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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.

“It was an epic spectacle, as magical as anything you've ever seen in the West End, and as loud as anything you've ever heard at Knebworth.”

Jeremy Clarkson, Television Presenter

“All the thrills, excitement and noise of a Grand Prix, but in the air!”

Jenson Button, Formula 1 Racing Driver

“This is the best airshow!”

Buzz Aldrin, Apollo 11 Astronaut

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