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What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?  
User currently offlineTheSonntag From Germany, joined Jun 2005, 3587 posts, RR: 29
Posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 16167 times:

If I read the threads in this forum, all people seem to hate the Super Hornet. I wonder why is this? In theory, this airplane is extremely capable both in the attack as well as the defense role.

So what's wrong with it?

58 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineSTT757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 16865 posts, RR: 51
Reply 1, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 16145 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
So what's wrong with it?

It's not the F-14.



Eastern Air lines flt # 701, EWR-MCO Boeing 757
User currently offlineCTR From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 303 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 16130 times:

The F/A-18E and F are excellent all around weapons platforms. No one aircraft can perform all the different missions a Super Hornet can. It also has the best reliability and maintainability of any fighter or attack aircraft in the past thirty years. To top all this it also has very, very low radar cross section.

But it cannot carry as much payload as an A-6 Intruder.

It cannot out turn an A-4 Skyhawk.

And it is not as fast or sexy as the F-14 Tomcat.

The Super Hornet/Tomcat situation is comparable to the Spitfire/Hurricane history of the Battle of Britain. The Hurricane achieved more kills than the Spit. But people remember and love the Spit.

Have fun,

CTR



Aircraft design is just one big compromise,,,
User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7780 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 16071 times:

Its very strength is its weakness. It is an excellent multirole aircraft, but being a multirole aircraft it sacrifices capabilities that the aircraft it replaced had.


Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlineLY744 From Canada, joined Feb 2001, 5536 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 16052 times:

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
The F/A-18E and F are excellent all around weapons platforms

Key words there are "weapons platforms".  Wink


LY744.



Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 16033 times:

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
To top all this it also has very, very low radar cross section

After you hang all the crap on it so it can even begin to get somewhere and do it's job, then the Rhino has the RCS of a good sized barn.

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
But it cannot carry as much payload as an A-6 Intruder.

And it does not have the range for a given payload either. In 1961 a carrier air wing from a converted Essex class carrier could boast a 1200 nautical mile unrefueled combat radius with 12,000 pounds of ordnance carried internally on it's aircraft.
Today, the navy is proudly boasting of the 700nm range with 2,000 pounds its Bug/Rhino CVW's can achieve. Today, the largest weapon that CVW can carry is 2,000 lbs-in 1954 it was 4,000 pounds. I will leave it up to some the active duty types to talk about the all manner of trouble the Bug in particular-and the Rhino to a great degree as well- causes a carrier today when it comes to "bring back".
Sure the navy now touts the number of "hitpoints" the modern CVW can engage as compared to a CVW of the '80s. No doubt the increase is phenomenal, but this is a function of the strides made in precision weaponry, and not a glowing endorsement of its current stable of aircraft.
Indeed, the Bug/ Rhino forces the carriers to close the beach to dangerous distances, hobbles the ability of CVWs to operate independent of shore facilities and assets, can't operate where stealth is required, and will have a tough time in a fouth generation air war.

Quoting CTR (Reply 2):
It cannot out turn an A-4 Skyhawk.
And it is not as fast or sexy as the F-14 Tomcat.

Woe betide a Rhino driver in a knife fight. Its maneuverability is lackluster and its anemic speed means it can't accelerate away from the fight.

...But the Rhino looks good...



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineWhiteHatter From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 16013 times:

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 5):
Woe betide a Rhino driver in a knife fight. Its maneuverability is lackluster and its anemic speed means it can't accelerate away from the fight.

isn't the whole point of 21st century aerial combat that dogfighting isn't relevant any more? Engagements will be fought at a distance with increasingly smarter weapons, so there isn't much point in having super agile aircraft. The JSF is better equipped to do close range work.

Surely a capable weapons platform is the way to go. Anything else is just playing to the Top Gun fantasy. As long as it can carry the munitions and do so efficiently, that's really all you need.


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 16004 times:

Quoting WhiteHatter (Reply 6):
As long as it can carry the munitions and do so efficiently, that's really all you need.

