Bullet?s bold blueprint to save Navy aviation

It?s not every day that the man in charge of Navy aviation gets to meet a ?Frankenfighter,? but that happened on Sept. 17 at Fleet Readiness Center Southwest.

Two decades ago, the depot on Naval Air Station North Island near San Diego likely would?ve scrapped a heavily damaged Hornet strike fighter already past its prime, but an ongoing readiness crisis in carrier aviation changed all that.

Mechanics decided to try to salvage the mess by stitching two crumpled planes together and cannibalizing parts from a jigsaw puzzle of other junked jets.