 Block 22, delivered on July 31, 1988 and initially went into service with 75 SQN/81 WG. In 2004 the aircraft went to 2 OCU (Operational Conversion Unit) located at RAAF Base Williamtown, New South Wales. A21-35 was chosen to wear a special Red Tail paint scheme for the 2015/2016 season. The scheme marks 30 years since the introduction of the F/A-18 Hornet in RAAF service. The RAAF F/A-18s have undergone major upgrades to keep them flying until around 2020 when F-35s will replace them.