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      01-19-2024, 08:41 AM   #2377
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A technically interesting airplane: The WW2 German Luftwaffe Blohm & Voss BV 138 flying boat. Three Diesel engines. Used for search and rescue and also for maritime reconnaissance. Decent photos are hard to come by.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blohm_%26_Voss_BV_138
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      01-19-2024, 11:08 AM   #2378
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As far as I know, the elephant walk is a U.S. Air Force thing where all or many of the aircraft at one base or assigned to one unit taxi out for a photo op. Earlier this month, the 9th Reconnaissance Wing at Beale AFB, California, did one with their aircraft plus a few KC-135 tankers. Given the expense and hassle involved with flying the Lockheed U-2S, the 9th is assigned some T-38 companion trainers to allow the pilots to amass additional flight hours and those T-38s participated in the elephant walk.

Given the impending retirement of the U-2, this may be the last time so many U-2s are in one photo.
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      01-19-2024, 03:43 PM   #2379
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Llarry View Post
As far as I know, the elephant walk is a U.S. Air Force thing where all or many of the aircraft at one base or assigned to one unit taxi out for a photo op.
That's.... not quite true.

Although a photo-op may be one use of an elephant walk, the more often used purpose is to demonstrate surge/aircraft generation capability without having to actually launch aircraft. Launching the aircraft really isn't needed for surge/generation purposes and is cost-effective by saving gas and flying time (all flying time has to be charged to a fund cite, which means that it affects your budget-- SOMEbody's got to pay for it and there's not much point in having the airplanes fly around for no real reason).

An example of an elephant walk might be during an Operational Readiness Exercise or Inspection. You plan to "launch the fleet"-- and in doing so, you test your Maintainers, Aircrew, Operations people, Aircraft loaders, Aerial Port, etc. All aircraft are generated and taxied up to the runway-- and they all have to be flyable as they can't be taxied if they're non-operational (i.e. the Form 781 doesn't have an Exceptional Release authorizing the flight). From there you can extrapolate mission capability-- how many aircraft *could* have taken off (this works for tankers, transports, fighters, bombers, etc)?

Then, the jets all taxi back to the blocks and do the same in reverse, ensuring that your rampers, maintainers, etc. can handle a surge arrival.

For fun, once in a while you'll have to do it in chemical defense gear-- that's always a hoot an a half (very, very sarcastic voice for that last sentence.)

R.
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      01-19-2024, 06:31 PM   #2380
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Originally Posted by flybigjet View Post
That's.... not quite true.

Although a photo-op may be one use of an elephant walk, the more often used purpose is to demonstrate surge/aircraft generation capability without having to actually launch aircraft. Launching the aircraft really isn't needed for surge/generation purposes and is cost-effective by saving gas and flying time (all flying time has to be charged to a fund cite, which means that it affects your budget-- SOMEbody's got to pay for it and there's not much point in having the airplanes fly around for no real reason).

An example of an elephant walk might be during an Operational Readiness Exercise or Inspection.
Thank you for the clarification; consider this Navy guy educated.
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      01-20-2024, 08:25 AM   #2381
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If we can have Tomcat Thursday, how about Phantom Phriday? OK, I'm a bit late, but here is a Phabulous Phantom -- a U.S. Navy F-4J of Fighter Squadron 92 from the era when Navy aircraft were gull gray on top, white on the undersides and control surfaces and lots of color.
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      01-20-2024, 09:54 AM   #2382
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flybigjet View Post
That's.... not quite true.

Although a photo-op may be one use of an elephant walk, the more often used purpose is to demonstrate surge/aircraft generation capability without having to actually launch aircraft. Launching the aircraft really isn't needed for surge/generation purposes and is cost-effective by saving gas and flying time (all flying time has to be charged to a fund cite, which means that it affects your budget-- SOMEbody's got to pay for it and there's not much point in having the airplanes fly around for no real reason).

An example of an elephant walk might be during an Operational Readiness Exercise or Inspection. You plan to "launch the fleet"-- and in doing so, you test your Maintainers, Aircrew, Operations people, Aircraft loaders, Aerial Port, etc. All aircraft are generated and taxied up to the runway-- and they all have to be flyable as they can't be taxied if they're non-operational (i.e. the Form 781 doesn't have an Exceptional Release authorizing the flight). From there you can extrapolate mission capability-- how many aircraft *could* have taken off (this works for tankers, transports, fighters, bombers, etc)?

Then, the jets all taxi back to the blocks and do the same in reverse, ensuring that your rampers, maintainers, etc. can handle a surge arrival.

For fun, once in a while you'll have to do it in chemical defense gear-- that's always a hoot an a half (very, very sarcastic voice for that last sentence.)

R.
I don't miss those one bit. Hated them as a ground guy for 10 years and then when I cross trained over hated them more as a flyer. I was stationed at Osan and Misawa where they just loved to have monthly ORI inspections because we never seemed to pass.

As a contractor while working on Spangdalhem 99 till 9/11 I did not care they just meant more money to me.
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      01-20-2024, 05:49 PM   #2383
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The F-16 is 50. First flight January 20, 1974.