Which this airplane can't really do.
1. Can it carry the 5,000 lb GBU-28? Nope, only the Air Force can. A real problem if their nearest base is many thousands of miles away-or has just been thrown out by the host country.

2. Can the carrier stand off from the very dangerous littorals an effectively operate a Hornet CVW? Nope SInce the advent of the Hornets the navy has been force to operate in areas such as north of the Hormuz and just about up on the beaches of the Makran and Levant.
And contested Littoral regions have historically proven lethal to carriers...

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/images/g340000/g342020.jpg

3. Can it fight against a potent IADS on the first day of war? Nope, only the Air Force can, and that will have to come from very, very far away. The Rhino hobbled Navy can't play on the first day of war.

4. I standing war scnearios like OEF and OIF where presisitence is paramount can it get to the fight and stay there with just CVW assets? Nope, the navy can't play without land based tanker assets and or "hotpits" ashore.

5. In the scenario above, can the Rhino "bring back" an optimum ordnance load and land back aboard? Nope, reference the hotpits above.

So, can the Hornet series "carry the munitions and do so efficiently"?

NOPE.



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 15992 times:

The super Hornet is a compromise, and one born out of a lack of funding.
That's why people don't like it, it is a constant reminder of the sorry state of the US Navy who have in less than a decade gone from a force that could project large scale airpower worldwide to an also-there.

The heavy attack capability of the A-6 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range air defense capability of the F-14 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range ASW capability will soon be gone, its replacement nonexistent.
The AEW capability is going to need replacement soon, but that replacement has been cancelled.
The tankers are gone, their replacement cancelled.

The only thing left is a strike fighter that though good cannot possibly do the roles it now has to perform as well as the aircraft that should have performed those roles.

Had the USN gone the way it should have by now a carrier airwing would have existed of at least roughly the following:
24 NATF
10 A-12
24 F/A-18E
10 S-3B
4 ES-3B
4-6 EF-18G
4 KS-3A
2 US-3A on detachment
4-6 SV-22

Instead it exists of
20-30 F/A-18A
10-20 F/A-18E/F
10 S-3A/B
4 E-2C
4 EA-6B
4-6
4-6 SH-60F



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineUsnseallt82 From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 4891 posts, RR: 52
Reply 9, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 15960 times:

Quoting TheSonntag (Thread starter):
What's Wrong With The Super Hornet?

Not a damn thing. Serves our purpose well, but it does have a slight problem in braking. But hey, everyone has trouble slowing down at some point in life.  Big grin



Crye me a river
User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15912 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 8):



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 8):
The heavy attack capability of the A-6 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range air defense capability of the F-14 is gone, its replacement cancelled.
The long range ASW capability will soon be gone, its replacement nonexistent.
The AEW capability is going to need replacement soon, but that replacement has been cancelled.
The tankers are gone, their replacement cancelled.

Some quibbles:

The A-6 was a "Medium Attack" aircraft. Heavy Attack aircraft were the P-2 AJ A-3 and A-5. This was more a nuke weapon designation than anything.

To be fair, the AESA equipped F-18 with the latest AIM-120 will be able to engage at BVR distances rivaling those of the AIM-54. When the fight closes though the Rhino willhave trouble. And yes Whitehatter, it's inevitable the fight WILL close in fourth generation engagements. Remember COPE India 2004?

CVW-11 will tell you "Every aircraft is an ASW aircraft" nowadays.

The AEW replacement is the E-2D and it is in production. However it's lack of ability to operate in a deep strike scenario with its turboporp speeds and no AAR is a real problem

AAR is now the province of the Air Force and limited numbers of F-18Fs

[Edited 2005-11-23 21:56:32]


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineVenus6971 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 1443 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15906 times:

It is the bigger and slower hornet, like all weapons system it got whored out to fit everybodies ideal of a fighter, they gave more range but stuck more hardpoints with ordinance on it which after it was said and done a hornet that burns more gas but can get to the target with more bombs than the smaller one at the same range. Trade off's, F-14 fast, good bomber, great interceptor, 18hrs of mx to 1 hour of flight, it was like that even when it was new. EF-111 fast jammer able to keep up with strike package but 24 hrs mx to one hour of flight, EA-6B slower but more reliable and you can't land a 111 on a carrier.


