The F/A-18's primary missions are fighter escort, fleet air defense, suppression of enemy air defenses (SEAD), interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance. Its versatility and reliability have been proven it to be a valuable carrier asset, though it has been criticized due to its lack of range and payload compared to its contemporaries. The F-18, initially known as McDonnell Douglas Model 267, was drastically modified from the YF-17 while retaining the same basic configuration. For carrier operations, the airframe, undercarriage, and arrestor hook were strengthened, folding wings and catapult attachments were added, and the landing gear widened.With redesign of the stores stations and improvements in avionics and multifunction displays, it became possible to combine the A-18A and F-18A into one aircraft. Starting in 1980, the aircraft began being referred to as the F/A-18A, and the designation was officially announced on 1 April 1984. Therefore, F-18 was designated as F/A-18. The Blue Angels first flew three aircraft in formation, then four and currently operate six aircraft per show. The Opposing Solos usually perform maneuvers just under the speed of sound which showcase the capabilities of their individual F/A-18 or F-18 Hornets through the execution of high-speed passes, slow passes, fast rolls, slow rolls and very tight turns. Some of the maneuvers include both solo F-18s performing at once, such as opposing passes (toward each other in what appears to be a collision course, narrowly missing one another) and mirror formations (back-to-back, belly-to-belly, or wingtip-to-wingtip, with one jet flying inverted). On November 8, 1986 the Blue Angels completed their 40th anniversary year during ceremonies unveiling their present aircraft, the sleek McDonnell Douglas F-18 Hornet, the first multi-role fighter/attack aircraft now serving on the nation's front lines of defense since the F-4 Phantom.
On December 2, 2004, an accident occurred when pilot Lt. Ted Steelman suffered minor injuries after ejecting from his Blue Angels F-18 approximately one mile off Perdido Key due to mechanical problems and loss of power.
The F-18 Hornets has been exported to several nations worldwide. The item "Airplane USN Six Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet In Formation Wood Model Aircraft" is in sale since Thursday, July 26, 2018. This item is in the category "Collectibles\Transportation\Aviation\Military Aircraft\Other Military Aircraft Items".
The seller is "atlantisgift" and is located in New York. This item can be shipped to North, South, or Latin America, all countries in Europe, all countries in continental Asia, Australia.