Home      RC F-18 Hornet

RC F-18
(RC Airplanes F-18 Hornet)



E" 2003 US$ Cost:
F" 2003 US$ Cost:
Primary Function:
E" Crew:
F" Crew:
Thrust Each:
Fuel, Internal:
Fuel, External:
Max. Weight:
Cruise Speed:
Max. Speed:
Climb Rate:
Combat Range:
Year Deployed:
Year Deployed:

$57 million
$59 million
GE turbofans
2 x 22,000 lbs.
17,498 lbs.
11,885 lbs.
80,207 lbs.
1 - 20 mm
17,750 lbs.
60ft. 0 in.
44 ft. 8 in.
575 mph
1,190 mph
50,000 fpm
50,000 feet
1,468 miles
2 hrs. 15 min.
2001 (E)
2003 (F)

RC F-18 Robbe
RC F-18

Robbe's RC F-18 foamy has a 28 in. wingspan and is 38 1/2 in. long. It comes ready to fly including motor, EDF, ESC, and servos. Weight is about 21 oz. all up.

Many judge the F-18, produced by Boeing and designated the models E (single seat) and F (two seat) to be an essentially new aircraft. They have about four feet more overall length and 1/4 additional wing area than previous models. They have about 1/3 more fuel capacity with overall weight up by approximately 25%. Mission is estimated as 40% longer, with one and a half times more combat endurance. Two more hard points have been added to the aircraft. There is about 15% more carrier recovery payload, while total engine thrust has increased by about 22%.

RC F-18 Jets RC
RC F-18

The RC F-18 Hornet from Jets RC is 90" long and weighs about 28 lbs. It comes almost ready to fly with a 66 1/2 in. wingspan and may be powered by 25 to 35 lb. thrust jet turbine engines.

The development history of the F-18 traces back to May 2, 1975. That is when the U.S. Navy announced the go ahead of a collaboration on aircraft from Northrop and McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing). The aircraft began life when proposed for the U.S. Air Force as the YF-17. When it was decided that it would be developed for use by the U.S. Navy, McDonnell Douglas partnered with Boeing. It was because Boeing had experience with planes operating from aircraft carriers.

RC F-18 jetset44
RC F-18

At RC Groups jetset44 posted a RC F-18 build. It has a 28" wingspan, is 41 1/2 in. long, and is powered by a geared Speed 350 type motor. The prop measures 8 x 6 and weight is about 15 1/2 oz.

Two types of the F-18 were developed. One for fleet defense against enemy aircraft, and the other for ground attack, primarily in support of U.S.M.C. troops. Eventually it was decided to build an aircraft that met both roles.

RC F-18 Blueprints

You can find drawings from which to build a RC F-18 at The Blueprints.com.

On November 18, 1978, the prototype Hornet flew for the first time. In March of 1980 the last of eleven prototype aircraft was delivered to the U.S. Navy. In May of 1980, delivery of initial production aircraft began.

RC F-18 Schreiner
RC F-18

Pictured above is the RC F-18 produced by Axel Schreiner, purchased by Ulrich Achebach. Its wingspan is 45 in. and length is 67 in. Power comes from twin motors turning DS-51 fans.

With its dual role capacity, the F-18 was originally intended to supplement current U.S. Navy attack, fleet defense, aircraft. The advanced radar systems and avionics allowed its pilots to go from air attack or defense to ground attack mode on the same sortie, with the flip of a switch. During Operation Desert Storm, it became routine for pilots to down opposing aircraft on their way to a target, and then complete their mission against ground targets.

RC F-18 Skymaster
RC F-18

Thrust for the 67 in. wingspan, 90 in. length RC F-18 by Skymaster can be provided with a single 25 to 35 lb. thrust turbine.

On January 7, 1983 the first airplane squadron, US Marines VMFA-314 "Black Knights", became operational.

In 1986 the U.S. Navy aerobatic team began using the airplane in their performances. They continue to fly as a team to this date.

