ocy9
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F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Tue May 08, 2018 4:32 am

Does anyone know of any cases where a US Navy or Marine F/A-18 was converted from single seat to double seat or vice versa?

Also, if such a conversion were to happen (i.e. A <-> B or C <-> D), would the construction number also change?
 
ocy9
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 4:50 am

Bump.

Anyone?
 
Ozair
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 5:43 am

ocy9 wrote:
Does anyone know of any cases where a US Navy or Marine F/A-18 was converted from single seat to double seat or vice versa?

Also, if such a conversion were to happen (i.e. A <-> B or C <-> D), would the construction number also change?

I’m not aware of this conversion ever being done, nor do I think it is really viable. The two seat aircraft have enough structural changes in the cockpit area that it would be a significant depot level long time period change, if possible. The second seat in a Hornet displaces a fuel tank which isn’t the end of the world, one reason B models have a shorter range, but to put that back into an aircraft, build the structure around it, and then change the cockpit to a smaller one… In the end I think conducting a SLEP on an old airframe sitting in a boneyard somewhere would be a more logical and economically sound thing to do instead of this change.

Here is a two seat Growler compared to a single seat SH. Note the significant distance the two seat cockpit goes aft compared to the single seat. The ratio is more pronounced on a classic Hornet but hard to find an image of both flying in close proximity.
Image

I’m also not sure what the purpose would be? The twin seat aircraft can be flown from either seat or only one seat occupied so no restriction of having to have two aircrew. Plenty of operators see value in operating single seat Hornets as their main aircraft and use the two seat aircraft primarily for training purposes.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 8:32 am

The only instance I can remember is the Finnish Air Force doing something like this; they took the back half of a crashed C model Hornet and mated it up with the front half of a crashed twin-seater B model Hornet from Canada.

The aircraft involved crashed back in 2010, during it's third test flight; they were apparently trying to debug a flight control issue as part of the test flight, until the aircraft lost control, and the pilot and flight engineer ejected. Both of them suffered significant injuries in the ejection. The tail number of the franken-Hornet was HN-468.
 
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Dutchy
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 12:33 pm

I did know about this frankenstein Hornet, didn't know it had crashed. It never went into service I guess.

https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/wiki.php?id=71697
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
ocy9
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 5:25 pm

Thanks guys for the responses.

So theoretically speaking, if the US Navy or Marines had decided to convert an F/A-18C to D (or vice versa) for whatever reason, would the construction number of the aircraft also change?
 
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Dutchy
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 7:04 pm

ocy9 wrote:
Thanks guys for the responses.

So theoretically speaking, if the US Navy or Marines had decided to convert an F/A-18C to D (or vice versa) for whatever reason, would the construction number of the aircraft also change?


Don't know, but with the Finish example the "serial" number did change: HN-468 was a new serial number for the Finnish Airforce, they did not use the old serial number for the crashed F/A-18C.
Many happy landings, greetings from The Netherlands!
 
ocy9
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 10:39 pm

Dutchy wrote:
ocy9 wrote:
Thanks guys for the responses.

So theoretically speaking, if the US Navy or Marines had decided to convert an F/A-18C to D (or vice versa) for whatever reason, would the construction number of the aircraft also change?


Don't know, but with the Finish example the "serial" number did change: HN-468 was a new serial number for the Finnish Airforce, they did not use the old serial number for the crashed F/A-18C.


I think HN-468 was the aircraft's registration, not its MSN.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 09, 2018 10:51 pm

I doubt they would convert one—they have plenty to work from now. Lockheed did take one right wing from a damaged C-141 and mated to a C-141 that needed a right wing. Fortuitously, two accidents created one surviving plant.

GF
 
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Spacepope
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Thu May 10, 2018 3:46 am

ocy9 wrote:
Dutchy wrote:
ocy9 wrote:
Thanks guys for the responses.

So theoretically speaking, if the US Navy or Marines had decided to convert an F/A-18C to D (or vice versa) for whatever reason, would the construction number of the aircraft also change?


Don't know, but with the Finish example the "serial" number did change: HN-468 was a new serial number for the Finnish Airforce, they did not use the old serial number for the crashed F/A-18C.


I think HN-468 was the aircraft's registration, not its MSN.

In this case a military aircraft would not have a registration. Military serial numbers are different than manufacturer serial numbers. Like the C-130 that crashed last week. USAF serial 65-0968, Lockheed serial number 4110.
The last of the famous international playboys
 
ocy9
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Thu May 10, 2018 8:09 pm

Spacepope wrote:
ocy9 wrote:
Dutchy wrote:

Don't know, but with the Finish example the "serial" number did change: HN-468 was a new serial number for the Finnish Airforce, they did not use the old serial number for the crashed F/A-18C.


I think HN-468 was the aircraft's registration, not its MSN.

In this case a military aircraft would not have a registration. Military serial numbers are different than manufacturer serial numbers. Like the C-130 that crashed last week. USAF serial 65-0968, Lockheed serial number 4110.



