FSX F/A-18 Combat Version

PreviewF/A-18 Combat Version. This is the Acceleration F/A-18 Hornet equipped with 20mm M61 cannon and a fully functional air-to-air gun mode found in the real F/A-18. With the two radar modes, the two gun sights and the flying tracers, the virtual dogfight will be very similar to a real one. You will n...

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Complete with Base Model
Download hits
Microsoft Flight Simulator X (FSX) including Steam Edition & Prepar3D (P3D)
File size
15.82 MB
Virus Scan
Scanned 15 days ago (clean)
Access to file
Free (Freeware)
Content Rating
5 star rating.

Rated 5 out of 5 stars by 4 PRO members.

F/A-18 Combat Version. This is the Acceleration F/A-18 Hornet equipped with 20mm M61 cannon and a fully functional air-to-air gun mode found in the real F/A-18. With the two radar modes, the two gun sights and the flying tracers, the virtual dogfight will be very similar to a real one. You will not be able to shoot down other aircraft, but you will receive an immediate indication on your HUD if a bullet hit the bandit. The flight model is unchanged from the Acceleration F/A-18 except for allowing manually controlled flaps and reducing the arresting wire tension for smoother carrier landings. The HUD is an upgrade of the Realistic F/A-18 HUD by Jivko Rusev and Scott Printz, which allows ILS and TACAN navigation for aircraft carriers. You will also get a couple of additional gauges - an In-Flight Refueling Gauge, PLAT Camera and a Carrier Landing Gauge. By Jivko Rusev.

F/A-18 Combat Version with realistic HUD.

F/A-18 Combat Version with realistic HUD.

You will find a detailed description of the A/A Gun mode in the Air-to-Air Guns Manual that comes with the package.

Description of the additional gauges can be found in the folder.

This package requires Flight Simulator X: Acceleration!

1. Copy the folder 'FA-18_Combat', contained in this package, to .
2. Copy the content of the 'Effects' folder, contained in this package, to .
3. Map the function 'Release Droppable Objects' to a button on your joystick and make sure the slider Repeat is all the way to the right (max).

You can choose the aircraft by selecting "Neutrino" in the Publisher drop-down menu.


Head-up Display
1. Accurate F/A-18 HUD symbology
2. Transparent HUD glass
3. Blue/green color
4. Ground Proximity Warning System
5. Barometric/radar altitude
6. Caged mode

Carrier ILS/TCN Navigation
1. Default Acceleration carrier: 111.00 MHz or TACAN channel 47X
2. Javier's Nimitz carrier: 112.00 MHz or TACAN channel 57X
3. Clemenceau carrier: 113.00 MHz or TACAN channel 77X

HUD Radar modes
1. Radar Gun Acquisition (GACQ) sub-mode (20 degrees forward looking within 5 nm)
2. Radar Single Target Track (STT) sub-mode (TD Box, range and closure rate)

A/A Master Mode
1. Air-to-air guns mode enabled with two gunsights:
1.1 Funnel Mode
1.2 Gun Director Mode (Gun Reticule with "SHOOT" Cue)
2. Realistic Gun:
2.1 Precise ballistic trajectory of a 20mm PGU-28/B round fired by M61A1 Vulcan
2.2 HIGH/LOW rate of fire (6,000/4,000 rpm)
2.3 Feedback if target was hit

Additional Gauges
1. Carrier Landing Gauge (Shift+7)
2. PLAT camera crosshairs (Shift+8)
3. In-Flight Refueling Gauge (Shift+9)

Flight Model
The flight model is unchanged from the Acceleration Hornet except for manually controlled flaps for more realistic landing speeds and arrestor wire tension reduced for smoother landings.

What the Combat Hornet doesn't do?
You will not be able to shoot down people in mulitplayer or AI in free flight. Although this limitation can be overcome, I don't think it is necessary especially for gunnery practice. You will get immediate feedback on your HUD if you made a good shot.

Modifying for personal use
If you wish to modify the Combat Hornet for your own personal use, you are free to do that. You can add textures, gauges, effects, sounds or change the .air file. Do not replace the aircraft.cfg or panel.cfg, only edit them as necessary!

1. With TrackIR, if you shift your head (left/right, up/down), the target box will not be exactly on top of the bandit. This is because the HUD is not collimated. Without TrackIR you will not experience this problem; there may be slight misalignment as you accelerate or decelerate, but it will still cover the target. Unfortunately HUD collimation can be provided only by the model designer. Even with misalignment, the SHOOT cue will give a correct signal to open fire.
2. To minimize the loss of HUD conformality with TrackIR, you can reduce the y-axis sensitivity and increase the deadzone.
3. You will not be able to fire in 2D cockpit view or external view. The trigger is active only in the virtual cockpit.
4. For some reason sharing the cockpit with another player in MP fails.

