by Tim Wing
The VF/A-15 Hornet II is a multi-role variable fighter, which was designed by McDonnell Douglas for the Terran Union Armed Forces Navy (Terran Navy) in the late fifties. It was meant to replace the VF-14 Omega in Terran Naval service. The Hornet competed for the contract with Shimada Enterprises’ YF-16 Delta (later re-named the Sabre). Along with the Shimada’s YF/B-17 Epsilon (later renamed the Mustang), the Delta was part of the Legioss II system. The Legioss II was to replace the VF-14 Omega and VF/B-9 Beta, which together formed the original Legioss. Though Shimada won the contract for the back section of the Legioss (no other design was submitted), their YF-16 was little more than a redesigned VF-14 Omega, which itself was little more than a redesigned VF/A-6 Alpha. The YF/A-15, on the other hand, was a clean sheet design which introduced many new technologies.
The VF/A-15 Hornet II is a smallish fighter, similar in size to the VF-14 which it replaced. The transformation sequence is similar to the old Alpha and Omega fighters. In atmosphere the Hornet enjoys a thrust to weight ratio well in excess of any fighter to come before it, and with its large forward swept wings it is the most maneuverable Veritech fighter ever produced. The Hornet introduced a full virtual cockpit, with the pilot completely protected by armor. Surrounding the pilot is a 360 degree view of the world outside, projected in full three dimensional detail. While the Hornet has increased its internal reaction mass tankage over the Omega which it replaces, it is still fundamentally an atmospheric fighter. Only when combined with the VF/B-17 Mustang does it come into its own as a space fighter.
- Role: Multi-role variable fighter
- Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
- First flight: December 2057 (YF/A-15 prototype)
- Introduction: September 2061
- Status: In service
- Produced: from 2060
- Number built: 2500 (1250 additional on order, with more expected)
- Wing span: 10.4 meters (fighter mode)
- Weight: 21 metric tons (dry)
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Original artwork by: Yoshitaka Amano, Shinji Aramaki and Hideki Kakinuma
Content by Tim Wing
Copyright © 2015 Tim Wing