RC F-18 Tomhe
RC F-18

The RC F-18 from Tomhe.net free plans is made from Depron and comes with a propeller driven by a Speed 400 size motor in the middle of the fuselage for power. Wingspan is 29 in. and length is 40 in.

The F-18 played a major role in the 1986 U.S. strikes against Libya. Flying from the U.S.S. Coral Sea, F-18 aircraft launched high speed anti-radiation missiles (HARM) against Libyan air defense radars and surface to air missile sites. With those targets destroyed, it was possible to fly against targets in Benghazi.

RC F-18

The RC F-18 from FMS is 38 in. long with a wingspan of 26 in. and a weight of about 22 oz. It is a foamy that comes ready to fly with radio, motor, 64 mm EDF, controller, and flight battery.

Through 1987, a total of 371 model A and a total of 40 model B aircraft were completed when production switched to models C and D. On September 3, 1986 the model C had its first flight.

RC F-18 ART Tech
RC F-18

The RC F-18 from Art-Tech has wingspan that is 27 in. and length that is 41 in. Included is a 4300 kV motor and fan unit. Weight is about 1 1/2 lbs.

In November of 1989, the first F-18 night fighter aircraft were deployed.

In 1990 the U. S. Navy began the development of the newest F-18 as a replacement for aging aircraft. On November 29, 1995 the first prototype of the new aircraft took to the sky. In 1997 the manufacture of production models started. On February 15, 2000, the U.S. Navy declared the new models E and F as ready for deployment. On July 24, 2002 the new Super Hornet aircraft became operational with the U.S. Navy.

RC F-18 Starmax
RC F-18

The FA-18 Super Hornet by Starmax comes in various color schemes, has a 27 in. wingspan and is 37 in. long with a weight of about 20 ounces. There is a motor and 64 mm fan unit.

The multi-role F-18 has flown fighter escort, forward air control, air-defense suppression, reconnaissance, close air support, and strike missions.

RC F-18 Nitro
RC F-18

Above is just one example of the RC F-18 from NitroPlanes. It comes with a brushless motor turning a 64 mm electric ducted fan. Wingspan is 26 in., length is 38 in., and weight is about 1 1/2 lbs. It comes in a variety of power choices, sizes, and as ARF or RTF.

F-18 ground crews praise its reliability and ease of maintenance. A number of aircraft have taken hits from missiles, brought their crews home safely, underwent repairs, and were flying soon afterward.

RC F-18 Hobby Express
RC F-18

The RC F-18 from Hobby Express has rotating exhaust nozzles for added maneuverability, and retractable landing gear. Its wingspan is 38" and length 52" making for better visibility than smaller models. That's a good thing considering its estimated 80 mph top speed provided by a 90 mm fan unit putting out some 85 oz. of thrust.

Ron Krolikowski wrote this review: "The RC F-18 from Hobby Express is steady and easy to fly with straight ahead stalls. It easily recovers from stalls with just a touch of throttle, or if you have enough altitude, pushing the elevator a little forward. It flies fast with a quick roll rate. Landings are easy. I especially like to do nose-high carrier type landings where the airplane slows quickly, but maintains attitude with a little throttle on. I highly recommend the airplane. - Cheers, Ron"

Thank you Ron, for sharing your RC F-18 experiences.

Dan Gonzales emailed us this review: "I hope that this information about the RC F-18 from Hobby Express helps anyone who is considering purchasing it. The handling is terrific. The airplane is extremely capable, yet it doesn't get away from you if you have flown fast, low wing airplanes before. I heard about upgrading the fan and motor before I flew the airplane. Maybe I will do it some time in the future, but for right now, it comes with all of the power that I need. Also, if you want to do a low, slow pass over the field, the airplane will throttle down very well. That's why I think the RC F-18 is so terrific. I highly recommend it."

Thank you for your RC F-18 comments, Dan.

Beginning in 1991, F-18 aircraft have been equipped with F404-GE-402 enhanced performance engines, producing about one fifth more thrust than previous engines.