I would help you but it is not in the contract
User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 15895 times:

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
and you can't land a 111 on a carrier.

This was by choice...
http://www.usscoralsea.net/pages/f111.html

http://www.usscoralsea.net/images/f111bjuly1968.jpg

[Edited 2005-11-23 22:20:09]


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineMaiznblu_757 From United States of America, joined Mar 2002, 5112 posts, RR: 50
Reply 13, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15878 times:

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
18hrs of mx to 1 hour of flight, it was like that even when it was new.

Talking to some Tomcat turned Super Hornet mechs they stated the Tomcat is 100 man hrs maint. for 1 hr flight. The Rhino is 10 to 1.

[Edited 2005-11-23 22:27:35]

User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 14, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 15871 times:

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 13):
The Rhino is 10 to 1.

Its ONLY redeeming quality. Not much good though to have an up airplane that can't even go out and fight which is the situation for the Rhino in many scenarios.

kinda reminds me of the state of British military aviation in the late '30s when substandard aircraft were conceived for such misguided parameters such carrying navigators on carrier borne fighters and clipped wing bombers that could fit into exisiting hangars.



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineFtrguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 15788 times:

F/A-18 Hornet = Jack of all trades, master of none...

User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 16, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 15766 times:

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 10):
AAR is now the province of the Air Force and limited numbers of F-18Fs

You mean one of these?  Smile Shot this Checkmate out the window of the Omega Tanker on Sunday, over the USS Enterprise.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v610/flydeltajets/DSCF5995.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v610/flydeltajets/DSCF5990.jpg

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 8):
Had the USN gone the way it should have by now a carrier airwing would have existed of at least roughly the following:
24 NATF
10 A-12
24 F/A-18E
10 S-3B
4 ES-3B
4-6 EF-18G
4 KS-3A
2 US-3A on detachment
4-6 SV-22

Still too many airframes IMHO. The Navy has been trying to consolidate types for many years now. Remember when we used to fly RA-5C's as pure recon jets? Then came a TARPS pod on an F-14, and there you have the elimination of one more type...etc etc.

Those NATF's are a long way off, and are lightyears ahead of some of these birds. A-12, what a mistake that was...killed in the early 90's I believe.

The S-3B is due for phaseout as it is, and the ES-3A shadow was a pretty useless aircraft that saw itself in the desert by 1998. A KS-3A is really an S-3B with a buddy refueling store...no difference in aircraft. US-3A, now there's a moldy oldie...only 6 airframes, it was pretty useless as well...the C-2 does the job much better. Good to see the S-3 leave, IMHO.

The EF-18G "Growler" is in the test phase at Pax River currently, looking for 2010 or so fleet introduction last time I checked.

SV-22? Ewwww  Wink

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 17, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 15756 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 16):
Then came a TARPS pod on an F-14, and there you have the elimination of one more type...etc etc.

Neat Pix Delta

When the TARPS was first used in anger over Lebanon, the analysis of its product was always preceded by the phrase "Poor quality imagery...". It was so bad in fact that the capabilities of the French RF-8s were heartily welcomed. And the Air Force was only providing imagery of the "we'll have to kill you if we show you" variety which was totally useless in a tactical environment. The Vigi was sorely missed in those days.
Also the TARPS mission is a distinct subspecialty nowadays after the early poor experience with its product.
While the elimination of airframe types has its advantages, all the eggs in the Hornet basket is threatening the very existence of the carrier. I can imagine that when the question is asked "Where are the carriers"?, the answer may well be "Does it make any difference"?