SPECIAL THANKS to the beta testing team: Orion Lyau, Christian "Sludge" Snow, Benjamin "Afterburn" Rothstein, Razgriz, Sonofabeech, Capthaltli, Mickey_Techy, IRONDAN, Steven Frost, Peter797, Frankwi, Paul French, Randall Freeman, DButler.

Thanks to Orion Lyau for his help in editing the manual.

In-Flight Refueling Gauge by Andy Niko & Jivko Rusev
PLAT Camera crosshairs by Jivko Rusev
Carrier Landing Gauge by Jivko Rusev
Sound Gauge (dsd_xml_sound3) by Doug Dawson
Transparent HUD glass by Enrico B.

F/A-18 Combat Version in flight refueling.

F/A-18 Combat Version in flight refueling.

Images & Screenshots

Screenshot 1Screenshot 2Screenshot 3Screenshot 4Screenshot 5Screenshot 6Screenshot 7Screenshot 8Screenshot 9Screenshot 10Screenshot 11Screenshot 12Screenshot 13Screenshot 14

The archive fsx_fa-18_combat.zip has 124 files and directories contained within it.

File Contents

This list displays the first 500 files in the package. If the package has more, you will need to download it to view them.

Filename/Directory File Date File Size
FA-18_Combat10.30.100 B
aircraft.cfg10.25.1021.19 kB
boeing_FA18_check.htm08.22.0758.30 kB
boeing_FA18_ref.htm08.22.075.17 kB
Docs10.30.100 B
Carrier Landing Gauge10.30.100 B
Carrier Landing Gauge.jpg10.22.10194.43 kB
README.txt10.22.101.03 kB
FA-18_GUNS_MANUAL.pdf10.30.10451.91 kB
In-Flight Refueling Gauge10.30.100 B
In-Flight Refueling Gauge.jpg04.18.10201.18 kB
README.txt10.21.104.01 kB
PLAT Camera Crosshairs10.30.100 B
PLAT Camera Crosshairs.jpg12.08.0963.98 kB
README.txt10.29.102.09 kB
Realistic Hornet HUD10.30.100 B
README.txt10.22.107.50 kB
Realistic Hornet HUD.jpg11.18.0935.56 kB
Effects10.30.100 B
fx_F18_gun_smoke.fx10.22.103.94 kB
FA-18.air09.26.077.40 kB
Model10.30.100 B
model.cfg10.15.1028 B
Panel10.30.100 B
Carrier_Landing_Gauge.CAB10.15.101.23 kB
FA18_HUD10.30.100 B
FA18_HUD_Init.xml10.27.101.64 kB
FA18_HUD_Sounds10.30.100 B
bttn_large.wav10.09.105.89 kB
bttn_mid.wav10.09.106.15 kB
bttn_small.wav10.09.105.99 kB
dsd_xml_sound3.gau09.08.1092.80 kB
M61_HI.wav09.14.10518.73 kB
M61_LO.wav09.08.10129.24 kB
Sounds.ini10.17.10606 B
FA18_HUD_Switches.CAB10.28.1087.43 kB
FA18_HUD_VC_R.CAB10.28.10132.40 kB
panel.cfg10.26.105.55 kB
PLAT_Camera.CAB10.28.101.33 kB
RefuelingGauge.CAB10.25.109.09 kB
sound10.30.100 B
sound.cfg01.02.1028 B
soundai10.30.100 B
soundai.cfg10.15.1030 B
Texture.USMC10.30.100 B
F-18_Main01_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main02_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main03_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main04_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Wingl_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_WingR_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
texture.cfg10.18.10137 B
thumbnail.jpg10.17.103.18 kB
Texture10.30.100 B
$F18_A_GAUGE1.dds08.22.07682.79 kB
AfterBurner_Spec.dds08.22.0785.45 kB
AfterBurner_t.dds08.22.0785.45 kB
F-18_Afterburner_T.dds08.22.0785.45 kB
F-18_Glass_T.dds08.22.0721.45 kB
F-18_Main01_LM_T.dds09.09.071.38 kB
F-18_Main01_T_Bump.dds08.22.071.00 MB
F-18_Main01_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main02_LM_T.dds08.31.071.33 MB
F-18_Main02_T_Bump.dds08.22.071.00 MB
F-18_Main02_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main03_T_Bump.dds08.22.071.00 MB
F-18_Main03_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main04_LM_T.dds08.31.071.33 MB
F-18_Main04_T_Bump.dds08.22.071.00 MB
F-18_Main04_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main05_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main05_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main06_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main06_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Main07_T.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_Wingl_T_Bump.dds08.22.071.00 MB
F-18_Wingl_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
F-18_WingR_T_Bump.dds08.22.071.00 MB
F-18_WingR_T_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
FA_18_01_C.dds08.22.07682.79 kB
FA_18_01_C_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
FA_18_01_NIGHT_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_02_C.dds08.22.07682.79 kB
FA_18_02_C_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
FA_18_02_NIGHT_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_03_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_03_C_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
FA_18_03_NIGHT_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_04_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_04_C_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
FA_18_04_NIGHT_C.dds08.22.07682.79 kB
FA_18_05_C.dds.bak09.02.07170.79 kB
FA_18_05_C_Specular.dds08.22.07341.45 kB
FA_18_05_NIGHT_C.dds08.22.07170.79 kB
FA_18_06_C.dds08.22.07682.79 kB
FA_18_06_C_Specular.dds08.22.071.33 MB
FA_18_06_NIGHT_C.dds08.22.07682.79 kB
FA_18_07_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_07_C_Specular.dds09.02.071.33 MB
FA_18_07_NIGHT_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_08_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_08_C_SPECULAR.dds09.02.071.33 MB
FA_18_08_NIGHT_C.dds09.02.07682.79 kB
FA_18_Cube.dds08.22.07170.79 kB
FA_18_fresnelhud.dds08.22.07640 B
FA_18_Hud_Glass.dds11.03.0985.48 kB
Fresnel_Ramp.dds08.22.07640 B
texture.cfg08.22.07137 B
FA-18_GUNS_MANUAL.pdf10.30.10451.91 kB
README.txt10.30.106.25 kB
thumbnail.jpg10.22.108.63 kB
flyawaysimulation.txt10.29.13959 B
Go to Fly Away Simulation.url01.22.1652 B
Screenshots09.01.170 B
001.jpg09.01.17251.37 kB
002.jpg09.01.17253.86 kB
003.jpg09.01.17489.78 kB
004.jpg09.01.17234.20 kB
005.jpg09.01.17338.61 kB
006.jpg09.01.1771.17 kB
007.jpg09.01.17246.77 kB
008.jpg09.01.1759.96 kB
009.jpg09.01.1760.81 kB
010.jpg09.01.17333.04 kB


