Statement from Barb Haluszka, Field of Flight Executive Director:
As a result of SEQUESTRATION, The Department of Defense has directed the Air Force and all the military services that provide aviation support to “public events” to stand down for the 2013 fiscal year. As Brig. Gen. Les Kodlick, Director of Air Force Public Affairs, said in early March, “engaging with the public is a core Air Force mission, and communication and connecting with the public is more important today than ever before. However, faced with deep budget cuts, we have no choice but to stop public aviation support.” We are optimistic that our government will reassess the value of that mission soon. Meanwhile, the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show & Balloon Festival IS A GO!
With a thundering roar, the United States Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet returns to Battle Creek skies at the 2013 Field of Flight.
Hailing from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, this years F/A-18F Super Hornet is part of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) known as the "Gladiators". This year's pilot is Lieutenant Jared "Stewie" Strout, a Super Hornet Instructor at VFA-106 that has numerous hours built up in the Super Hornet.
The F/A-18F Super Hornet was developed, along with the E Model Super Hornet from the older F/A-18 Hornet models. The plane was planned back in the 80's by McDonnell Douglas under the project name "Hornet 2000". McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) decided to initially call it the "Hornet II" to improve early F/A-18 models and serve as an alternate replacement for the aging Grumman A-6 Intruder attack aircraft. The Navy had planned on getting a naval version of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor, which was the Navy Advanced Tactical Fighter.
However, that program was cancelled, so the "Super Hornet" was proposed. The Super Hornet is 20 percent larger, and 7,000 pounds heavier when empty. The Super Hornet is able to carry 33% more internal fuel with a higher mission range and endurance. The Super Hornet, compared to the older Hornet models, also serve as a refueling platform for other aircraft. In addition to it filling a tactical airborne tanker role, the aircraft has a payload almost matching the mighty Grumman F-14 Tomcat.
The Super Hornet first flew on November 29th, 1995 and have been in service ever since 1999. They have replaced Grumman F-14 Tomcats in service for the United States Navy. Super Hornets are powered by two General Electric F414-GE-400 turbofan engines which ensure the aircraft can reach a speed of Mach 1.8 (which is roughly 1,190 miles per hour), the speed of its predecessor, the F/A-18 Hornet. However, it's increased size, operations, payload and range ensure that it is actually a completely new aircraft.
The Super Hornet will help take the Navy into the future. Presently, 500 Super Hornets have been built and they are still in production by Boeing and will remain in service for many years to come.
Make sure you see this amazing aircraft July 6th-7th at the Field of Flight.
VFA-106 Website: http://www.public.navy.mil/airfor/vfa106/Pages/default.aspx
US Navy TAC Demo Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/US-Navy-Tac-Demo/140116396072816?fref=ts