[Edited 2005-11-24 02:24:18]


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineCaptOveur From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 18, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 15738 times:

Quoting Venus6971 (Reply 11):
you can't land a 111 on a carrier.

Landing was never really the issue with the F-111.. Taking off from the carrier required a small miracle the few times it was done.


User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 15726 times:

Quoting Sidishus (Reply 17):
While the elimination of airframe types has its advantages, all the eggs in the Hornet basket is threatening the very existence of the carrier.

All Boeing airwing my friend. As much as I love the Hornet, I think the Tomcat (F-14D) and the Intruder (A-6F), properly funded, could have continued even past today. Was nice to see a spread of jets on the deck.

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 15719 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 19):
All Boeing airwing my friend. As much as I love the Hornet, I think the Tomcat (F-14D) and the Intruder (A-6F), properly funded, could have continued even past today. Was nice to see a spread of jets on the deck.

Another airframe that will help solve much of the stealth/range /persistence/payload problem is this one. It will be interesting to see if the decidedly "In The Box" mindset that has hamstrung Naval Aviation for nearly a generation can be overcome enough to accept it (note the all too traditional flight deck scenes)....

http://www.csbaonline.org/4Publicati...0.LRSSNavy/B.20051110.LRSSNavy.pdf


http://www.darpa.mil/j-ucas/X-47/gallery/X47B/hi_res/189-516H.jpg

[Edited 2005-11-24 03:28:40]


the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineDeltaGuy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 21, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15664 times:

Looks a bit like an AF project to me  Wink

DeltaGuy


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 22, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 15654 times:

Quoting DeltaGuy (Reply 16):
Still too many airframes IMHO. The Navy has been trying to consolidate types for many years now. Remember when we used to fly RA-5C's as pure recon jets? Then came a TARPS pod on an F-14, and there you have the elimination of one more type...etc etc.

which IMO was a bad idea.
Specialised airframes means you can optimise the aircraft for its mission and not end up with an air defense fighter having to double as a bomb truck (Bombcat anyone?).

For recce missions that might be possible, the additional speed would have been welcome (though at a loss of capability), for many others you're just getting the worst possible compromise.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineSidishus From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 519 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 15650 times:

Quoting Jwenting (Reply 22):
and not end up with an air defense fighter having to double as a bomb truck (Bombcat anyone?).

The f-14 was built for a dual fighter attack configuration from inception. It was the fighter mafia that kept it from use in an attack role until late in its life.



the truth: first it is ridiculed second it is violently opposed finally it is accepted as self-evident
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 18
Reply 24, posted (8 years 9 months 4 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 15612 times:

It was also not well suited for the role.
Too fast on the deck, not that good at low level, needed quite serious mods to carry the weapons, etc..

Maybe the designers had a secondary attack role in mind, but they certainly didn't optimise the aircraft for it.