So in your example, supposing they took the crashed C-130, rebuilt it and in the process converted it to another C-130 variant, would its Lockheed serial number change?

Or are you saying that such an aircraft would not have a manufacturer serial number?
 
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Spacepope
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Thu May 10, 2018 8:34 pm

That's a different question, since we're talking about the air force serials changing on this Finnish Hornet. We don't know which MSN they used for the Frankenhornet (They've done this with a USMC F-5 E and F amalgam as well). A DC-9 was rebuilt one time using the fuselage of one, and the wings from the Air Canada one that burnt out on the runway. IIRC it retained the serial number of the fuselage, not the wings. If they put new/donor wings on a C-130 (like they regularly do, same with A-10s) the MSN will not change as they are spare parts. Military serial nimbers can and do change though, sometimes requently when it comes to the C-32B fleet.
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ocy9
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Thu May 10, 2018 9:27 pm

Spacepope wrote:
That's a different question, since we're talking about the air force serials changing on this Finnish Hornet. We don't know which MSN they used for the Frankenhornet (They've done this with a USMC F-5 E and F amalgam as well). A DC-9 was rebuilt one time using the fuselage of one, and the wings from the Air Canada one that burnt out on the runway. IIRC it retained the serial number of the fuselage, not the wings. If they put new/donor wings on a C-130 (like they regularly do, same with A-10s) the MSN will not change as they are spare parts. Military serial nimbers can and do change though, sometimes requently when it comes to the C-32B fleet.


ok, so the take away from all this is that MSNs do not change and are permanently assigned to the fuselage. is my understanding correct?
 
dragon6172
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Fri May 11, 2018 12:11 am

Typically the number on the data plate is used. So if you patch together pieces from multiple aircraft, the SN of the "new" aircraft will come from which ever section came with the data plate.
Phrogs Phorever
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Fri May 11, 2018 2:57 am

dragon6172 wrote:
Typically the number on the data plate is used. So if you patch together pieces from multiple aircraft, the SN of the "new" aircraft will come from which ever section came with the data plate.

That is typically correct. I've heard of situations where most of the aircraft is a complete write off, but they've completely rebuilt the aircraft from scratch and the only thing that is original from the factory was the data plate.
 
ocy9
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Fri May 11, 2018 3:56 pm

in the case of an F/A-18, would the data plate be affixed to the fuselage?
 
dragon6172
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Fri May 11, 2018 5:06 pm

ocy9 wrote:
in the case of an F/A-18, would the data plate be affixed to the fuselage?

Not sure where it is on a F/A-18.
Phrogs Phorever
 
Ozair
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Fri May 11, 2018 9:51 pm

ocy9 wrote:
in the case of an F/A-18, would the data plate be affixed to the fuselage?

I think it is in the front avionics bay beneath the cockpit but it has been a few years.
 
dragon6172
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Sun May 13, 2018 12:49 am

ocy9 wrote:
in the case of an F/A-18, would the data plate be affixed to the fuselage?

I think I found it. Searched a lot of google pics but my guess is this is the ID plate. In the aft cockpit behind the ejection seat.

Image
Phrogs Phorever
 
Max Q
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Tue May 15, 2018 12:04 am

Is any F18 customer likely to order the enhanced F414 increased thrust engine ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
ThePointblank
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Tue May 15, 2018 8:26 am

Max Q wrote:
Is any F18 customer likely to order the enhanced F414 increased thrust engine ?

No one is wants it; the USN on the other hand is more interested and has funded development of an Enhanced Durability Engine in the past, which is more reliable, more durable, requires less maintenance, and is more fuel efficient. But currently, there is no money and a lack of interest by the USN to fund development any further.
 
Max Q
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Wed May 16, 2018 3:26 am

ThePointblank wrote:
Max Q wrote:
Is any F18 customer likely to order the enhanced F414 increased thrust engine ?

No one is wants it; the USN on the other hand is more interested and has funded development of an Enhanced Durability Engine in the past, which is more reliable, more durable, requires less maintenance, and is more fuel efficient. But currently, there is no money and a lack of interest by the USN to fund development any further.



This is surprising, there’s no shortage of articles on the ‘super hornets’ uninspiring
acceleration and poor power to weight ratio


The available thrust increase on the enhanced engine would seem to be the answer

Why the reluctance to incorporate that?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.
 
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Aesma
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Re: F/A-18 Hornet variant conversions

Fri May 18, 2018 4:04 pm

ThePointblank wrote:
dragon6172 wrote:
Typically the number on the data plate is used. So if you patch together pieces from multiple aircraft, the SN of the "new" aircraft will come from which ever section came with the data plate.

That is typically correct. I've heard of situations where most of the aircraft is a complete write off, but they've completely rebuilt the aircraft from scratch and the only thing that is original from the factory was the data plate.


Same for cars. Then they call it an original aircraft that flew during the Battle of Britain, or a car that was driven by such actor. I find it misleading.
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