|By Carmelo Turdo|
The Aero Experience commemorates the recent last deployment of the F/A-18 legacy Hornet with an active U.S. Navy squadron with this look at some of our past coverage of the type over the last nine years. This survey includes jets serving with operational units, the Canadian CF-18 Demo Team and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Demonstration Squadron. The legacy Hornets will continue to serve in U.S. Naval Reserve units and with the U.S. Marine Corps until they are replaced by Super Hornets or the F-35 Lightning II.
This F/A-18C Hornet served with VFA-34 based at NAS Oceana, VA. The squadron recently flew the last operational deployment of the type in U.S. Navy active service. It was photographed in St. Louis in June, 2011.
We encountered other F/A-18C Hornets from NAS Oceana, VA, this time from the U.S. Naval Reserve's Fighter Composite Squadron 12 (VFC-12). The squadron provides adversary threat tactics training by simulating aircraft such as the MiG-29. Here we feature the inset photo taken on takeoff from St. Louis-Lambert International Airport in 2015. Another jet is shown while on static display at the 2010 Scott AFB airshow, and the third example was seen during a layover in St. Louis in 2011.
The F/A-18 Hornet has become a popular static display airframe, many of which are former Blue Angels aircraft. Here we feature several display aircraft, and the first is located in front of the Mustin Beach Club in Pensacola, FL. The second set of two is from the nearby National Naval Aviation Museum.
The fourth static display aircraft featured here was delivered to the St. Louis Science Center in 2010 and dedicated the following year. It was a newly decommissioned F/A-18B No.7 jet at the time of the relocation, and it stands as a monument to McDonnell Douglas, Boeing, the U.S. Navy and all veterans who have served this nation.
The Aero Experience has featured the U.S. Navy Blue Angels Demonstration Squadron on numerous occasions. Here we feature coverage from airshows from 2010-2016 in Cape Girardeau, Scott AFB, Spirit of St. Louis Airport and Thunder Over Louisville. The Blue Angels are scheduled to upgrade to the Super Hornet for the 2021 season.