Tuesday, June 30, 2020

US Naval reserve Squadron VR-52

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VR-52 has a small detachment of C-118 at Selfridge ANG.  The squadron provided support for VP-93.   These transport would pickup reserve members that where assigned to  VP93, VR-52 and the Naval detachment support group.   Some of the C-118 at time belong to the USAF.  The Air force declared C-118 as no longer needed for MAC.   Any of the C-118 had very low airframe time. So the Navy acquired the surplus transport.

   I remember flying on them.  The flights were smooth but slow.   One of my shipmate Johnny Hoag hated flying on them.  Johnny and I both worked in the VP-93 electric shop.   His fear was based on a return trip from the Azores in a C-118.  According to Johnny is was the flight from hell.  About have way across the Atlantic on a return flight.  The C-118 aircrew had to shut down an engine.   That was too bad as the aircraft could keep going.  But when the Flight engineer came back to the forward compartment to open a hatch for adding engine oil this perk Johnny's interest.   Hey Johnny said, "What going on".   The FE replied one of the engines is used to much oil.   About an hour later the FE returned to say that they might have too shut that engine down.    SHortly after Johnny looked out the window.  According to him, " I could see the tops of the waves only a few blow us.   As the aircraft approached the US coast the C-118 started to shake hard.   That is when the engine leak oil was shut down.   Now flying very low and slow the aircraft declared an emergency.  The C-118 landed without any problems.  Needless to say Johnny was now permanently terrified of flight a C-118.  This was his story.

VR-52 C-118 tail code JT

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NAF Detroit at Selfridge.  The dark spots in the photo is from the C-118 engines.

VR 52 had a Det at Selfridge from 1974 to around 1980. The VR squadron was base in Willow Grove. The other VR52 Dets where in Washington D.C. Dallas TX, and Minnesota. I believe the Selfridge Det was the one that lost C-118 in a crash in South America on the Embassy run.

John Kelly  The 1st time I went to sigonella. I was an E3 and sat by the wing and was told half joking to look outside from time to time. If you don't see an oil spray we need to stop and fill up!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

US Naval reserve Squadron VP-93

In the late 70's to the early 80's I was a P-3A flight engineer.   With was the greatest of my life. I got to fly in this aircraft as an FE. The Orion was an amazing aircraft.   From 1962 until up to a few months ago the aircraft was the main ASW for the naval.   A total 757 Orion's have been built.

Here are some picture of the P3-A's I crewed.

I was the FE in the chase plane

F4-C in Ghost grey scheme.

This is the only picture I found of a "C" in the ghost grey scheme. By this time most of the "C' where in the boneyard or battle damage aircraft.   This Oregon ANG aircraft also has the F-15 centerline tank mod.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Blast from the past Robin Olds Mig Killer Phantom built by Dave Boksanski

Another model built by Boh for Scale Modeler.   If you have been following this blog you will see that Boh was prolific model builder.  Not much was a change to him.  He would jump into the model
build while puffing on his big cigar.  When I would come by to build models with him. I could tell by the cloud of cigar smoke as to how the build was  going.   Dave sure loved his cigars.

The kit was the 1/72 revell F-4C kit.  In 1973 it was the best Phantom around at that time.  The model was sanded down to remove the surface details and rivets.   The model was scribe with a number 11 exacto blade.  I can hear the screams.. OMG with an exacto blade.   It would be several year later when Al Mason of  Bare metal foil would bring out his scribing tools.  I believe he was the first to make a commercial scribing tool.    How far we have come...  Enjoy thanks to Charlie Dunton for finding the article for the blog. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

F4 Phantom C model vs D model by Berny (aka Phormer Phantom Phixer)

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 There were a lot of differences, internal and external. The F-4D had the APQ-109A RADAR set resulting in the front cockpit having a different shaped glare shield and a larger combining gun sight and mount. This was not a HUD as come call it, but was actually a combining reflective glass gun sight. Also on the front glare shield were different shaped RWR and ILS scopes. The FCP pedestal panel had added control boxes and switches.

