The city of Lancaster has announced the upcoming redesign and modernization of the F/A-18 Hornet display and supporting pedestal located in front of the Lancaster Municipal Stadium. The F/A-18 Hornet will be taken down from its mounting by mid-December and transported to NASA’s Dryden Aircraft Operations Facility in Palmdale where the restoration will be performed.
“The Antelope Valley community has a very proud aerospace history,” said Mayor R. Rex Parris. “Our community was thrust upon the international stage by our long-established engineering expertise. The Walk of Honor, along with the many other monuments throughout our city, stand as a testament of our country’s resolve and dedication to the advancement of aerospace technologies. We look forward to making our stadium’s F/A-18 shine even brighter for decades to come for Antelope Valley residents, as well as our tens of thousands of annual visitors.”
The F/A-18, which is perched atop a 28-foot-high pedestal, is on loan from NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base. As the 11th pre-production F/A-18, the single-seat “A” model jet was at the end of its flying life and had been retired, when it was installed in front of the stadium in March of 1997. NASA Dryden had obtained the developmental aircraft in 1987 to use as a mission-support or “chase” aircraft, meaning it was used by Dryden’s pilots, engineers and photographers to observe other research craft in flight and shoot video and photographs of test flights.
Lancaster officials will be working with NASA Dryden officials to assure the safe and timely process of redesign, modernization and reinstallation in front of the stadium occurs by the beginning of the upcoming Lancaster JetHawks season in early April.
“Our proud aerospace history is not only a unifying force throughout the Antelope Valley, but throughout all of California,” said Vice Mayor Marvin Crist.