RAAF McDonnell Douglas F/A-18A/B Hornet multi-role fighters have graced Australian skies since 1985 and more recently have seen plenty of combat service in the Middle East but are coming to the end of their service life. It will be sad to see the “Classic Hornets” go in the next few years as they are replaced by the Fifth Generation Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighters (retirement and replacement has already slowly begun).
Although not yet the swansong of the F/A -18 Hornet, we were fortunate that the Avalon Australian International Airshow 2019 prominently featured many appearances of the “Classic Hornet” in both static and flying displays! The four ship formation displays were a real highlight.
Luckily the Hornet styling will remain for many years in the form of more recent Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet (“Rhino”) multi-role fighters and Boeing E/A-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft that are both in RAAF service. Interestingly neither flew during the public days of Avalon 2019 (March 1st to 3rd).
There was also a Friday night show which will feature in my next post. A Hornet flew during the night display in all its afterburning glory!