Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA3571 F/A-18C Hornet “MiG Killer” 163502/AA410, VFA-81 “Sunliners” January 1991. 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.
At the beginning of Operation Desert Storm on January 17, 1991 4 F/A-18Cs from VFA-81 “Sunliners” departed USS Saratoga each loaded with 4 Mk 84 2000-lb bombs. Their mission, bomb Al Walid AB H-3 out of commission. As they approached their target an E-2 notified them of enemy 15 miles away. LCDR Mark “MRT” Fox “AA 401 (BuNo 163508) and Lt. Nick “Mongo” Mongillo AA 410 (BuNo 163502) are credited with engaging 2 MiG-21s and shooting down both aircraft. These were the only USN air-to-air victories. Both aircraft are preserved at Pensacola.