I have finshed my entry in the What if GB, a FSW F-18.
I started with and old Airfix F-18 and matchbox Gnat:
Glued it togehter:
And then painted;
After decals and details she looks like this:
The back story of my F-18L is the following:
First reality (straight from the Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F-18#Northrop.27s_F-18L and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northrop )
Northrop developed the F-18L as a potential export aircraft. Since it did not have to be strengthened for carrier service, it was expected to be lighter and better performing, and a strong competitor to the F-16 Fighting Falcon then being offered to American allies. The F-18L's maximum gross weight was 7,700 pounds (3,493 kg) (approximately 30%) lighter than the F/A-18A, due to lighter landing gear, removal of the wing folding mechanism, reduced part thickness in areas and lower fuel capacity.
Northrop intended to sell a de-navalized version as the F-18L, but the basic F-18A continued to outsell it, leading to a long and fruitless lawsuit between the two companies. Northrop continued to build much of the F-18 fuselage and other systems after this period, but also returned to the original F-5 design with yet another new engine to produce the F-20 Tigershark as a low-cost aircraft. This garnered little interest in the market, and the project was dropped.
In 1994, partly due to the loss of the Advanced Tactical Fighter contract to Lockheed Martin and the removal of their proposal from consideration for the Joint Strike Fighter competition, the company bought Grumman to form Northrop Grumman.
(And this is where reaility ends and fantasy starts)
Northop had one more trick up its sleave to try and gain acces to the global jet fighter market. Using the technical knowledge Grumman had on forward swept wings and Northop's knowledge on the F-18, a team of engineers made a new F-18 L design with forward swept wings. The technology demonstrator was made within a year after the merger by simply enlarging the X-29 wing planform and bolting this on a modified F-18 fuselage. Because the F-18 was designed for carrier landings no reinforcements of the fuselage where necessary. With this technology demonstrator Chuck Sewell made a world tour, which attracted a lot of interest of potential buyers. Because of its gaudy gold and green color scheme the technology demonstrator was called the Green Hornet.
This technology demonstrator was developt into a production model. The production model had a lot of the design modifcations of the old F-18 L. Combined with the smaller and lighter X-29-style forward swept wings the weight of the F-18 L FSW dropped with 35% compared to a F-18D. This greatly increased performance.
The launch costumer for the F-18L FSW was Taiwan (because of the failure of the Ching-kuo) which bought 235 aircraft. The F-18 L FSW became an export hit, beeing the first 4,5 generation fighter on the market. Other operators include Finland, Austria, Malaysia, Hungary and the Czech republic.Eventually, even the US Navy bought some F-18 L (and the two seater F-18 M) for there aggressor program.
My model is finshed in those US navy agressor markings.
Pretty kool What If. Thanks for sharing.