HMH Publications | Boeing (McDonnell Douglas) F/A-18 A/B & C/D Hornet

Reviewed by Kevin Williams

Publisher: HMH Publications
Author(s): R. Pied, Nic Deboeck
Publishing date: 2019
ISBN: 978-2-9602488-7-6 (Softcover)
Pages: 138

Another winner! This particular volume covers the McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18 legacy hornets, and I'm thrilled silly to finally get my hands on this. Everything the Hornet enthusiast could want, and gobs of it, is featured in this book. This volume, I don't hesitate to state, will set the benchmark for any and all future Hornet references, typical for the majority of HMH publications. (I'm now keeping my fingers crossed that we'll also eventually be seeing a volume dedicated to the F/A-18E/F Super Hornets; that would really make my day.)

At present, there is only one worthwhile kit of the Legacy Hornet that I'm aware of, that kit being the "C" example from Academy, and a splendid kit it is, from what I've heard.

As with the majority of titles from this publisher, this is very much a collaborative effort, using photos from many varied sources, each with appropriate photo credits given, and there are quite a substantial number of them in this magnificent volume. Printed on good quality semi-glossy stock, the photos are nothing sort of magnificent, highlighting many areas of the air-frame, giving both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, a wealth of eye candy on this fascinating plane. If there's a detail of the Hornet that you'd like to see, it's more than likely in this book.

While I certainly should be used to it by now, flipping through the pages of an HMH title, still fills me with awe. The quality and variety of images, is truly mesmerizing.

This particular book (No. 08 in the series), depicts the rather interesting and iconic McDonnell Douglas (Boeing) F/A-18 legacy Hornets, and it’s geared toward both modelers and aviation enthusiasts alike, being very much a detailed, walk around overview of the type, and that pleases me immeasurably, as it's the major reference type that I seek these days.

Photo Samples

Photos are broken down by section; types, forward fuselage, ATARS, LEX, fuselage, air intakes, wings, Blue Angels, fuselage (again), cockpit (numerous pages), front landing gear, front landing gear bay, main landing gear, arresting hook, vertical tail, speed brake, horizontal tail, exhaust, maintenance, engine, maintenance (again), engine (again) defence [sic] systems, ordnance, and finally, Action!! Certainly enough material is presented here, to satisfy even the most ardent Hornet enthusiast, with gobs of beautiful, crystal clear, sharp colorful imagery.

The myriad photos obviously form the backbone of this book, and for me, this is a true blessing, as I can never seem to get enough details, and this book certainly has them in great abundance. Generally, text is very informative as well. Photos are razor sharp, revealing incredibly nice color details. (It is also apparent that a couple of new titles are in the works right now, and they will most likely be crowd pleasers. I'll defer to HMH for those announcements.)

For those with a passion for the legacy Hornet(s), I can highly recommend this volume. Buy a copy, you will not be disappointed.


On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d rate this book as a solid 10, no question about it. Topping out at a hefty 138 pages of EA-6B goodness, it's just packed wall-to-wall with details, details, and more details, and is therefore highly recommended. (Being a St. Louis hometown boy, I've grown quite accustomed over the years to regularly seeing (and hearing) F-4 Phantoms, F-15 Eagles, Legacy Hornets and now Super Hornets, and am so pleased that I've gotten to experience all of these types "first-hand".) Highly recommended.

(Several additional volumes; A-4 Skyhawk, MiG-31, and Mirages (F-1 and III/5), not to mention the upcoming Su-22 Fitter volume, will definitely be added to my ever growing book collection, and that can't happen soon enough, as far as I'm concerned.)

HMH continues here the wonderful tradition of high quality photo-documentation type books, setting the bar quite high for any emulators that may seek to match or exceed, and I heartily applaud those efforts.

Note: Book cover image directly from HMH Publications (used with permission).

My review copy compliments of Casemate Publishers. Thanks a ton to Casemate, it's truly an outstanding reference book for the Hornets, really top-notch stuff.

© Kevin Williams 2022

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This review was published on Monday, May 23 2022; Last modified on Friday, March 03 2023