RC F-18

The RC F-18 from HET RC comes in a number of color schemes. Its wingspan is 47 in. and length is 59 in. Suggested power can come from a pair of Typhoon motors turning 70 mm fan units. It features rotating exhaust nozzles, working flaps, and retracts. Weight is around 6 lbs. all up. The RC F-18 has been described as great looking and good flying with an excellent flight envelope.

Another RC F-18 from HET has a wingspan of 39 in. and it is 56 in. long with a weight of about 98 oz. It needs a single Typhoon motor with a 480 EDF unit.

In May of 1994 the F-18 received upgraded radar with faster speed and greater memory processors.

In addition to the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps, the F-18 has been used by the air forces of Australia, Canada, Finland, Kuwait, Malaysia, Spain, and Switzerland.

RC F-18 Shenzhen
RC F-18

The RC F-18 manufactured by Shenzhen comes ready to fly. Its wingspan is 27 in with a 40 in. length and weight of about 28 ounces. It comes with a motor and EDF unit. We don't know anyone who has this model. If you can tell us how it builds and flies, we would appreciate the information.

We received the following review from Frank Roseby: "I recently purchased the RC F-18 made by Shenzhehn. Here are some of my observations about it:

The RC F-18 from Shenzhehn comes very complete with the controller, motor and EDF unit already hooked together. You can use your favorite electronics and flight battery.

I feel more comfortable hand launching most planes, and the RC F-18 is no exception. However, if you have a nice, smooth, paved surface, it will get into the air in a hurry. Landings are a little tricky. It is best to get it over the end of the runway with some speed on and slowly reducing the throttle to avoid getting into trouble. Other than that, I really like the RC F-18.
Thank you for your review of the RC F-18, Frank.

Canada became the first international customer for the F-18, with an initial order of 136 aircraft. An unusual feature of Canadian aircraft was a cockpit painted on the underside of the aircraft, in hopes of momentarily confusing an enemy pilot while engaging in visual combat.

A larger RC F-18 from Shenzhen is big enough to be easily seen, and is propelled by twin motors turning a pair of 70 mm EDF units that give it excellent speed. The 44 in. wingspan, 60 in. long airplane comes with two flight batteries, motor controllers and a radio. It features folding wings and retracts. Weight is about 6 lbs.

RC F-18 Banana
RC F-18

The RC F-18 from Banana Hobby comes in blue and yellow colors and is a ARF. Its wingspan is 26 in. and length is 38 in. Included is a brushless motor turning a 64 mm fan. Weight is about 20 oz.

The Super Hornet is an extension of the success of its predecessor. It first flew in 1995 and began its test flights with U.S. Navy Squadron VFA-122 in November of 1999. It was deployed for aircraft carrier operations in 2001. Export versions were made available in 2005. The aircraft has proven itself in all weather, day and night missions. It has proven itself as additionally survivable, more maneuverable, faster, and even tougher than its predecessors.

RC F-18 Silverlit
RC F-18

The latest RC F-18 by Silverlit comes ready to fly, including motors, flight battery, charger, and radio. It is great for indoor flight at 13" long with a 10 1/4" wingspan.

Over 2,000 of the aircraft have been produced to date.

RC F-18 Exceed
RC F-18

Exceed's RC F-18 with a 90 mm fan unit has a wingspan of 41 in. and length of 57 in. Included with the EPO foamy are retracts, motor and controller. All up weight is around 5 1/2 lbs.

A smaller RC F-18 from Exceed comes as a RTF in various color schemes. Wingspan is 31 in and length is 46 in. Power comes from a 70 mm DF and brushless motor. Weight is about 30 oz.

RC F-18

The RC F-18 from Yellow Aircraft comes in kit form. The twin engine kit has a 72 in. wingspan and a length of 98 in. Their are several choices for power. These include 2 x .82 ducted fans with 2 x 5 1/4" tractor type fan units or 2 x 18 lb. thrust ea. turbines, or a single turbine with up to 45 lbs. of thrust.

There is a smaller Yellow Aircraft RC F-18 kit that takes a single turbine and can be engine powered with a 5 1/4" fan.

