AheyBop-A-ReeBop; It's Friday Again!
It's amazing, simply amazing, how quickly the week passes. This one's been fun, and I hope you've enjoyed what we've done with it. Please remember that I'm open to your comments and criticisms should you be so inclined, which is an invitation to write and tell me all about it, within reason, of course. That address is firstname.lastname@example.org . I'm also still looking for photographic material on the 21st TFW or 39th AD at either Misawa or Kunsan during the late 50s and early 60s; if you hold photography on the subject I'd sure like to see it!
Also, I've received a few requests for different views of particular aircraft that I've published. That's fair, and I'll help when I can, but what gets published is generally all there is at the moment so don't be unduly disappointed if I can't do much to help out with requests for additional shots. Believe me, I feel your pain!
Anyway, let's get right down to it with a couple of my favorite topics.
Sometimes the Zipper is a Tub
Lockheed produced two different "trainer" variants of the F-104 for the Air Force; the B model, which was a two-seat variant of the A, and the D model, which was a two-seater based on the F-104C. Both featured the enlarged vertical tail that would adapted to all subsequent Starfighters. The Bs and Ds may, to some extent, have been responsible for creating the rumor that the F-104 had no range to speak of (if you take things on internal fuel only, the Zip actually had a greater unrefueled range than the F-4 if the pilot could make minimal use of the AB) because it was the variant that most senior officers got to fly in, and a great many of those worthies wanted to fly fast, since Fast was seemingly what the F-104 was all about. In a jet Fast means afterburner and afterburner means Gas Guzzler with a capital G, which ultimately translates to Bingo Fuel and a bad reputation. You get the picture.
That notwithstanding, here are a couple of shots of my favorite airplane to end the week.
This bird ended up being transferred to Taiwan. USN Photo, Neg No Illegible
Finally, Something on the Bf109!
And we say that somewhat tongue-in-cheek, since valued friend Bad Brad says it so often (and, I can pretty well assure you, doesn't really mean it! I recently got hooked on the Bf-109E-3s and -4s that were used in the Balkans Campaign of 1941 because of their heraldry, and would like to offer a recent model of one of them as today's parting shot.
It's the Tamiya Bf-109E-3 done as the mount of Hpt Herbert Ihlefeld, CO of II(J)/LG 2 as photographed at Hesckemet, Hungary, at the beginning of the campaign. The aircraft was well-travelled before getting to LG 2 (JG 52 was a previous owner) and had apparently been involved in night fighter trials at one time. Surviving photographs show the installation of a Peil Gerat IV antenna cover on the aft ventral surface of the fuselage and irregular blotching over the upper-wing splinter pattern. I was drawn to the scheme because of the colorful theater markings and think the model to be a reasonable representation of the real aircraft, but this one's a little tough to figure out.
Oh yeah, and I owe you folks an apology. I wasn't really very happy with the quality of some of the photos of models that I published last week; they were a little too soft for my liking. Today I noticed that I'd somehow moved the camera's resolution off of "fine" and over to "really gnarly", which is what caused the problem. It's fixed now, and any other problems in resolution rest squarely on my shoulders. I can't blame the camera any more! Just thought you ought to know that...
Be good to your neighbor and we'll see you next week.