Rear cockpit in the F-4D had a larger and higher instrument panel. On the right console was the addition of the bomb nav control panel. The F-4D used a bomb nav computer for better weapons delivery which the F-4C did not have. If you are building a "Smart D" capable of carrying smart bombs than the RCP will have a square RADAR scope, not the round one. "Smart D's" had the APQ-109V RADAR set, so the scope was square and could produce an image like a TV. There was a circuit breaker panel added, just beside the WSO's right leg, down low and forward on the right console.

The F-4D had a different ECM system and the signal processor housed in the Radome Chin Pod was much larger. That is why the F-4D had the hump on the Chin Pod and the F-4C didn't. The RHAW antenna on the vertical fin was more rounded on the F-4D, not pointed like the F-4C.

 No operational F-4 Phantom carried the IR sensor. The F-4A tested it but it never became operational on any version of the F-4. The chin pod was built into the F-4B with hopes of including the IR sensor but never came to be. The F-4C was designed to incorporate changes the USAF needed, such as engine cartridge start capability, anti lock brakes, INS, and many others. The F-4C was basically a F-4B airframe with improvements the Air Force needed. The chin dome was common on all F-4C aircraft. The USAF operated Navy F-4B Phantoms as a test. They were stationed at McDill AFB, Florida. They were called the F-110. As the Air Force began receiving their F-4C's they returned their F-110's back to the Navy and were renamed F-4B's.

When the Air Force went to MDD to design the F-4D, a lot of changes were added. One was to eliminate the chin dome as it wasn't needed. As the war in SEA showed, some type of ECM was needed to warn crews of radar lock on, missile launch and danger. The chin pod was replaced back on the radome of the F-4D and was used to house the ALR-46 ECM. The ALR-46 had a larger processor so the hump was added to make room for it. The F-4C used a different type ECM with a smaller processor and fit into the nose dome without any modification.

The Herpes mod was added later with an improvement of the ALR-46. Only a few of the D's were modified as funding ran out when the defence budget was slashed. By then the F-4D was leaving active USAF service and being replaced by the F-4E and F-16A/B. The Guard and Reserve was even giving them up in favor of newer more capable aircraft.

The F-4C did use the Navy style pylons, inboard and outboard, until they converted to the newer style.  If you look close at the Navy style inboard pylon you will see it is actually a "Zero Launch" AIM-7 launcher.  In order to carrry anything other than an AIM-7 required a pylon adapter.  The adapter allowed TER's, Sidewinder launchers and other ordinance to be carried.  Everything had to be mounted on the adapter.  TER's could not be jettisoned without jettisoning the adapter.  The bad thing there is if it is carrying Sidewinders, you would also jettison them.
The USAF style inboard pylons had a MAU-12 bomb rack built into the pylon.  It isn't as streamlined, is much heaver, but it will carry a heaver load.  The Sidewinder launchers are mounted to the pylon allowing direct connection of anything to the bomb rack, without an adapter.
Early F-4C and D's also used the Navy style AIM-9 launchers.  Many can be seen loaded on the F-4 in the early war time in SEA.  By 1968 most had converted to the newer style USAF launcher.  The old Navy style were used for many years by the Guard and Reserve units into the 1980's.

The RF-4C continued to use the Navy style inboard pylon through out its service.  It carried only an ECM pod or travel pod on that station so a Bomb rack wasn't needed.
The second fighter variant ordered by the U. S. Air Force was the F-4D.  Externally, it looked much the same as the previous F-4C, but the easiest way to tell the difference was to look at the infrared housing under the radome.  F-4Cs had a smooth housing, and although some early F-4Ds had no fairing at all, most had a fairing with a noticeable bump on the underside.  The configuration of the hump would change over the service life of the F-4D, but it was always there in one form or another.

NAA vs Canadair built F-86's

 Quick way to Identify North American built F-86 vs Canadair built F-86

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Douglas video on the A-4 skyhawk.

The A-4 was one hell of an aircraft.   Here is a great video.

C-121 Warning stars

To me the C-121 was the most glamorous aircraft built. The aircraft has sexy lines. At the same time graceful curves.  During the 50 and 60 these aircraft flew 24/7 providing an early warning for air defense.  I think most will agree.

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Arctic Spinter for F-18

the F-18’s Arctic Splinter Camouflage of the VFC-12 “Fighting Omars” at Naval Air Station Oceana Virginia Beach, VA.   The paint mask can be found here: Hornet Aggressive artic scheme