Manufacturer: Boeing (formerly McDonnell Douglas)

Model: unknown

Name: Hornet UCAV

Type: Unmanned jet fighter

Date: 2012

Status: Operational

Country: United States of America

Service: U.S. Navy

Designation: QF-18H


This is a photo of two F-18s which was edited by erasing the cockpits and drawing a closed compartment in their place. This could be a way to change the aircraft from piloted to unpiloted by adding or removing a flight control module... or access to an enlarged bomb bay.

Viewers' comments:
  • "At fist sight I thought "wonderful, a giant aircraft with a tiny canopy, like a much oversized F-18". But no, unmanned, OK. Well, maybe I prefer my first interpretation anyway." (Tophe)
  • "Awesome picture!!!" (Fulcrum)

My comments:

The believability of a UCAV version lies not so much in the design itself (the removal of the cockpit doesn't change much to the aircraft's aerodynamics or general inflight behavior) as in the capacity to successfully operate it from the ground with the same efficiency in air-to-air combat as a piloted fighter... and although real-world UCAV fighter versions are probably in the works at the moment, that aspect still remains to be seen.