There were beautiful, clear skies over Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., as the Super Hornet sailed through its 2,000 flight hour. The historic flight was made on Dec. 9 by F/A-18F2.
F2 is a two-seat version of the U.S. Navy's newest strike fighter, the
F/A-18 Super Hornet. Flying the aircraft was Navy test pilot Lt. Matt Tysler. He took off at 10:02 a.m. and flew for 1.8 hours before returning to the base. On his return Lt. Tysler was greeted by the entire integrated test team.
After a busy day during which six of the Super Hornets completed nine flights, the flight test program totals were 1,308 flights and 2,003.1 flight hours.
"Firing an AIM-120 missile at the edges of the flight envelope is the best method known to celebrate the F/A-18E/F's 2,000 flight hour," said Lt. Tysler.
Capt. (Select) Robert O. Wirt, Jr., Government Flight Test Director, cited the 2,000 flight hour as yet another milestone in a continuing succession of Super Hornet accomplishments.
"As we enter the third and final year of the F/A-18E/F flight test program, the airplane is meeting or exceeding all expectations, and the program remains on time and on cost," said Wirt.
The Super Hornet is the newest edition to the combat-proven family of F/A-18 Hornets. The aircraft offers longer range, greater endurance, more payload-carrying ability, more powerful engines, increased carrier bringback capability, enhanced survivability and the growth potential to incorporate future systems and technologies to meet emerging threats.
An industry team led by The Boeing Company builds the Super Hornet. Northrop Grumman Corp. is the principal airframe subcontractor, supplying the center/aft fuselage, as well as a number of systems. General Electric Co. produces the Hornet's smokeless F404 and F414 engines, and Hughes Aircraft Co. provides the APG-73 radar.