A-24 Paint; A Slight Return
Or in other words, go back to yesterday's blog and take a second look at the part about painting the very first A-24s. I don't have a clue why I didn't do it when I should have done it, but I left out the BuAer letter that goes with the spec. I've appended that letter and cleaned up a couple of dates which should, with any luck, make the piece easier to read and understand. Another thing I failed to mention is that I anticipate some folks will disagree with the conclusion I've reached regarding those nonexistant blue/gray A-24s. Feel free to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to offer up your thoughts on the topic, or if you'd like to discuss anything else, for that matter. I enjoy hearing from you.
Photos of the Phantom's Phather
I know, I know; even I can hardly bear to read that title, but it seemed to fit the mood of the moment. I won't do it again until the next time I get the chance. Meanwhile: After years of waiting there are finally a couple of pretty decent kits of the McDonnell F3H Demon for us to work with, even though the mainstream manufacturers still haven't snapped to the notion that a good injection-molded, state of the art 1/48th scale F3H, FJ, F2H, F7U, swept-wing F9F, or F11F kit (or even 1/32nd scale; these airplanes aren't that big) would sell like the proverbial hotcakes. The short-run guys aren't really doing much for us in that regard either, come to think of it, but these are mainstream airplanes, for cryin' out loud, and they deserve more attention than they've been given thus far. Somebody please hold off on that "new tool" (I had to say it!) Me109 or A6M-Anything and give us some decent 50s Navy jets instead. Go boldly forth, etc, etc.
And on and on he rambles, never stopping and barely coming up for air, but the point should've been made by now so let's look at a couple of pictures:
Let's Get Bombed
Remember back several installments when we were discussing Vietnam-era Navy ordnance? Somewhere in one of those discourses I mention that the Nav's bombs began receiving coatings to the exterior of their casings to make them less likely to cook off in a fire aboard ship. Here's a fine example of that very thing:
And Speaking of Weapons, and Maybe of Druts
OK, who knows the history of the Douglas F3D Skyknight? More specifically, what was it designed for? If you answered Fleet defense, you hit the nail on the head, although in all honesty the F3D was woefully underpowered throughout its service career and probably wouldn't have posed much of a threat to any serious intruder bent on sinking the boat. (During the Late Southeast Asia War Games it was given the nickname of "Drut". Spell "drut" backwards and you'll gain a better understanding of that whole power-to-weight thing with this particular airplane... ) Interception duties fell by the wayside pretty quickly for the F3D and the type ended up being used for limited electronic warfare (Vietnam), utility, and test duties. Let's take a look at a Skyknight that falls into the latter category.
Our last Navy photo for the day shows an F-10B (Mr. McNamara's designation for the F3D after the 1962 designation realignment), BuNo 124630, preparing to take off from China Lake during 1964.
A Blue and Red Airplane Because We Haven't Had a Model in a While
So how about a bipe to end our day with? The model is the Eduard Pfalz DIIIa done up to represent Rudolph Berthold's bird. It's the Eduard kit and is 100% bone stock, but that's usually not a bad thing with Eduard's Great War offerings; none of them are perfect and most have errors that require correcting, but they sure look the part when they're done!
And We're Done!
At least for a while. For now, why don't you go write a letter to all the major, mainstream manufacturers and tell them we need good 1/48th scale kits of 1950s Navy fighters, then build yourself a Pfalz? Either one, or both, of those things will keep you occupied for at least a minute or two! Oh, and be good to your neighbor too. We'll see you again real soon.