If Six Turned Out to Be Nine
In this particular instance we know you won't mind! We've been putting it off almost forever, but today we're going to run a few shots of the F-102B, better known to most aviation enthusiasts as the F-106A Delta Dart. The "Six" was unique in the Air Force in that it was never sold to any foreign nation, and rarely showed its delta planform overseas. It never carried bombs (although one airframe was rigged up with MERs as a gag while on one of those rare overseas deployments). It was fast and had an amazing initial rate of turn. It was a weapons system in the truest sense of the word, and it was a world-beater at its game. It was also the last dedicated interceptor to be flown by the USAF/ANG.
We may eventually get around to doing a series of photo essays depicting the Dart's career, but today we're going to focus on some colorful examples of the type when it was in its prime, during the 1980s.
And there you have it; today's installment of Six Into Nine. It's doubtful it'll be our last, so watch these pages!
Can You Hear Your Bluebird Sing?
Everybody loves the "Hog"; it's really just a matter of how much. We love the airplane quite a bit, and recently came into some interesting post-War photographs of her courtesy of Mark Nankivil and the Greater St Louis Air and Space Museum's William Peake Collection. Let's see what we've got:
It's Big and It's Tamiya, But It Sure Ain't No Mustang
It doesn't happen very often, but every once in a while we suffer what some folks might call a pang of conscience because the original RIS was a modeling publication and we're continuing that tradition here, yet we rarely show actual models. We make mention of modeling points all the time, but we almost never actually build anything anymore.
Recently, though, things have changed for the better in our world. There's been quite a bit going on, but we've found the time to get a couple of projects close to completion and, with any luck at all, you'll see the results of those projects in the very near future. That's In The Future.
For today, we thought we'd go back to one of our favorite kits, Tamiya's 1/32nd scale Spitfire Mk VIII. That whole Tamiya Spitfire family is one of the best series of plastic model kits ever released, and will probably remain that way for many years to come. Yes, Tamiya does manage to raise the bar with every new release, but this kit is just about perfect right out of the box, with only a couple of small problems to deal with. We looked at the kit (and, in point of fact, this exact model of it) a few months back, but closer examination while performing one of our rare forays into Dusting the Models raised a few more things we'd like to discuss.
And that's it for today's Token Scale Modeling Section. There's more to come in the months ahead, though, so stay tuned!
OK, If You Guys Are So Doggone Smart Then What the Heck Is That?
If we could step into the legendary Wayback Machine (of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" fame) and go back to the late 1960s, we'd find your editor playing a game called "Stump the Champs" with various and sundry assorted scale modeling friends. The premise of the game was simple; just come up with a question or (rarely) a picture of something obscure having to do with scale modeling or aviation and see if anyone could guess what it was. It was fun then, so why not now? In other words, are you ready to play "Stump the Champs"?
email@example.com and let us in on the secret! Nankivil Collection
An All-American Fighter
If you happen to be an American scale modeler you will eventually add a replica of Grumman's F6F Hellcat to your collection. It's so much of an inevitability that you could accurately describe it as a rite of passage. Since you either already have built an F6F or will build one sooner or later, we figured we'd may as well provide you with a little inspiration.
Today's Happy Snap offering was taken by Rick Morgan while he was flying with VAQ-33 out of NAS Key West and it's a good one---let's take a look.
The Relief Tube
Let's start off today with a comment from Rick Morgan regarding that shark-mouthed F11F-1 we ran last week: Phil: That’s a great picture of the VA-43 F11F on Indy you have posted. The reason it wears VF-21 markings is because Fighting-21 was redesignated Atkron-43 (VA-43) on 1 Jul 1959. At that time it became the Oceana jet attack replacement squadron with predominantly A4Ds assigned, although it kept a small number of F11Fs through early 1960 to train pilots for AirLant’s only fleet F11F squadron at that time, VF-33. The F4D on cat-1 is from Key West-based VF-101, which was the east coast “all-weather” fighter training unit, with Fords and Demons. Both squadrons were under RCVG-4 at that time. VA-43 later on went on to become Oceana’s instrument RAG and, after Vietnam, redesignated VF-43 and an adversary squadron. Rick We'll file that one in the "We Learn Something Every Day" file---thanks, Morgo!
As everyone knows by now, Jim Sullivan is possessed of a remarkable collection of images spanning several decades of American military aviation. He enjoyed our "Ford" piece last week and sent along this air-to-air of one of VMF-115's birds in flight near El Toro in 1958 to help flesh out the piece:
And that's it for today. Be good to your neighbor and we'll meet again soon!