HM F/A-18A Hornet RAAF 75 Sqn 'Top Hat'

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  • Description

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 production flight on April 12, 1980. The first 380 aircraft were F/A-18As and in September 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 A21-29 was accepted by the RAAF in April 1988. In May 1990 while deployed to Clarke Air Base in the Philippines a Top Hat and Cane were applied to this aircraft’s tail designating it as the C/Os personal aircraft. On August 2, 1990 two F/A-18s (A21-29 and A21-42) departed RAAF Tindal on a practice pairs intercept. Maneuvering during these intercepts can be quite violent trying to lock onto the target. Unfortunately A21-42 lost sight of A21-29 and rolled into it killing the A21-42 pilot while A21-29 managed to land safely.