Hobby Master HA3506 US Navy Boeing F/A-18C Hornet Strike Fighter - VFA-86 "Sidewinders", MCAS Beaufort, NC, January 2011 (1:72 Scale)
"Bigger, Higher, Faster, Farther."
- Thinking within the US Air Force during the late 1970s
The F/A-18 Hornet is the true multi-role aircraft. It can vault from a carrier deck, bomb a target and stay to dogfight even the best enemy aircraft without missing a beat. It's the Navy's first modern-era jet intended for double duty against air- and ground-based adversaries. Armed to the hilt with Sparrow and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles, an internal cannon, and laser-guided bombs, this modern warbird was an outstanding performer in Operation Desert Storm. Strapped into a digital cockpit described as a cross between Star Wars and a video game, pilots of the F/A-18 Hornet take on the ultimate aviation job: blasting this single-seat, high-performance jet off the deck of a carrier, dropping bombs, and firing air-to-ground ordnance. Offering unmatched agility, the Hornet is the choice aircraft of the US Navy's elite Blue Angels aerobatic team.
Pictured here is a gorgeous 1:72 scale diecast replica of a US Navy F/A-18C Hornet Strike Fighter that was attached to VFA-86 "Sidewinders", then deployed to MCAS Beaufort, NC, during January 2011.
Wingspan: 7.5 inches
Length: 9 inches
Release Date: February 2012
Historical Account: "Strike While the Iron is Hot" - Strike Fighter Squadron 86 (VFA-86) is a United States Navy strike fighter squadron based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California. Known as the Sidewinders, they fall under the command of Carrier Air Wing Eleven. Their call sign is Winder, tail code is NH, and they fly the F/A-18E Super Hornet.
In January 1980, after the seizure of the American Embassy in Tehran, Iran VA-86 departed Naples, Italy embarked in Nimitz, en route to the Indian Ocean via the Cape of Good Hope, beginning of 144 consecutive days at sea. In 1981, while aboard Nimitz, the squadron participated in a Freedom of Navigation Exercise in the Gulf of Sidra incident. During this tense period, VA-86 flew Aerial refuelling and reconnaissance missions over potentially hostile Libyan ships. The Sidewinders were awarded the 1982 COMNAVAIRLANT Battle "E", as the best East Coast A-7 squadron.
In June-July 1985, while aboard Nimitz, VA-86 operated off the coast of Lebanon due to the hijacking of TWA flight 847 by Arab radicals, and later that year the Sidewinders were awarded the Admiral Wade McClusky Award, signifying the best attack squadron in the Navy. Jan-Feb 1987 while embarked in Nimitz, VA-86 operated off the coast of Lebanon after three U.S. citizens were taken hostage from the American University in Beirut. On July 15th, 1987, VA-86 was officially redesignated Strike Fighter Squadron 86 (VFA-86), and began flying the FA-18 Hornet. They were the first East Coast squadron to receive the C model (Lot 10) of the FA-18.
In 1988, during an eight month deployment aboard America, VFA-86 provided air cover for the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.