As a youth, I spent many hours playing the likes of F-16 on the SEGA Genesis and therefore I racked up plenty of hours as a virtual fighter pilot. One thing that has disappointed me growing up, though, has been the lack of quality sky-based shooters that exist. Outside of the flight simulation world that we all know so well, quality flight games with combat elements are short on the ground. My dream, then, was always to see true combat brought into flight simulation and make it far more engaging than it has been for me in recent years.

Preview screenshot

Well, this mod does just that by introducing the Combat Edition of the F/A-18 aircraft. This remake of the classic Hornet provides you with a cracking 20mm M61 cannon to fire off at your unfortunate foes. This provides you with solid air-to-air combat capabilities, allowing you to finally engage in dogfights in a flight simulator that’s made for true flight realism and not Hollywood movie scenes!

If you want to get the real challenge that comes with fighting in the skies, this is for you. You’ll have access to two radar modes – one that allows for tracers, and one that allows for gun sights – and you’ll be facing all of the different procedures a real pilot has to take on when engaged in a dogfight.

The model itself for the aircraft has been vastly altered, with manually controlled flaps and arrested wire tension included for smoother takeoff, flight and landings. If you are interested in seeing what the HUD would have been changed to, then you will be in for a treat! This gets a whole new makeover to give you access to what you need on the HUD to get your firepower just right.

At first, I will admit that I was a little thrown about the way that the aircraft was going to work. Thankfully, the massively detailed manual that comes with it made installation and then usage incredibly easy. I learned from the ease of using the HUD properly and understanding what it all stood for, as well as getting used to the proximity warning systems, and the altitude systems all being in such a rather unique place.

However, you also get to deal with various other aspects of flight that you may not have considered coming into play when you are busy trying to shoot people down. The way that firing works, too, has been made very realistic so this ensures that you won’t feel like you are some kind of Top Gun star in the making! It’s all very authentic and whilst missing constantly can be frustrating, it makes the shots you do land feel spectacular.

