2 minute readF/A-18 can operate off roads too

The Boeing F/A-18 Hornet is capable of operating off public roads like the Saab-built Gripen.

At least, that’s what the Finnish Air Force has been doing with its F/A-18 C&D Hornets. As the images below show, the legacy Hornet seems to have the same expeditionary capabilities as the Gripen.

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

Image: Major Henrik Elo, FINAF

But can the larger F/A-18 Super Hornet do the same?

“Indeed the Super Hornet can do everything the Classic does – only better! It has a lower landing speed due to the big wing – of course it is a bit wider and heavier, so that is a consideration – but built to operate in spartan conditions and of course, the wing fold makes a difference when pulling off the roadway. The self-contained test and start with the on-board Auxilliary Power Unit means no special equipment needs to be transported to accommodate ground operations,” says Richard S. McCrary, head of Boeing’s F/A-18 campaign in India.

McCrary also provides visual evidence of the ruggedness of the aircraft in this image of high crosswind landing tests on the dry lake at Edwards Air Force Base in the US.

The aircraft is in the race to win the Indian Air Force (IAF) tender for 126 Medium Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MMRCA).

  7 comments for “2 minute readF/A-18 can operate off roads too

  1. April 6, 2011 at 7:36 am

    Be an interesting sight, huh?

  2. AP
    April 6, 2011 at 6:32 am

    Are we seriously considering landing either the Gripen or the Hornet on Indian roads? The question of expeditionary capability is moot when one looks at the state of most roads in the country.

  3. January 10, 2011 at 3:51 am

    You raise a good point, Dave. Well spotted and thanks.

  4. Anonymous
    January 10, 2011 at 3:40 am

    F-18 do this with arrestor cable on specific strips of runway that has these cables installed.

    The Gripen does it without any external ground support and has a turn-around with minimum logistics requirements unlike the Boeing jet. Gripen also has the capability to do this during winter and icy roads.

So what do you think?