Some Airplanes You Wouldn't Normally Expect to See Around Here
It all started with Rick Morgan, who sent along a couple of MiG-21 shots for our consideration a few days ago. They looked familiar to me so I went into the archives and, sure enough, there were those Cuban MiGs, sent to me by Rick way back in those pre-internet days of yore. That got me looking at other former Soviet aircraft, which in turn takes us to the following highly disjointed and deceptively brief photo essay.
First, the Cuban Fishbeds that started it all, with Rick's comments: (Here are a couple of happy snaps taken by VQ-2 EA-3B crew of Cuban MiGs on their wings while conducting missions off the Caribbean Paradise of in the late ‘60s. No.500 is a two-seat Mongol; the other (511) is a late-model Fishbed loaded with four
Most of us know Maddog John Kerr for his love of Warbirds, but his collection is extensive and often amazing. Here's an interesting shot from it:
Here's a Sov bird that isn't a MiG. It's in my collection but I have no idea who sent it to me; if anybody out there knows please contact me so I can put a proper credit line on it!
A Rough Day at the Office
Last time around I asked our readers for any photography they might have of US military aircraft in service in Japan immediately following WW2. It would be hard to beat these images, intitially provided by a reader and accredited in error to his collection but actually belonging to the owner of Swiss Mustangs, Martin Kyburz:
email@example.com if you can add to the story! Please see the caption for the photograph immediately above for clarification of the aircraft and corrected credit lines to the photos. pf Martin Kyburz/Swiss Mustangs Collection
Some of Those Stoofs We've Been Promising
You may recall that Doug Siegfried flew the "Stoof", and that we said we'd run some photos of them a while back. Today's the day we start doing that, ya'll---it's time for the immortal Grumman S2F/S-2 Tracker to take the stage:
We'll take a look at some grey and white "Stoofs" next time, so stay tuned!
It Just May Be the Most-Kitted Never-Used Airplane of All Time
We're all familiar with the sadly heroic story of Japan's Special Attack units, colloquially known to most folks as Kamikaze. Most special attack sorties were performed with standard or lightly modified conventional aircraft, but there were a few purpose built designs in the the pipeline or, in a couple of cases, actually built. Today's model is one of the latter.
The Nakajima Ki-116 "Tsurugi" was one of those purpose-built special attack aircraft, but was a handful to fly even for an experienced pilot and was never issued to an operational unit; in point of fact, the type never really got past the test stage, but a substantial number were built and put into storage for the final battle for Japan that fortunately never came. There's one survivor of the type, and several kits of it have been released over the years, beginning with Nitto's 1/72nd scale offering in the mid-60s and ending, at least so far, with Eduard's early 21st Century release in 1/48th. There have been at least four kits issued all told, pretty significant for an airplane that basically never flew, and people have modeled those four kits in all sorts of goofy markings. What follows is our attempt at it.
We have a pretty cool readership around here. Most people's photos from work are pretty boring, but reader Kolin Campbell has a neat job and sent along a couple of photos to prove it:
Phil, here's two 'happy snaps' I took during the summer of 2009 while participating in exercise 'Northern Edge' up in Alaska. Had to join up on this big guy during one of our 'red air' periods. My wingman is in an F-18F (as was I). Let me know what you think. Kolin
Well, Kolin, I think they're great! Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing them with us.
firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
A Shameless Plug for a Friend of Mine
You may have noticed by now that a lot of my friends are in the business, in a manner of speaking, and a couple of them are downright famous. Jim Sullivan falls into that latter category, and I'm willing to bet that most of you have at least one of his titles on your shelf if your interests run towards naval aviation. He's known to a lot of people as Mr. Corsair and with good reason; he's pretty much the ranking authority on the type, and he's just had a new book published that you might want to take a look at.
The Relief Tube
We've got one comment for today; new contributor Kolin Campbell has some thoughts on our "DNIF" P-47 photo from a couple of issues back:
Ran across your 'Replica in Scale' blog the other day - good stuff! Haven't checked out everything yet, but did take a look at some P-47N photos you had posted. You were wondering about the meaning of 'DNIF' painted on the nose of one of those beasts. To us Navy flyers, 'DNIF' stands for 'duty not involving flying'. It is what you DO NOT want to see written down by the flight surgeon or, heaven forbid, included on your next set of orders. I suspect the same acronym has been used in the military flying community for years. When you see 'DNIF' painted on that P-47N next to the scantily clad lady, though, I think you get the picture of what the artist had on his mind ... perhaps a not-so-unpleasant duty, in this case! My Dad is also a retired Naval Aviator (Spads, A-4s, A-7s), but his last flying gig was hauling VIPS in a T-39 that belonged to ADC, out of Peterson Field, CO. One of the generals he flew around was a former Ie Shima Thunderbolt pilot. His comment on overloaded P-47s and Ie Shima's short strip was that Republic forgot to attach a cement mixer to the prop so you could lay enough runway for yourself to takeoff. Kolin
Laying runway for yourself in a Republic product---some things never change! ("If anybody ever builds a runway around the world, Republic will build an airplane that can't take off from it!")
And that's what I know. Be good to your neighbor and we'll meet again soon.