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RAAF lines up anniversary scheme Hornets for special photo shoot

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 2, 2018

F/A-18A Hornets tail numbers A21-16, A21-38, A21-49 and A21-13 on the Williamtown flightline. (Defence)

The RAAF’s Air Combat Group has taken advantage of having all four of its anniversary scheme specially-painted F/A-18A ‘classic’ Hornets on the flightline at RAAF Base Williamtown at the same time to line up a special photo shoot.
All four units within Air Combat Group’s 81 Wing have operated the classic Hornet – 2 Operational Conversion Unit and 3, 75 and 77 Squadrons – and all four units have had jets painted to celebrate their 75th or 100th anniversaries.
photo – Defence

3SQN marked its centenary in 2016, while 2OCU and 77SQN, both based at Williamtown, plus 75SQN, which is based at RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory, marked their 75th anniversaries in 2017.
3SQN operated its last flight with the classic Hornet in December 2017, and is now based at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where it is the becoming the first RAAF unit to transition to the F-35A Lightning II, 72 of which are on order to eventually replace all the RAAF’s classic Hornet force.
photo – Defence

Other RAAF fast jets wearing anniversary schemes comprise 1SQN F/A-18F Super Hornet A44-210.
1SQN Super Hornet A44-210 in the Middle East last year. (Defence)

And 6SQN EA-18G Growler A46-306.
6SQN Growler A46-306 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada ahead of exercise Red Flag earlier this year. (Defence)

Amberley-based 1SQN celebrated its centenary in 2016, while 6SQN, also based at Amberley, followed in 2017.
Meanwhile, a short-lived anniversary scheme was also applied to 3SQN Hornet A21-27 in 2016, inspired by P-40 Kittyhawks flown by Squadron Leader Bobby Gibbes – the unit’s longest-serving commanding officer during WW2.

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11 Comments

  • Raymond

    says:

    Nice, now how about a shoot with all six aircraft in formation in the air together…

  • TwinTiger

    says:

    Great that they can commemorate these milestones in this way, but glad not all the jets are candy-coloured.
    Maybe it is just me, but the Classic Hornet ‘looks’ best as a single seater (ie A not B), whilst the Rhino looks best as a dual seater (ie F&G not E).

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Weird thing I just notice is the grey strip left in the middle of each of the tail fins. Any ExRAAFY out there that knows what that is?

  • Ben

    says:

    @Red Barron, That’s a part of the formation lights on the jet. They light up luminescent green and I believe they are selectable at various intensities depending on the light situation and or NVG equippage of the group.

  • Joe Lighty

    says:

    That’s not actually a grey stripe – it’s yellow-ish/grey-ish – and glows green when switched on – they’re night formation strip lights.

  • Red Barron

    says:

    Great Thanks Ben that makes sense.

  • Paul

    says:

    Raymond, yep that would look great all 6 of them. Would be good to have all these jets at Avalon next year, withe the classics flying 4 ship and the 210 Rhino as single ship demo jet. Let’s hope?

  • Allan

    says:

    How about a poster in the middle of the magazine for all the young people dreaming of a job flying fast jets and wanting inspiration. Just a thought.

  • Paul

    says:

    Allan I agree mate, with me standing in front of them?

  • Daryl

    says:

    Slightly O/T….any news on the disposition of the cooked Growler as yet

  • David Fix

    says:

    Saw the one with the special 2ocu tail at Wollongong

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