The Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet are twin-engine carrier-based multirole fighter aircraft variants based on the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet. The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F tandem-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Super Hornet has an internal 20 mm gun and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried with up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air refueling system.
Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Full-rate production began in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered service with the United States Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat since 2006, and serves alongside the original Hornet. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF), which has operated the F/A-18A as its main fighter since 1984, ordered the F/A-18F in 2007 to replace its aging F-111 fleet. RAAF Super Hornets entered service in December 2010.
A vapor cone, shock collar, or shock egg is a visible cloud of condensation which can sometimes form around an aircraft. The phenomenon is frequently encountered at high-subsonic Mach numbers, but can also occur in lower-speed conditions, such as high-g maneuvers by fighter aircraft. The cloud is caused by extremely low pressure in an "expansion region" of the airflow around the aircraft, usually in relatively humid atmospheric conditions.
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August 28th, 2010
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