The McDonnell Douglas Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet is a twin-engine multi-role carrier-based
aircraft. The “E” variant is single-seater while the “F” variant is a tandem-seat configuration. The
“E” is a much larger, more advanced and more capable variant of the F/A-18C. The Super variant
can carry a larger array of weapons as well as more of them and is capable of returning to the
carrier while still carrying unspent munitions, a big savings in dollars. The first F/A-18E flight was
in 1995 and began delivery to the USN in 1999.
In late October 2006 VF-31 “Tomcatters” completed their last F-14 operation and converted to
the new McDonnell Douglas F/A-18E Super Hornet. Equipped with the new aircraft VF-31
became VFA-31. The first VFA-31 deployment took place in September 2008 on board USS
Theodore Roosevelt and after a short visit to South Africa sailed to support Operation Enduring
Freedom over Afghanistan. With being deployed over Christmas F/A-18E 166776 had a Santa
hat and present added to their Felix logo. On March 21, 2009 USS Theodore Roosevelt was
relieved by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.