Navy's F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet concludes initial aircraft carrier qualifications

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movie of F/A-18F first cat shot from the deck of USS John C. Stennis QuickTime movie of F/A-18F first cat shot from the deck of USS John C. Stennis (This movie is more than 1.6 MB)

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The Navy's newest strike-fighter aircraft, the F/A 18F Super Hornet makes its first carrier based catapult launch Jan. 18 from USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), in waters off the coast of North Carolina. The aircraft was piloted by Navy Cmdr. Tom Gurney of Bethesda, Md. U.S. Navy Photo by Chief Photographer's Mate Thomas Hensely. Hi-Rez photo
The F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet concluded its initial at-sea demonstrations early Thursday onboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), reconfirming the early program successes that has produced an aircraft that continues to be on time, on budget and under specified weight. The at-sea demonstrations began on Saturday, Jan. 18, while the aircraft carrier was underway off the coast of North Carolina.

Super Hornet's at-sea carrier qualifications demonstrated an impressive reduction in final landing approach speed -- 10 knots slower than the F/A-18 C/D -- which increases the safety margin and handling characteristics for our pilots. Super Hornet performed 61 launches and recoveries, with 54 "touch and go's" aboard John C. Stennis before returning to its home base of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md.

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Lieut. Frank Morley, of Miami, Fla., brings the Super Hornet in for its first carrier based arrested landing on the deck of the John C. Stennis Jan. 18 off the coast of North Carolina. U.S. Navy photo by Photographer's Mate Airman Michael L. Larson. Hi-Rez photo

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Super Hornet also completed its entire schedule of events one week early, a direct result of a special cooperative teamwork between industry and the Navy, saving program development time and American taxpayer's money.

The delivery of the last test Super Hornet to NAS Patuxent River is scheduled for the end of January. The first Super Hornet test missile launch is scheduled for March. Super Hornet is scheduled to resume carrier qualifications in 1998.

Current Status
  • 700 pounds under specified weight
  • 615 flight hours
  • 61 arrested carrier landings and launches
  • 54 carrier "touch-and-go's"
  • JROC scheduled for 3 March 1997
  • Low rate initial production decision 20 March 1997

For additional information, please call the Navy Office of Information (703) 697-5342


Reviewed: 19 August 2009