The U.S. Marine Corps is soliciting proposals for the complete restoration of a McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet for the National Museum of the Marine Corps (NMMC) in Quantico, Virginia.
The plane to be restored to static display standards is scheduled for installation within the new galleries being constructed for the NMMC which are scheduled to open in July of 2016. The plane is specified to be restored to depict a McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A as used during Operation Desert Storm according to the contract documents. Landing gear is not to be restored and engines are to be returned to the Marine corps and it would appear the the plane is destined to be mounted to a display stand within the Gallery. The F/A-18 entered service in 1983 and is still serving the US Navy and Marines, and is the plane flown by the Navy’s Blue Angels flight demonstration squadron who switched to the Hornet in 1986. The supersonic fighter has had a role in nearly every military conflict the United States has been involved in since the eighties, and although it is designed for carrier based operations, the strength of the design and build has found Air Forces of countries without aircraft carriers purchasing the planes for their aerial defense needs including the Royal Canadian Air Force, Royal Australian Air Force, Finnish Air Force, Kuwait Air Force, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Spanish Air Force and the Swiss Air Force. The soundness of the platform has meant that though its successor is in production, the Boeing F/A-18E/F Super Hornet is an evolution of its predecessor, building on the existing design rather than a clean sheet of paper, incorporating the last 30 years of technological advances and breakthroughs in stealth technology into the new airframe.