Finnish Hornet Creates Air Tattoo Buzz
Published: 26 Mar 2015
An already powerful list of front-line fighter displays at the Royal International Air Tattoo 2015 has been bolstered by the Finnish Air Force. Its impressive F/A-18C Hornet solo demonstration will make a rare British appearance at the show.
Finland's relatively small but very professional air force operates a total of 62 Hornets, split between 55 remaining single-seat F/A-18C models and seven two-seat F/A-18D conversion trainers. The single-seaters were built in-country by Finnish firm Patria.
Finland chose the Hornet in 1992 to replace its veteran Mikoyan MiG-21 and Saab Draken fighters. Two squadrons are equipped with the type, Fighter Squadrons 11 and 31, one each being attached to Lapland and Karelia Air Commands. Up to now, Finland has used the Hornet for the air-to-air role (F-18), with the F/A-18 designation, reflecting an upgraded air-to-ground capability.
The Air Tattoo was the first British show to see a Finnish Air Force Hornet demonstration, at RIAT 2000 staged at RAF Cottesmore. It last displayed at Fairford in 2009.