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Hornet Flare

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The photo at the top of the page shows an F/A-18 Hornet releasing flares during its first visit of the day. Flares are used to confuse heat seeking missiles which usually lock onto the aircraft's engines. The flares are much hotter and the missile will usually lock onto that instead, especially if the aircraft changes direction quickly and reduces power.


Getting good photos of the Hornet isn;t easy because it does move fairly quickly, according to the commentator one run over the airfield was at 1,000 kilometers per hour. Of course, that's less than half its top speed.

Manufacturer: Boeing (originally McDonnell-Douglas)
Role: Multi-role fighter
Crew: One or two
Engine: Two low-bypass F404-GE-400 turbofans (7,258 kg thrust each)
Airframe: Length: 17.1 m, height: 4.7 m
Wingspan: 12.4m
Weight: 10,660 kg basic, 20,412 kg maximum
Speed: Mach 1.8 (2,200 km/h)
Range Ferrying: 2,700 km (without refuelling)
Range Interdiction: over 1,000 km
Combat radius: 740 km
Ceiling: Above 13,700 m
Missiles: AIM-120 AMRAAM active radar guided missiles
Missiles: AIM-7 Sparrow radar-guided long-range missiles
Missiles: AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red seeking missiles
Missiles: Harpoon anti-ship missiles
Bombs: Conventional and laser-guided bombs
Cannon: M61 20mm nose-mounted cannon

Sources: Wikipedia, RAAF, Warbirds Over Wanaka 2010 Programme.

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