Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA5112 F/A-18F Super Hornet 165801, VX-23 “Salty Dogs”, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, 2016. Buy now online at Flying Tigers.
The McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is a twin-engine multi-role carrier-based aircraft. The “E” variant is single-seater while the “F” variant is a tandem-seat configuration. The “E” is a much larger, more advanced and more capable variant of the F/A-18C. The Super variant can carry a larger array of weapons as well as more of them and is capable of returning to the carrier while still carrying unspent munitions, a big savings in dollars. The first F/A-18E flight was in 1995 and began delivery to the USN in 1999.
VX-23 “Salty Dogs” (Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23) is located at NAS Patuxent River, Maryland. The squadron was established on July 22, 1995 as the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron but redesignated VX-23 on May 1, 2002. VX-23 is staffed by personnel selected from the USN and the USMC. The staff’s main mission is to test and evaluate aircraft for flying qualities and perform evaluations. Here every aspect of an aircraft is put to the test. In 2016 F/A-18F 165801 was given a special paint scheme using Maryland State flag colours.