Finnish Air Force  F-18 Hornet

These photos were taken by Vesa Halme except for the ejection seat photos, which are official Finnish Air Force photos. They are used with permission from FinnAF.

The pictures have been taken at various roll-out ceremonies and airshows in Finland in 1995 - 2003, and at IPMS Finland's field trip to Fighter Squadron 21 in Pirkkala AB, Finland in August 2003. There are some photos of the Swiss Air Force F-18 Hornet mixed in as well to show details of the plane, since the Finnish and Swiss Hornets are externally very similar.

Top of nose. Note the no-step marking on air refueling receptacle door.      
Gun bay mesh screens and front gear doors. Front gear of Swiss F-18.    
  Registration (12cm high) and roundel (24cm diameter), right side.   Single-point refueling receptacle.
  Fuselage underside, note raked back center pylon.    
Front gear showing holdback attachment point at rear.      
Auxiliary door at front of wing fold.      
      Intake trunk, note color demarcation inside
Intake trunk details   AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispenser humps. Wing pylon attachment point.
  Text on intakes: IMUVAARA (danger, intake). F-18 at Lusi road base, June 2002.  
  Wing pylon rear attachment.   AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers.
    Larger dispensers necessitate humps flaring into gear doors.  
  Text on outer portion of inner flap: ASTU TÄHÄN VAIN SIIVEKE LUKITTUNA (step here only with flap locked) was added in 1998.    
    Notched wing flap to clear missile fins.  
Note color demarcation in rear fuselage.   Text on horizontal stabilizers, within the line: ASTU (step) or ASTU TÄHÄN (step here) depending on the individual plane, outside the line: ÄLÄ ASTU (no step).  
Text under horizontal stabilizers: VAARA PYSÄYTYSKOUKKU (danger, arresting hook).      
APU intake. APU exhaust.    
Pristine exhaust of GE F404-402EPE engine.      
    Formation strip light is not even with fuselage side.  
  Auxiliary door at rear of wing fold. Text on outer portion of inner flap: ASTU TÄHÄN VAIN SIIVEKE LUKITTUNA (step here only with flap locked) was added in 1998. The "No Step" markings are mostly represented by "footprints" with a cross drawn over them. The footprints are 12,5 cm long and 6 cm wide. The cross is slightly wider.
  F-18 at Lusi road base, June 2002. Swiss AF inert Sidewinder.  
    Rear attachment point of wing pylon  
      Left intake with warning text in Finnish.
    AN/ALE-47 chaff/flare dispensers.  
      Text on canopy sill: VARO RÄJÄHTEITÄ ÄLÄ LEIKKAA TÄSTÄ (warning, explosives, don't cut here).
Text in Finnish on the wing leading edge extension: TIKKAAT (ladder). Under the canopy, text inside the warning triangle: VAARA (danger) HEITTOISTUIN JA KUOMU (ejection seat and canopy).    
  The planes all have a searchlight, just like the Canadian and Kuwaiti planes.    
  Searchlight assembly / cannon reloading door open.    
    Texts beside boarding ladder under the wing leading edge extension: ETULUKKO, TIKKAIDEN ALASOTTO, 1. AVAA ETU- JA TAKALUKOT, 2. AVAA TURVALUKKO, 3. LASKE TIKKAAT ALAS, 4. KIINNITÄ TUENTA (front lock, To open the ladder, 1. open the front and rear locks, 2. open the security lock, 3. lower the ladder, 4. attach the support).  
Texts beside boarding ladder under the wing leading edge extension: TIKKAIDEN YLÖSNOSTO, 1. IRROTA SIVUTUKI, 2. VAPAUTA VINOTUKI, 3. NOSTA TIKKAAT, 4. SULJE LUKOT, TAKALUKKO (To raise the ladder, 1. detach the side support, 2. release the angled support, 3. raise the ladder, 4. close the locks, rear lock).      
    Martin-Baker Mk. SF14 NACES ejection seat as found in the FinnAF F-18's. This is a practice seat.  
  A Swedish Count, Eric von Rosen, donated the first plane to the Finnish Air Force on March 6, 1918. To commemorate this, there is always one fighter plane named after him. This is the test style found on the bottom of the vertical stabilizers on HN-457, the last F-18C built.

Hornetology - F-18 Hornet in Finnish Air Force service

External details

Internal details

Painting and markings




Other notable items

Accessories for building a model

F-4Dable Models has made decals for the Finnish Hornets in 1/72, 1/48 and 1/32. You can get them from at least T:mi Kuivalainen in Finland and Twobobs Aviation Graphics in USA.

V.M.D. Studios in USA has made an exterior detail set in 1/32 containing the AN/ALE-47 double capacity flare/chaff dispensers.

Photos and text © 1995-2005 by Vesa Halme and Finnish Air Force