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Swiss Virtual Airforce | F/A-18 C/D


With a total length of 17 meters, the F/A-18 is a little longer than the Mirage, and its span of 12 meters exceeds the F-5 Tiger’s by 4 meters. The Swiss F/A-18 version weighs 17 tons, approximately two and a half times as much as the Tiger. It can easily load 7 tons, about six times the useful load the retired Hunter was able to carry. Two engines provide for a thrust of 16 tons, which is three and a half times as much performance as the engines of the F-5. Five thousand litres of fuel allow flights of more than one hour duration.

From October 1996 on, the hornets left the assembly bays at Emmen. The delivery was finished by the end of 1999. Squadron 17 was the first front squadron to retrain to the Hornet from June ’97 on, followed in the spring of ’98 by Squadron 18. Last but not least, retraining was concluded by Dübendorf based Squadron 11, in 1999. These three squadrons are part of the Surveillance Wing.

After his professional schooling and according to his potential and the requirements, the pilot of the Surveillance Wing is admitted to F/A-18 retraining courses. Basic training of six months includes theory, system knowledge, simulator and flight training, aerial combat exercises in visual flight, airborne interception exercises and firing engagement of ground and aerial targets. Another six months will be necessary to teach the pilot the art of navigation, independent interception and identification of aerial targets of all kinds as well as engagement of multiple targets and much more.

The main factor for the Swiss Air Force to choose the F/A-18 Hornet after a thorough evaluation, was the top performance of this aircraft. The Hornet has a very short reaction time from its alert position, very good aeroplane performance and flying characteristics and is able to accelerate extremely fast, reaching sonic speed within seconds. Its extremely good manoeuvrability in curvilinear flight is important in aerial combat in visual flight conditions and is proven to be of the best worldwide.

Its high performance radar allows the F/A-18 to detect and simultaneously engage multiple low flying targets with its long-range guided missiles, by day and night and in bad weather conditions. The Hornet is also well tested in electronic warfare. This aircraft, developed to operate from aircraft carriers, is very well fitted for our mountainous regions and narrow valleys as well as our short runways.


Technical Data

Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas Corporation (Boeing)
Cooperation: Northrop Corporation
Number in service: 33

2 F404-GE-402 General Electric Turbofans
Maximum thrust:
Without afterburner: 10'440 daN
With afterburner: 15'660 daN
Empty: 11'325 kg
Max. take-off weight: 23'590
Length: 17.1 m
Height: 4.6 m
Wing span: 11.7 m
Thrust-Weight relation in airfights: 1.07
Max. speed at sealevel: 1'330+ km/h
Max. Mach: 1.8+
Max. Flightlevel: 16'000+ m over sea
20mm Gatling cannon
Airfight: 2 Sidewinders + 4 AMRAAM

Where to get?

For FS 2004 users:

For FSX users:
F/A-18A(C) Get FSX Acceleration Pack

FS9 Aerialfoundry


J-5232 - Will follow shortly
J-5011 Regular - Will follow shortly
J-5011 Tigermeet - Will follow shortly


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