I wish I were flying
25 Sidishus : As later events proved, it was suited just fine for the role. It was already designed to carry 14,500 lbs of Mk80 series bombs before the first metal
26 Post contains images DeltaGuy : You bet...the F-4 was a bomb haulin, MiG killing champ, it performed both roles rather well IMHO. The Navy expected the same of the Tomcat, but other
27 NorCal : How does the super hornet do in air-to-air scenarios against the latest generation of European and Russian planes?
28 Post contains links Sidishus : Although the navy did use their F-4s in some strikes in Vietnam it was relatively rare. Now the Marines OTOH (and USAF) did some bomb haulin with the
29 Post contains links Sidishus : So how did the navy first get itself mired in all this Bug Goop and Rhino Poop? Well, Mr. Spangenberg describes in detail how it all came to pass(edit
30 Dragon-wings : The F-14 was able to carrry the AIM-54 Phoenix missile. Can the Super Hornet carry the AIM-54 Phoenix missile?
31 Sidishus : Now this radar missle combo looks to be promising (assuming these numbers verify in the real world of fleet use). Too bad it's on a crappy aircraft.
32 Jwenting : AIM-54 has been withdrawn from service for several years now (2001 I believe, maybe 2002), so compatibility with the F/A-18E/F was never even consider
33 Post contains links Sidishus : By the time of the AIM-54 was withdrawn last year (Sept. 2004) it was well time for it to go. It was an old parts hawg of a system and not particular
34 Jwenting : I seriously doubt they'll get 100nm out of an AMRAAM except maybe in extreme tailwinds, launching from maximum altitude, against a lowflying target, u
35 Post contains links Sidishus : You are seriously undersetimating the leap in capabilities an AESA radar brings to the table. How do you think the F-14 could engage at long BVR dist
36 Post contains images Jwenting : I'm not saying the AIM-54 should have been kept. I agree it was time to replace it. But the AIM-120A and C can't compete with it both in terms of ran
37 Sidishus : The APG-79 will make the AWG-9 look like the antique it is. You really should read up on it Jwenting. In terms of power, target discrimination, you n
38 Pyrex : I know you are probably joking about it but I actually believe this to be true... Can ANYTHING carry that giant thing and land / take-off from a carr
39 Post contains links and images Sidishus : Check out the size of the size of the practice "shape" of the 12,000 lb. weapon the A-3 could carry-internally-out to an unrefuled radius better than
40 Post contains links and images Sidishus : I dawned on me that you were most likely thinking of the GBU-43 "MOAB" : http://www.globalsecurity.org/milita...images/moab_030311-d-9085m-007.jpg ..
41 RC135U : The Whale sure gave the Navy a lot of capabilities. Geez, some new-build A-3's today could give the Navy a lot of airplane to use at least as a heavy
42 Pyrex : Actually I was thinking of the "bunker-busters" but you answered my question nevertheless. However, I believe it is more correct to compare it with,
43 LMP737 : That only part of the story. The newest F-14D came off the line in 1992. Which means the youngest F-14 is thirteen years old. Simple rule of thumb th
44 Post contains links Sidishus : Those aircraft were built in the last century to fight the last century's wars. They are relics of a bygone era and it's way past time to look ahead.
45 Post contains links Sidishus : And this finding from the DSB report as well... http://www.acq.osd.mil/dsb/reports/acof.pdf The short legs intrinsic to fighter-type designs means tha
46 Sidishus : More to show the need for heavy hitting power and long range hasn't: Stone, from A Bridge Too Far "The Navy's senior leaders proudly assert that "nav
47 Wiggidy : Not well unfortunately. Even the f/a-18c model was schooled rather completely by German mig-29s a few years back (in exercises mind you). Id hate to
48 NorCal : Thanks for the info.......do you think pilot training or tactics would make up for the F-18's inefficiencies? I guess not in the case of the German M
49 Wiggidy : NorCal, China now offers the J-10 advanced fighter which, in theory, is a top notch single engine aircraft. Supposedly it is highly maneuverable with
50 CTR : The direction this thread is progressing, I believe the following question needs to be asked. "With rapid growth the air and sea launched cruise missi
51 AirRyan : That's what the JHMCS and AIM-9X is for - but of course this would have been tits on a Skyhawk, Turkey, or even an Intruder as well! Only thr Fox mod
52 NorCal : Yep thanks for the info
53 Post contains images Wiggidy : Ive seen test video of the AIM-9x and its pretty incredible for close in maneuverability. Any one know how it stacks up with the also super maneuvera
54 TheSonntag : I only know that when the German army got the Mig-29s in 1990, people were shocked about the abilities of the R-73. It was MUCH superior to the AIM-9
55 747400sp : Show for a supersonic jet and it's UNDER POWERED!
56 Post contains images 747400sp : I meant Slow.
57 Par13del : The saying in the US is that the carriers are the presidents 911, I think that has gone to the Navy's head - at least the upper brass in the last few
58 Wvsuperhornet : There is nothing wrong with it in my opinion but its seems by reading some of these threads there are alot of americans and non americans that just h
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