Many people ask these question that What’s the difference between the F/A 18 Hornet and the Super Hornet? Is there any way to be able to tell the difference externally? Performance comparison of the F/A-18 Hornet vs F/A-18 Super Hornet? Is there any way to be able to tell the difference Between F/A-18 Hornet and F/A-18 Super Hornet externally?
The interesting video below highlights the main difference between the Boeing F/A-18 “Legacy” Hornet and the F/A-18 Super Hornet.
The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet is a twin-engine, supersonic, all-weather, carrier-capable, multirole combat jet, designed as both a fighter and attack aircraft. Designed by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and Northrop, the F/A-18 was derived from the latter’s YF-17 in the 1970s for use by the United States Navy and Marine Corps. Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels.
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. Super Hornet first flew in 1995.
The F/A-18E single-seat and F/A-18F twin-seat variants are larger and more advanced derivatives of the F/A-18C and D Hornet. The Hornet and Super Hornet share many characteristics, including avionics, ejection seats, radar, armament, mission computer software, and maintenance/operating procedures.
Related article: Boeing unveils a new version of F/A-18 Super Hornet Fighter jet
The Super Hornet is largely a new aircraft at about 20% larger, 7,000 lb (3,200 kg) heavier empty weight, and 15,000 lb (6,800 kg) heavier maximum weight than the Legacy Hornet. T
he Super Hornet carries 33% more internal fuel, increasing mission range by 41% and endurance by 50% over the Legacy Hornet.
As the Super Hornet is significantly heavier than the Legacy Hornet, the catapult and arresting systems must be set differently.
To aid safe flight operations and prevent confusion in radio calls, the Super Hornet is informally referred to as the “Rhino” to distinguish it from earlier Hornets. (The “Rhino” nickname was previously applied to the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, which was retired from the fleet in 1987).
Furthermore the Super Hornet, unlike the Legacy Hornet, is designed to be equipped with an aerial refuelling system (ARS) or “buddy store” for the refuelling of other aircraft, filling the tactical airborne tanker role the U.S. Navy had lost with the retirement of the KA-6D Intruder and Lockheed S-3B Viking tankers.