Hobby Master HA3569 USN F/A-18D ATARS Bengals Diecast Aircraft Model 1/72
"F/A-18D ATARS 164886, VMFA(AW)-224 ""Bengals"", MCAS Iwakuni, Japan 2009"
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.
On May 1, 1942 VMF-224 “Bengals” was commissioned and in 1951 received their first jet, F2H-2 Banshee. In 1952 VMF-224 became VMA-224 flying the Panther. In 1965 VMA-224 went to Vietnam and in 1966 received the A-6A Intruder and a unit name change to VMA(AW)-224. In 1993 saw yet another unit name change to VMFA(AW)-224 and upgraded to the F/A-18D Hornet. Starting in January 2009 the Bengals spent time at MCAS Iwakuni, Japan until July that year. F/A-18D 164886 was ATARS equipped (Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System), electro-optical sensor package which replaces the nose gun.