50 years later it is still in production, although the U.S. Air Force is no longer buying F-16s.
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      01-20-2024, 06:03 PM   #2384
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OUCH...!

"Misplaced flashlight in F-35 engine results in $4 million in damage".

https://www.airforcetimes.com/news/y...ion-in-damage/
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      01-20-2024, 06:30 PM   #2385
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Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
OUCH...
That is why we had "Positive Tools Control" for the Sikorsky CH-124 Sea King...

They din't glide very good but I was onboard once when they practiced it in Shearwater but I'm still here
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      01-20-2024, 06:36 PM   #2386
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.

They didn't glide very well but I was onboard once when they practiced it in Shearwater but I'm still here
FIFY...Your French is showing...

I remember landing in Shearwater from Germany on the milk run with White Knuckles Airline.
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      01-20-2024, 06:50 PM   #2387
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QUOTE=Lady Jane;30831291]

I remember landing in Shearwater from Germany on the milk run with White Knuckles Airline. [/QUOTE]
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      01-20-2024, 07:08 PM   #2388
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The F16's had a departure off HIF called the Zoom Departure, which I can't find anymore. IIRC, it was runway heading until 400kts, reverse course until between 130 & 150, then reverse course again until between FL390 & FL500, all within 5 miles of the airport.
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      01-21-2024, 07:10 AM   #2389
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The largest German flying boat of World War II was the Blohm & Voss BV 222 Wiking. It was powered by six horizontally opposed 1,000 hp Diesels. Only 13 were built and several were lost to the Allies. The BV 222 was armed with several machine gun positions. Several survived the war and were tested by U.S. and U.K. pilots.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blohm_%26_Voss_BV_222

(Sorry for the poor-quality photos)
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      01-21-2024, 07:37 AM   #2390
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Another large German amphibian: Blohm & Voss Ha 139 Nordmeer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blohm_%26_Voss_Ha_139


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      01-21-2024, 07:41 AM   #2391
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Originally Posted by Lady Jane View Post
Another large German amphibian: Blohm & Voss Ha 139 Nordmeer.
Wow! On a catapult no less!
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      01-21-2024, 08:38 AM   #2392
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From last night's SNL.....




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      01-21-2024, 09:29 AM   #2393
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By the mid-1950s, the U.S. Navy was sure that they could marry all-weather/night capability and supersonic performance to buy a new Navy fighter for fleet air defense. Up until then it seemed that the heavy radar with a bulky antenna in the nose would preclude high performance. Accordingly, they requested proposals from industry and held a competition between the two leading contenders: One from McDonnel Aircraft (the F4H-1) and one from Vought (the F8U-3). As previously discussed in my post on the F-8, the F4H was selected in 1958 and the go-ahead was given for production.

In 1962, the Department of Defense mandated a new designation system; I will use the new designations for clarity.

The Navy's new F-4 was a sensation -- it set all sorts of speed and climb records. Somewhat controversially, the Navy felt that dogfighting was a thing of the past and omitted the requirement for cannon armament. The F-4 was armed only with missiles. It was a large aircraft and could also carry bombs and other strike ordnance, but the Navy emphasized the air-to-air mission.

About 45 early production models were designated F-4A -- about half of these were development aircraft and the other half were early production aircraft used for training only. As can be seen in the first photo, the F-4As had a smaller radar dish and slimmer nose and the canopy was not quite as prominent.

The first mass-production model was the F-4B, purchased in large numbers for Navy and Marine fighter squadrons. The Marines recognized the attack capability of the aircraft and designated F-4 squadrons as "fighter attack" squadrons.

Within a few years, the U.S. was embroiled in the Vietnam War and Navy/Marine Phantoms played a major part. Since air opposition was normally not a major factor, the attack role gained prominence and even Navy F-4Bs flew bombing missions.

The two-place fighter was a new development for a Navy/Marine aircraft and much thought went into the concept. Two pilots? An officer pilot and an enlisted radar intercept operator? In the end, the approach adopted was a front seat pilot and a rear seat Radar Intercept Officer -- both officers.

The F-4 was enthusiastically adopted by both services. It was a heavy aircraft and excelled in speed and acceleration but was not a particularly maneuverable airplane. Initially, one F-4B squadrons was part of each air group and the carrier's other fighter squadrons used F-8 Crusaders. Within a few years, both squadrons used F-4s -- and the F-8s were relegated to smaller ex-WW2 carriers that were space-limited for the large F-4.

In 1961, as the Navy and Marine Corps squadrons were starting to get their F-4s, the U.S. Air Force took note of the Phantom's excellent performance and held a flyoff between the Convair F-106 Delta Dart interceptor and the F-4, which the F-4 handily won. Accordingly, the Air Force adopted the F-4 as well with some minor modifications as the F-4C. The initial designation of the Air Force's aircraft was the F-110A Spectre, soon changed to the F-4C Phantom. The F-4C was considered an excellent all-around fighter for interceptor or fighter-bomber duties. The Air Force initially used two pilots but low morale among those in the back seat -- who were mostly operating the radar -- caused them to revisit the decision and the Air Force soon used a non-pilot Weapons Systems Officer for back-seat duty.

