Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 A/B/C/D Hornets Vol. I

The advanced technology of the instrument panel has been simplified to the maximum so that it can be handled efficiently by a single pilot. Main element is the three digital screens, HUD, front panel and controls, according to HOTAS concept, so that the pilot can fulfill his mission without taking his eyes off the exterior or the hands of the controls.
The fuselage is of semi-shock construction, using aluminum, steel and composites, and between both engines there is a titanium firewall.
The instep supports the two vertical drifts and the airbrake, which is hydraulically operated and consists of compounds. Finally, in the right front part of the fuselage, just in front of the windshield, is the retractable in-flight refueling probe, also hydraulically operated.
The cantilever construction wing is straight and the structure is constructed of aluminum alloy, the lining being between the stringers and the graphite / epoxy flaps. It has leading edge flaps in its entirety, both hydraulically operated and programmed by the computer, being operated for optimal lift / resistance, both in maneuvering conditions and in cruise flight. The ailerons and flaps of the trailing edge can be differentially deflected for warping control. The maximum deflection of the control surfaces is 30º for the leading edge flaps, 45º for the leading edge flaps, as well as the ailerons, which can be controlled in concert with the flaps. The leading edge extensions (LERX) provide additional lift, generating vortices that positively affect directional stability and at angles of attack of up to 60º. The external wing panels fold 100º by means of mechanical actuators.

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The glue surfaces consist of a pair of one-piece stabilizers and two cantilever drifts. The structure is made of light alloy (bee panel) and the graphite / epoxy coating. The vertical surfaces are inclined 20º outwards, while the horizontal ones, with a negative dihedral of 2º, are completely mobile. Its operation can be collective or differential by means of hydraulic actuators. Precisely and in relation to vertical drifts, a fatigue problem was discovered due to the great batting they undergo on flights with high angles of attack. Initially the anchors were reinforced, to later include a modification in the production chain (and as retrofit in those already built), consisting of a small dorsal drift applied in each LEX, which alters the air flow through them and reduces to zero fatigue.
The landing gear consists of a directional front landing leg, with two twin wheels and a catapult bar (absent in the 72 F-18 of the FACA programme, putting in place a counterweight; the 24 of the CX program if they carry it) and the two main landings, with one wheel each. The front folds forward and the main ones back, pivoting 90º. These have disc brakes equipped with an anti-skid system. The arresting hook is under the lower fuselage, between both engines.
The fly-by-wire control system is quadruple, fully digitized through a multiplex bar
Mil/Stnd. 1553B. It has a direct electrical support to each control surface and direct mechanical to the stabilizers. Through the system, controls are automatically regulated according to flight conditions. Hydraulic power is provided by two separate 3,000 psi systems.

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Radar And Equipment
The early Hornets incorporated an AN/APG-65 multimode / multimission radar, which over hundreds of thousands of hours of operation has proven to be one of the most flexible equipment ever designed, mainly due to a programmable signal processor. Even the operating modes in stock can be modified or added new, simply by changing the software. Its maximum range is 144 km. and it works with two impulse repetition frequencies, high and medium, using the doppler effect to discriminate moving targets with respect to the return of the ground, which makes it possible to make blockages both down-up and up-down. The high frequency of repetition of impulses allows the guidance of semi-active missiles type AIM-7F/P Sparrow, without using a continuous wave illuminator. It is provided with a high power transmitter, liquid cooled, and uses a progressive wave tube; Pthe APG-65 information is presented in the HUD and in any of the two side screens. One of the most interesting ways is the so-called “raid appreciation”, which allows you to separate targets that fly close together and identify them perfectly, as well as a short distance tracking mode to control the fire of the cannon, which in this way becomes in a deadly weapon in closed fighting. You can track ten targets, eight of which, the most dangerous, are presented on the screen.

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