F-18 Super Hornet

ABOUT THE SUPER HORNET

The Boeing F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet are twin-engine, carrier-capable, 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 M61 rotary cannon and can carry air-to-air missiles and air-to-surface weapons. Additional fuel can be carried in up to five external fuel tanks and the aircraft can be configured as an airborne tanker by adding an external air-to-air refueling system.

Designed and initially produced by McDonnell Douglas, the Super Hornet first flew in 1995. Low-rate production began in early 1997 with full-rate production starting in September 1997, after the merger of McDonnell Douglas and Boeing the previous month. The Super Hornet entered fleet service with the United States Navy in 1999, replacing the Grumman F-14 Tomcat, which was retired in 2006; the Super Hornet has served alongside the original Hornet.

ABOUT VFA-106

The Gladiators of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 is the Navy’s East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron; the squadron’ mission is to train Navy F/A-18E & F/A-18F Super Hornet replacement Pilots and Weapon Systems Officers (WSOs) to support fleet commitments. Every six weeks, a class of between 8–12 newly winged Navy pilots and Naval Flight Officers begins the 9-month training course in which they learn the basics of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions, culminating in day/night carrier qualification and subsequent assignment to fleet Super Hornet squadrons.

The Gladiators are also well known for the airshow TACDEMO Team. The team flies the F/A-18F to show sites in the Eastern United States. Instructors of the squadron fly the aircraft, and serve on a one year schedule. The team demonstrates maneuvers used in training and combat flights. Typically two F/A-18s are sent to the show site, one being the demonstration aircraft and the other being a spare in case the demo jet suffered a mechanical problem.

Performers

Chris Thomas Airshows

Chris Thomas Airshows

The Pilot Chris Thomas is a third-generation pilot and earned his pilot’s license at the age of 17 with his father as his flight instructor.  He has logged over 20,000 hours of flight time in more than 105 types of aircraft. When not flying airshows,Chris is a Captain...

Full Throttle Formation Team

Full Throttle Formation Team

The Full Throttle Formation Team from Atlanta Georgia and are the largest precision formation airshow team in America. Their pilots are all aviation professionals with more than 300,000 total hours of flight experience in military and commercial aircraft. They fly...

Dougherty Airshows

Dougherty Airshows

Paul Dougherty has been flying airshows since 1998 and has logged over 23,000 hours in the sky. He offers unique acts in a 230 horsepower Christen Eagle or a 1930 Great Lakes! Spectators will be tapping their feet to modern day music while enjoying torque rolls, tail...

Jim Beasley P-51 Mustang

Jim Beasley P-51 Mustang

Jim Beasley has been flying historic fighter aircraft for over twenty years and has accumulated thousands of hours in aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang and Supermarine Spitfire, as well as Navy fighters including the F4U Corsair and Grumman F8F Bearca. Wednesday June...

USAF Thunderbirds

USAF Thunderbirds

The Thunderbirds squadron is an Air Combat Command unit composed of eight pilots (including six demonstration pilots), four support officers, four civilians and more than 100 enlisted personnel performing in almost 30 job specialties. A Thunderbirds air demonstration is a mix of formation flying and solo routines. The four-jet diamond formation demonstrates the training and precision of Air Force pilots, while the lead and opposing solo aircraft highlight some of the maximum capabilities of the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

US Army Golden Knights

US Army Golden Knights

HISTORY In 1959, nineteen Airborne Soldiers from various military units formed the Strategic Army Command Parachute Team (STRAC). Brigadier General Joseph Stilwell Jr. gathered the Soldiers with the intent of competing in the relatively new sport of skydiving, which...