F/A-18 Hornet & Super Hornet in Action
Squadron’s in Action series is back!
This volume covers the F/A-18 Hornet, Super Hornet and the E/A-18G Growler and it was one of the pending titles that had been announced before the Squadron Shop went into bankruptcy and its assets were auctioned off a couple of years ago.
The book follows the familiar “In Action” format starting with a brief history of the development of the F/A-18 for the United States Navy and Marine Corps starting with Northup’s YF-17. There are brief discussions of the various versions of the aircraft starting with the F/A-18 A & B models, followed by the F/A-18 C & D models, then the F/A-18 E & F Super Hornets and finally the E/A-18G Growler. Following each section of text are numerous color photographs illustrating airframe details and some of the markings worn by each of the variants as well as the upgrades that were made to the different versions over the years to keep up with advances in electronics and weapons.
There is also a four-view schematic drawing of the F/A-18C (the overhead view is actually a F/A-18D with the extended canopy) and a side view of the F/A-18E showing the new intake shape adopted for the Super Hornet and Growler.
As the Hornet has been operated by a number of countries other than the United States, Mr. Doyle includes a section on “Non-US Legacy Hornets” in between the sections on the F/A-18C & D and the sections covering the Super Hornet and the Growler illustrating Hornets operated by Canada, Australia, Kuwait, Spain, Finland and Switzerland. While most foreign Hornets utilize the now traditional grey color schemes, there have been many commemorative and anniversary schemes applied to the Hornet, especially by Canada and Australia and many of these are included in this section.
Throughout the book the photographs are very well produced, crisp and sharp and include photographs of some of the various weapons and other stores carried by Hornets, Super Hornets and Growlers. The captions for each photograph are well done and informative. Unfortunately, a couple of the captions perpetuate one of my pet peeves by stating that aircraft are assigned to certain individuals whose name or names are stenciled on the aircraft. In reality, the names stenciled on the sides of an aircraft in the US Navy and Marine Corps is based strictly on the nose number (Modex) on the aircraft and the seniority of the aircrew, in that aircraft with a Modex ending in “00” have the name of the Carrier Air Wing Commander (USN) or Wing Commander (USMC) stenciled on them, aircraft ending in “01” have the squadron commander’s name, and so on down the line. An exception to this general rule arises when a squadron’s number is within the Modexes assigned to the squadron, in which case the squadron commander’s name is often stenciled on that aircraft instead (for example, VFA-213’s commanding officer would be listed on Modex 213 instead of 201).
For the super detailers, there is a 4 page spread showing a Blue Angel F/A-18A undergoing major maintenance/overhaul including removal of the wings and most of the access panels.
It is nice to see a return of the in Action series and this book is a very promising start. My only criticism (and a minor one at that) is that there are no color profiles like there used to be in the older in Action books illustrating some of the paint schemes worn by the Hornet. It would have been nice to see some of the adversary schemes or the one used by Kuwait along with things like mission markings, etc.
For fans of “Topgun - Maverick”, the book was published before the movie was released, so there are no photographs of the Super Hornets used in the movie, that will have to wait for the revised and updated edition.
Thank you to Squadron Hobbies for the review sample and to IPMS/USA for letting me review it.