Inspections Ordered for F/A-18 Hornets


Now the Hornet's got wing cracks...

Inspections Ordered for F/A-18 Hornets

The Navy is inspecting its entire fleet of F/A-18 Hornets after discovering cracks in more than a dozen of the planes' wings.

There have been no flight mishaps and no planes have been grounded, the Navy said.

Navy mechanics found the cracks this month during routine post-flight maintenance on a currently deployed plane, said Lt. Clayton Doss, a spokesman.

The damage was in the aluminum outer wing panel outboard aileron hinge. Ailerons help control the rolling motion of the aircraft, so a failure of this hinge could lead to further damage and the loss of the plane.

Subsequent inspections found similar cracks in 14 other planes. Five of the planes are deployed and are scheduled for immediate repair. The other 10 were in depot, reserve or training status, Doss said.

The Navy has issued a call to inspect all 636 of its older "legacy" Hornets -- the A, B, C and D variants. There are 112 such Hornets deployed worldwide; the remainder are in depot, reserve or training status.

The F/A-18 Super Hornets -- E's and F's -- are not affected.

Will this accelerate the argument for JSFs or just push for more Es and Fs?

-- Christian

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