The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) F/A-18 Hornet is a supersonic twin engine all-weather night fighter and attack aircraft. The F/A-18s first flew in November 1978 and the first production flight on April 12, 1980. The first 380 aircraft were F/A-18As and in September 1987 production switched to the F/A-18C. Variants A and C are single-seat aircraft while B and D are tandem- seats. The Hornet can operate from either aircraft carriers or land bases with the capability of in flight refueling. A total of 1,480 A-D variants were built.
In 2012 RCAF CF-188A 781 (US registry 188781) MSN 0556/A464 was selected to receive the special paint scheme to represent Canada’s Demo aircraft for that season. The aircraft paint theme was “The True North, Strong and Free” and flown by Captain Patrick Paco Gobeil, a former Snowbird Demonstration team member. Images on the aircraft depict the Arctic with 13 snowflakes to represent Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. Also shown are Northern Lights, Canada’s Maple Leaf, a polar bear and an Arctic hunter.