The Air Force naturally placed larger orders than the Navy and soon adopted an improved model as the F-4D. The USAF's Phantoms were of course soon involved in Southeast Asia like the Navy and Marines were.

The Air Force considered the F-4 an ideal basis for a photo recon aircraft and soon developed, then placed orders for, the RF-4C photo version. The Marine Corps then leveraged this to place orders for their own photo version, the RF-4B. All these aircraft were workhorses of the Vietnam War.

All Phantoms so far had no gun armament and the next Air Force model rectified this deficiency by incorporating a 20mm Vulcan cannon and reducing the size of the radar antenna, resulting in the F-4E. This was the definitive Air Force version and also enjoyed widespread export success.

By the mid-1960s, improved radar and engines were featured in an updated Navy/Marine model: the F-4J, which could be distinguished by the lack of an infrared system below the radar.

There were also a few Navy F-4Bs modified with a data link system and those were designated F-4G; only one squadron did a Vietnam deployment with this model.

Confusingly, the Air Force also introduced a different F-4G model: The F-4Gs were F-4Es modified for the Wild Weasel mission -- The suppression of enemy air defenses. This hazardous mission involved attacking known surface-to-air missile sites to clear the way for strike aircraft. The nose cannon was replaced by electronic warfare systems and the F-4Gs typically carried radar-homing missiles to kill enemy radars.

All the services upgraded their Phantoms with electronic countermeasures (ECM) equipment due to the formidable air defenses of North Vietnam; the early Phantoms had virtually none of these systems and were vulnerable.

The Navy embarked on an upgrade program for their F-4s with more extensive ECM and other upgrades: F-4Bs were modified into F-4Ns and F-4Js were modified into F-4Ss. By this time a new Navy fighter, the F-14 Tomcat, was replacing F-4s on the larger carriers, but there were not enough F-14s to go around so F-4Ns and Ss continued to serve in Navy squadrons for some years more.

By the late 1980s and early 1990s, the F-4 was showing its age. F-14s, F-15s, F-16s and F-18s replaced it. The final chapter of U.S. service was the conversion of F-4s to full-scale supersonic aerial targets as QF-4s These were expended in training until there were basically no airworthy F-4s left. Today one F-4 warbird still flies (I cannot imagine the expense to keep this airplane flying!) and F-4s can be seen in various museums.

In the end, some 5,195 F-4 Phantoms were built. While there were many export customers, I will cover those in a separate post.
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      01-21-2024, 10:06 AM   #2394
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Quote:
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While there were many export customers, I will cover those in a separate post.
I wish you would add more explanations and pictures to your posts.
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      01-21-2024, 10:49 AM   #2395
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonn...F-4_Phantom_II

Some 11 nations outside the U.S. used F-4 Phantoms.

The largest export customer was Germany, which bought a unique modified F-4E with modifications to give it lighter weight and improved agility. This was the F-4F. Germany also operated RF-4E photo aircraft. Germany retired their aircraft in 2013.

The second largest export customer was Iran. In the 1960s, the Shah of Iran had money to spend on military forces and bought F-4s as well as other American aircraft. When the Islamic Revolution took over, they continued to operate their F-4Es despite arms embargos and continue to operate them today in smaller numbers.

Japan was another major export customer and the only non-US nation to produce the Phantom. They operated the F-4EJ and RF-4EJ from 1969 until 2020.

Turkey was another important user of the F-4 and upgraded their Phantoms with Israeli assistance. A small number of Turkish F-4Es remain active and are projected to serve until 2030.

South Korea was an early customer and bought F-4Ds and F-4Es; the last few are still in service but will be retired soon.

Another country that still operates F-4Es is Greece; like the others, the Greek Air Force Phantoms are not projected to serve much longer. (No photo)

The UK bought Phantoms in two versions: The F-4K was a Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm carrier fighter for a number of years, serving as the Phantom FG.1. The RAF bought a larger number as the Phantom FGR.2 (or F-4M in US terms) and bought a few ex-USN F-4Js in the 1980s. The UK-specific Phantoms had a UK-sourced engine, the Rolls-Royce Spey which required considerable alteration to the rear fuselage. The RN Phantoms went away with the end of fixed-wing carrier operations and the RAF Phantoms were retired in 1992.

In the end, the USAF bought 2,874 Phantoms, the Navy bought 1,264 and other nations bought over 1,000; the Phantom is the most-produced U.S. supersonic fighter built to date.
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      01-21-2024, 01:19 PM   #2396
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I wish you would add more explanations and pictures to your posts.
Expect a very long PM in the near future with lots of text and photos, plus diagrams of how to fly the F-4, etc.
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      01-21-2024, 01:22 PM   #2397
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Quote:
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Expect a very long PM in the near future with lots of text and photos, plus diagrams of how to fly the F-4, etc.
Sorry but my in-box is limited to 50 characters and two emojis.
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      01-21-2024, 02:07 PM   #2398
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Sorry but my in-box is limited to 50 characters and two emojis.
Then I suppose the 784-page F-4 manual is out of question...
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