Although you can’t gun down other AI aircraft, or shoot down your friends in multiplayer, you can certainly hit them and gain conformation that the shot connected. Whilst other mods allow this, it won’t give you the same quality of realism and response as this mod is capable of.

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe

Adam McEnroe is a flight sim enthusiast who has been simming since the days of FS95. Adam writes all of the download section editorials after testing each of the files. Adam has extensive knowledge using various flight simulator packages and thoroughly tests the files before writing about them. Adam also like to fly real-world aircraft in his spare time and is training for his PPL.

Should you wish, you can contact Adam via email at adam@flyawaysimulation.com.

Installation icon.

Installation Instructions

Most of the freeware add-on aircraft and scenery packages in our file library come with easy installation instructions which you can read above in the file description. For further installation help, please see our Flight School for our full range of tutorials or view the README file contained within the download. If in doubt, you may also ask a question or view existing answers in our dedicated Q&A forum.


Leave a Response

The content of the comments below are entirely the opinions of the individual posting the comment and do not always reflect the views of Fly Away Simulation. We moderate all comments manually before they are approved.

Enoch GarciaFri, 04 Mar 2022 22:57:22 GMT

Finally, to make the guns work, you need to make sure you do step 3 mapping of joystick!!! It works!

Enoch GarciaWed, 02 Mar 2022 18:03:27 GMT

There is no way to add a button to the settings assignments in extreme pro since there is no Weapons or Guns Event on it!!!!

fernad21Wed, 28 Jul 2021 20:59:50 GMT

The plane is not visible, I installed it correctly and nothing of the textures is seen.

MJfly22NowTue, 16 Mar 2021 01:29:50 GMT

Cant shoot... How can you assign guns or shoot to a button on the flight stick when guns or shoot are not assigned to a keyboard button, to begin with, because this is a flight sim software program. Does anyone know how to get it to shoot? Other gamers are asking the same question and getting no specific how-to answers... please help... it would make this sim much more enjoyable. Thank you... MJ.

MJSun, 14 Mar 2021 02:54:27 GMT

How do you assign a button on your flight stick to shoot when the shoot command is not listed to be assigned on the FSX keyboard commands to be added or customized? There is no information about how to shoot any rounds in the F/A-18A Air to Air Guns Manual. Is there anyone that has any information regarding this matter?

Jake siemensTue, 09 Mar 2021 22:28:27 GMT

F/A 18 fighter jet for flight simulator X!

EmileMon, 26 Oct 2020 06:49:23 GMT

For those that can't figure out how to shoot: Press Shift+2 to bring up the weapons panel. Click "A/A mode" on the top left. You have to assign a button for you to shoot. The top right of the panel gives you the option of high or low rpm.

EmileFri, 23 Oct 2020 13:17:33 GMT

Can we have some clarification on the instructions on how to install it? Or is it deleted/edited?

jeb Thu, 03 Sep 2020 11:39:29 GMT

Bro, can u add air to ground missiles?

David IsraelMon, 20 Jul 2020 04:45:49 GMT

Not bad at all. Works great in FSX Steam! good VC and excellent flight model.

Alex GawneWed, 01 Jul 2020 13:14:21 GMT

@Roy, if you still need to know the answer is yes as the FSX steam edition comes with acceleration already installed.

ChicoThu, 27 Feb 2020 23:00:45 GMT

What's with these instructions?

"Copy the folder 'FA-18_Combat', contained in this package, to ."

To where?

RoySun, 24 Mar 2019 10:04:40 GMT

Can I install it in FSX Steam Edition ?

ShahmirThu, 27 Dec 2018 05:13:22 GMT

I installed it into my FSX folder but when I try to load it I can't see the body. I have past experience installing airplanes but this problem is new

dkoldoffWed, 26 Jul 2017 00:56:16 GMT

Please tell me how to get the guns to work I have the aircraft downloaded but I cant get the guns to work

LeeviMon, 08 Feb 2016 00:44:30 GMT

I love this aircraft I've spent many hours on this game but one thing I cannot figure out is how to shoot

AleFri, 15 Nov 2013 09:54:21 GMT

Where to see the pylons?

3catloverWed, 29 May 2013 05:01:43 GMT

Excellent aircraft. Besides the gun effects it has other tweaks not mentioned that make it better than the default FSX acceleration aircraft.

RobTue, 16 Apr 2013 20:47:07 GMT

I have a question on the FSX Blue Angels FA-18 modified with all the new effects and sound, I am trying to add Tomcatter textures but when I do it says it cannot load texture, can you help me out with this? DO I need to add the texture to both Effects and the regular model?

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