It recovers fast, is repaired quickly, and then flies the next day. That is how versatile and reliable the F-18 is. The F-18C Hornet was born in 1987 as the result of a block upgrade of the F-18. Production of the F-18C, a single seat variant, ended in 1999 having been superseded by the F/A-18E and F/A-18F Super Hornet. F-18C/D models are expected to retire by 2020.
Since 1986, the F-18C has been the aerial demonstration aircraft for the Blue Angels, the United States Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. Formed inn 1946, the Blue Angels is the world''s first officially-sanctioned military aerial demonstration team. The Blue Angels first flew three aircraft in formation, then four, and currently operate six aircraft per show. It is backed up by a seventh aircraft, in the event of mechanical problems with one of the other aircraft. The squadron gives public relations "demonstration flights" to civilians, usually selected from a press pool.