In the Beginning
We're all used to the F-4, and I'll bet that more than a few of us miss the airplane; what used to be an everyday sight in the skies around any American air base is a rare thing these days, and in our opinion it's a lesser world for it.
Most folks are used to seeing the Air Force variants of the Phantom (my son started out called it the "Bent Winged Bug Sucker" because an F-4 maintenance officer that I used to hang out with called it that---not a bad name, come to think of it...) all decked out in SEA camo, or ADC Grey, or maybe even in those goofy darker shades of grey when we get towards the end of the road, but in the early days, back when the type wasn't that far away from being an F-110A, the standard paint was Gull Grey over White. It was a Navy Thing back then, and it made for some neat looking, if somewhat unexpected in this day and age, paint jobs. Mark Nankivil's been at it again and has supplied a couple of early RF-4C (not RF-110A, although it wasn't far from it) images. Enjoy.
Learning to Fly
If you're a regular around here you've probably discovered we've got a soft spot for classic trainers. Here are a couple of images from the archives to reinforce that point:
OK You Guys; Exactly What Is It You're Doing?
Every once in a while we come across one of those shots that, to wax a little bit Biblical about it, passeth all understanding. What follows is one of those shots.
You Gotta Love Those Black A-26s
You've heard it before, probably a whole lot more than you ever wanted to. The creator and editor of this never-humble blog spent most of his professional career in aviation, a circumstance that allowed him to meet a whole lot of people who took pictures of airplanes. One of those folks was an aeronautical engineer named Mike Hernandez, who spent part of the Korean War as a gunner on B-26s with the 3rd Bomb Wing. He was kind enough to share some photography with us, so we're going to share it with you.
Not All Texas Germans Live in Fredericksburg
Or at least they didn't in 1990. Bergstrom AFB has been closed for a number of years now, but it was still a going concern (12th AF HQ and home of the 67th TRW) back in the late 80s and early 90s, when they hosted a bi-annual international photo recon meet called RAM. The Federal Luftwaffe was in frequent attendance at those contests, which is where we took these images.
It's back to ATC and Doug Barbier for our Happy Snaps again this week:
Neat stuff, Doug---thanks as always! And we definitely appreciate the sacrifice of that Konica; the photos are well worth it!
The Relief Tube
Let's get right down to business this week. First off is a comment from Doug Barbier regarding the F-84F shots we ran a week or so ago: If nobody has identified it for you yet, 51-1654 belonged to the 509th TFS at Langley. They flew them from 53-56 before going to the Hun - and then getting xfrd to Clark and going to the F-102. Doug
While we're on the topic of F-84Fs, reader Ralph Nardone had this to say about the Monogram kit of same:
Hello, Phil. I've been reading R&S online for a while now, and had the good fortune to read a few of the print editions a while back when a friend shared them with me. Today's post about Monogram's kits are spot on--there were none better, and while the majority of those kits are getting old, they're still largely either the best or only game in town. Bang for the buck? You betcha. In fact, I just posted my build of the Thunderstreak. Check it out: http://www.ironmodeler.com Keep up the great work! Ralph Nardone
We couldn't agree more, Ralph. Those old Monogram kits have their own quirks to be sure, but at the end of the day almost all of them will allow the creation of a beautiful model. Thanks for writing in.
And that's about it for today's Thrilling Edition. Remember to drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any comments or criticisms, or if you've got some photography or information you'd like to contribute---we're always looking for material and your input is welcomed. Meanwhile, be good to your neighbor and we'll meet again soon.