Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA3564 F/A-18B Hornet “NASA” N852NA/BuNo 161217, California 2012. 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.
F/A-18B 161217 c/n 0016 (B003) was the third pre-production two-seat TF-18A built that later became known as F/A-18Bs. F/A-18B 161217 had been assigned to VFA-125 “Rough Raiders” but in 1994 it was assigned to the NASA Dryden Research Center, later known as the Neil Armstrong Research Center. In July 2001 161217 moved to NASA Edwards AFB with the registration of N852NA. 161217 acted as a chase aircraft equipped with cameras that could send live video back to engineers who could watch what was happening in real time.