Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA3507 F/A-18C Hornet J-5018, 18th Sqn “Panthers” Swiss Air Force, Nov 2009. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft. The F/A-18s first flew in November 1978 and the first production flight on April 12, 1980. The first 380 aircraft were F/A-18As and in September 1987 production switched to the F/A-18C. Variants A and C are single-seat aircraft while B and D are tandem-seats. The Hornet can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases with the capability of in flight refueling. A total of 1,480 A-D variants were built.
The Swiss Air Force received the first of 34 F/A-18 Hornets on January 23, 1997. The Swiss have 3 F/A-18 squadrons (Fliegerstaffel), 11, 17 and 18 with Fliegerstaffel 17 receiving the first aircraft followed by Fliegerstaffel 18 “Panthers” in 1998. Since the dimensions of the F/A- 18 are larger than the Mirage III it was replacing the caverns in the mountains where the aircraft are kept had to be enlarged. Fliegerstaffel 18’s J-5018 c/n 1366/SFC018 is the only aircraft that wears their squadron badge.