The RC F-18 from Juno is a balsawood and plywood kit. Its wingspan is 53 in. with a length of 59 in. You don't have to through the trouble or expense of turbine engines or even EDF's. For simplicity you will only need from a .60 to .90 two stroke engine in the nose. Weight is about 8 1/2 lbs. The kit has excellent plans and building instructions and its pieces are finished for an exceptional fit.

There is a RC F-18 made by Lanxiang, Feixiang, and Huayu that is 40 1/2 in. long, has a wingspan of 27 in. and weighs around 29 oz. Included with the RTF is a motor with controller and radio.

There are RC F-18 plan sets at no cost that can be found at Parkjets. They have from 24 in. to 42 in wingspans. These are of foam construction and can be powered by pusher props or EDFs.

The RC F-18 was reviewed by Don Blackmon of Chino, CA:

"The RC F-18 that I built has the 24 in. wingspan. It is from Parkjets plans. It is powered by a 11.1V battery and Himax 2015-4100 motor geared 4:1 turning a 9 x 6 prop. I like this motor set-up because it provides smooth, instant power throughout the rpm range. Landings couldn't be easier. The airplane slows quickly once the power is reduced. As it is near touch down it can be easily flared to produce a soft landing. I really like it."
Thank you for your review of the Parkjets RC F-18, Don.

Famous Model's RC F-18 comes ready to fly. Wingspan is 43 in. and length is 60 in. with all up weight of around 60 oz. Included are dual motors with fans, a flight battery, controller, servos, retracts, and a radio.

There are plans and instructions of the RC F-18 at Watt Flyer by Hunter 306. The pusher prop park flyer has a 28 in. wingspan and weighs around 17 oz. when equipped with a Speed 350 type motor.

The RC F-18 from Hobby Fly comes as RTF. Its wingspan is 27 in. and length is 38 1/2 in. Included is a radio, motor, and speed controller. Weight is about 15 oz.

The RC F-18 by Mr. Boogie of RC Groups wingspan is 23 in., and weight is 18 oz. Power comes from a Mega 16-15-4 motor turning a 6.5 x 4 prop.

The RC F-18 from Green Air Design comes in kit form and is made primarily from Depron. It has a 26" wingspan and needs two motors turning 50 mm fans for power.

Whelington Technology has a RC F-18 with wingspan of 27" and its length of 40 1/2". It was powered by a single motor. Weight was about 23 oz.

The RC F-18 from Century Jet has a 79 in. wingspan, is 106 1/2 in. long and weighs around 50 lbs. It can be built with flaps and retracts, and takes one or two turbine engines.

Amax produces a RC F-18 with a 27 in wingspan and 38 1/2 in. length that comes in numerous color schemes as an RTF. Included is a motor, fan unit, controller, flight battery, and FM radio. Weight is around 18 oz.

A RC F-18 with a 42 1/2 in. wingspan also comes from Amax. It is 59 in. long, comes ready to fly and weighs around 3 3/4 lbs.

The Amax RC F-18 with a 39 in. wingspan and 59 in. length has retractable l/g. Power comes from a brushless motor turning a 90 mm fan unit.

The RC F-18 from Lee comes complete with everything you need to fly except a battery charger. It is 47 in. long, has a 31 in. wingspan and is made from EPO. Included is a radio system, motor with controller driving a 70 mm fan, Weight is around 2 1/2 lbs.

Guanli manufacturers the RC F-18 in a variety of color schemes as a RTF. Its wingspan is 28 in. with power from a 64 mm fan unit.

The RC F-18 in profile scale has a 22 in. wingspan. This kit, from Jets Over Baguio and other retailers, has a low parts count and goes together quickly. It is easy to fly and can withstand hard landings.

Dianzhe has a RC F-18 that comes with a 14L motor, controller, servos, TX, RX, and flight battery. We do not know if it is still available.

A RC F-18 from T&B has a 19 in. wingspan, is 27 in. long, and includes a motor and 50 mm fan.

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