The General Electric developed the F404 for the F/A-18 Hornet, shortly after losing the competition for the F-15 Eagle’s engine to Pratt & Whitney, and losing the Lightweight Fighter competition to the Pratt & Whitney F100 powered YF-16. For the F/A-18, GE based the F404 on the YJ101 engine they had developed for the Northrop YF-17, enlarging the bypass ratio from .20 to .34 to enable higher fuel economy. The engine was designed with a higher priority on reliability than performance. Cost was the main goal in the design of the engine.
The General Electric F404 engine connects to the airframe at only 10 points and can be replaced without special equipment. A four-person team can remove the engine within 20 minutes.
Some Interesting Facts About The McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet:
- It first flew in 1978 and was introduced in 1983.
- It can take off from aircraft carriers because of its special design.