Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA3543 McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet BuNo.164699, VMFA(AW)-224 “Bengals”, 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.
VMF-224 was commissioned on May 1 1942 flying Grumman F4F Wildcats. In 1951 the Bengals received their first jet, the F2H-2 Banshee. In 1952 the F2H-2 was replaced by the F9F-5 Panther and VMF-224 became VMA-224. July 1956 brought the A4D-1 Skyhawk and in 1965 they went to Vietnam. 1966 introduced the A-6A Intruder and the unit became VMA (AW)-224. March 1993 the squadron became VMFA(AW)-224 and received the F/A-18D Hornet. In January 2009 the Bengals were based at Iwakuni and the in July returned to MCAS Beaufort.