That wasn't a T-38...

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graygun

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I heard the sound but couldn't see the a/c due to the clouds. Finally I saw four of the F-16s in formation practicing for the air show at Randolph AFB this weekend. T-birds perform at 1500 Sat and Sunday. I hadn't been aware this event was taking place.
 

Rick Courtright

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Hi,

Graygun, are you gonna be able to get out to see them fly this weekend? Hope so...

Just personal opinion, as the F-16's pretty enough, but I always thought the T-38 was the prettiest plane the T-birds ever flew. They did a couple of "winter" shows at Norton AFB here when it was still operational as a base, and we could watch them from our range. They flew between us and the mountains a hair over two miles to the north. During the winter, the sky will often be a deep blue, the mountains nearly black, and those red, white and blue T-38s really stood out against that background. Gorgeous!

Rick C
 
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The F-4 was probably the hardest of all of the planes to fly the show with. It wasn't made to be nimble. :D
Yes I remember them. Hell I remember when they were flying the F-84G/ F and F-100 and the Blues were flying the F9F Panther. :D

F-84F

history_003.jpg
 

Rick Courtright

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Fox Mike said:
Remember these?

Hi,

I never saw the Phantom flying with the red, white and blue paint scheme, but did see it once or twice in college, wearing the blue one. We saw a lot more Navy aircraft in San Diego than we did Air Force, ya know? ;)

However... a college girl friend's brother was stationed at Nellis around 1971-72, on the ground crew part of the Thunderbirds team, so he worked on the Phantoms a bit. A couple of years later I did become a Thunderbirds fan, in part courtesy of his stories. They had switched aircraft and were flying the Talon the first time I saw them...

Rick C
 

RugerHound

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Well someone HAD to bring up Thunderbirds, didn't they? ;)

Having grown up 2 miles (as the crow flies) from Dow AFB in Bangor, Maine, I recall seeing the Thunderbird F100s quite a few times. I seem to recall that in the late 50s they used the C models, then upgraded to the D models sometime during the spring/summer before Kennedy was killed which was the last time I ever got to see them fly.

One of the USAF pilots that lived in base housing just up the road had a 1957 starmist blue Ford Thunderbird that I'd drool over while waiting for the bus, and which was responsible for my fascination with all things T-Bird. That silly preoccupation ultimately resulted in my buying a brand new 2004 Retro Tbird limited edition. (Pacific Coast Roadster #442 of 1000 made)
 

Jeepnik

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Back in the 70's I worked a number of air shows. It was a sad day when the T-birds went from the Phantom to the Talon. You could see the Phantom, the Talon was way to small. It was all done in the name of fuel economy. It was during the first gas crisis.

Things were better when then went to the Fighting Falcon. At least they went back to an actual combat aircraft. Please don't bring up the Freedom Fighter, it is in an entirely different class than the Talon.
 

737tdi

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I love the Blue Angels with the Hornet but I always loved the A4 (Heinemann's Hot Rod) Skyhawk. They just looked so nimble and quick.

Karl
 

Jeepnik

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737tdi said:
I love the Blue Angels with the Hornet but I always loved the A4 (Heinemann's Hot Rod) Skyhawk. They just looked so nimble and quick.

Karl

They were also a royal pain to get an air start after a flame out. I was watching one on a late morning. It was doing some nice aerobatics. Suddenly it went into a dive looked like it got a start and started to level off. Into another dive, again looked like it started and leveled off. Then the canopy went and the seats went and then the chutes deployed. The A-4 nosed over and went straight into the ground.

The air was very still. The column of smoke went straight up a good long way then drifted off to the east. The aircrew landed quite near the aircraft. A passing motorist stopped to help. One had a busted ankle the other was in pretty good shape. It wasn't like it was a high speed ejection.

The aircraft went into the ground in a small wash. It didn't even spread out much. By the time we got there it the fire was all but out. Just some smoldering wreckage. We were looking for the crew and found the chutes, but no crew. We finally got a call telling us the motorist had driven them back to the base.
 

737tdi

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Jeepnik: The A4 was the first jet I ever put my mechanic hands on, also the first I ever did ground runs on. I was amazed at just how small the cockpit was, almost like it fit around you. The Phantom and Hornet were mansions in comparison.


Karl
 

Big Papa

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Ahhh the old Phantoms, loved them. We had a wing of them here at McConnell in the old days when My granddad was a civil servant at the airbase. He was good friends with the base commander, and ran the Auto Hobby Shop right next to the airstrip. He would take me to work with him on weekends and I'd go out and watch the planes take off on Sundays when the Guard pilots would get their flight time.
I believe the Phantom was the only plane to be used by both the Thunderbirds and the Blue Angels.
 

RSIno1

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Fox Mike said:
Remember these?

Saw these in Dayton, Ohio one year when we were at a car club convention. We flew in a day early to avoid the airport shutdown. We were at the same hotel as the families and they reformed there, we had a pretty good show. A couple weeks ago we were treated to a Blue Angel show out our hotel window in San Francisco.
 
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