The Oregon International Air Show featured some ear blasting greatness from the US Navy Super Hornet West Coast Demonstration Team! Flying a Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet aka “Rhino” two-seat multi-role fighter, the pilot literally screamed through the at speeds close to 1,125 km/h / 700 mph (edging on the sound barrier) on a number of fast low passes along with some slower ones to allow the crowd to take a closer look at this mighty winged beast! This tactical demonstration impressed with some great flying!
The Super Hornet was from Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-122 “Flying Eagles” based at NAS Lenmoore, California. VFA-122 is a Fleet Replacement Squadron (FRS) that trains US Navy pilots and maintenance crews who will fly and work on Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornets and the earlier McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A-D Hornet fighters. The VFA-122 motto is “Professionalism & Loyalty” and I think that really shows in their flying demonstration.
The military is always prepared and so the show could always go on, a second F/A-18F was also on hand at the air show just in case any mechanical issues were to arise with the first one. I have to admit though, I had kind of hoped they would both fly!
In the static displays there was a US Navy VFA-122 “Flying Eagles” Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet (single seat variant) alongside its predecessor a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet fighter (sometimes dubbed the “Classic Hornet”) from the Naval Air Warfighting Development Centre (NAWDC) at NAS Fallon in Nevada (this one is from the NAWDC Fighter Weapons School – “Top Gun” adversaries). It was interesting to be able to compare these two generations of Hornets side by side.
Oregon may be Eagle Country but on this day it was rivalled by the number of Super Hornets that were about! It is always good to see the best the USAF and US Navy has to offer on the same day!