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Chewey

Just cause we have a bunch of airplane lovers

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Every year, Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson hosts the Heritage Flight Training course where the Air Force demonstration teams pair up with warbird demonstration teams (this year the lineup included a P-38, P-40, P-47, and 4x P-51s) to be certified by the Air Force to fly in formation over airshows for the upcoming year. It ends up being 3 days of some of the coolest airplanes in the world flying over the city. Here's a few of the pictures I took on Friday and Saturday.

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The whole album is located at: http://s59.photobucket.com/user/78Chewey/library/Heritage%20Flight%202015

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That's great, Mike. You're lucky to get to see that! I can't count the times I've seen the Heritage Flight at airshows but to see the training for the upcoming show like this is tremendous. I'm a big-time airshow aficionado. I usually don't miss any of the ones that come through Southern New England.

And those old, war birds, every one of them is such a classic! I tell ya, though, as beautiful as that Raptor is, there's something super sexy about a nice, clean F-16. Nothing dangling off the wings or belly tank, just smooth lines and that belly intake with that bubble canopy there's nothing out there like it. Except, maybe, just maybe, the original MiG-21 F-13. That was the Ferrari of jets IMO! :D

BTW, how telling is this pic, here? You can easily see that F-16 going slower than it needs to in order to keep with the old warbirds just by looking at it's AoA. Nose slightly pitched up to get more air flowing under the wings to go slow enough.

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It is very telling. The Viper's wings are paper thin in comparison to the warbirds which obviously help it achieve the higher speeds but requires a relatively high AOA at slower speeds. I think what we see in this picture and in the performance flyby's is more of a factor of them trying to slow down to let the crowd get a good view of the planes/formation. The P-51 is a 400knot (true airspeed) airplane and the P-47 tops out around 375 KTAS. I think what we see is how much more comfortable the thick/straight wing airplanes are at flyby speeds.

Yeah, the Heritage Flights are always my favorite part of an airshow so this is always a great weekend cause it's 3 days of it straight.

The Viper is a sexy jet..it just needs another engine!

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You're right about the speed, for sure. I've seen them also go pretty fast in formation where the F-16 didn't need to have a high angle of attack to keep up with them. You raised my curiosity because I have a boat-load of pics, too, lol, and I'll never forget one particular Heritage Flight back in 2009, I think. It was the F-22, F-16 and one of the P-51's and I was up front after they landed and got in a couple of sweet shots.

That clean look on that F-16. And what's really amazing is how the MUCH bigger the Raptor is yet has less of a radar signature than the F-16 because of those angles and that RAM painted on it. Really incredible. The thing is at least 30% larger just look at the wing comparison lol.

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Then it was even more exciting once they landed, to get a much closer look.

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It was a VERY warm day, that day, 98 degrees I believe and much warmer on the tarmac hence the massive amounts of heat distortion.

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This thing is a work of art! Can't remember for sure, but I thought it was Paul Max Moga flying this thing at that time.

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You don't see this view too often, and a close-up of those thrust vectoring nozzles. The only thing on the F-22 that is not as advanced as the new Russian T-50 PAK-FA is that TV nozzles on the Raptor are 2-dimensional, whereas the PAK-FA's are 3-dimensional and they point 360 degrees and not just up and down like these. BUT...intelligent R&D by American engineers figured that being able to contain the heat signature with those 2-D TVC is much more important than having 3-D TVC where you can't reduce the heat signature at the rear nozzles and your apt to get a SAM up your $^& a lot easier with that 3D than with this super clever design. Gotta love it.

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Yeah, they're huge. I thought the F-15 was big, but this thing is even more massive. It is amazing what technology can do with that radar signature.

Nice pics!

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I hope you're ok with me posting pics along with yours? I figured the more the merrier and it would entice others to post pics too but that never seems to happen. Would love to see more or other's pics.

BTW, you being a C-130 pilot (which btw is so friggin cool), does that give you VIP access like that? Looks like you're a lot closer to those aircraft than the average person. :)

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Those are absolutely great pictures! Thanks very much for starting this thread, Mike.

HG, I'm completely with you on the F16. There are a few planes that sit in my mind as the definition of what that kind of plane should look like, and the F16 is the quintessential modern fighter. To me, the only other one that is in the same league (though more massive and muscular looking) is the F4. To me the F4 represents everything that was cool and amazing about ultra-hi performance aircraft development in the 60's.

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Totally agree, Joe. Arguably the 2nd most 'successfully produced' fighter of the last century and into this one. They even build them in the Netherlands and in Turkey. It's the front-line fighter for many countries and they even designed the Block 52+ to perform even more tasks by making it a 2-seater with a raised spine to house all sorts of newer avionics and more fuel and carry even more fuel for longer range missions with those conformal fuel tanks they piggy-backed onto it lol. The UAE has the Block 60 which is supposedly the most advanced version.

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Totally agree, Joe. Arguably the 2nd most 'successfully produced' fighter of the last century and into this one. They even build them in the Netherlands and in Turkey. It's the front-line fighter for many countries and they even designed the Block 52+ to perform even more tasks by making it a 2-seater with a raised spine to house all sorts of newer avionics and more fuel and carry even more fuel for longer range missions with those conformal fuel tanks they piggy-backed onto it lol. The UAE has the Block 60 which is supposedly the most advanced version.

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What is this? an F-16?

There was an F-22 playing with a P-51 at the chicago air show last year. That was great.

I didn't realize how much bigger the F-22 is was compared to an F-16. Thats alot of Plane.....

.

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What is this? an F-16?

There was an F-22 playing with a P-51 at the chicago air show last year. That was great.

I didn't realize how much bigger the F-22 is was compared to an F-16. Thats alot of Plane.....

Yep, it sure is. The latest and greatest. They label the generations in "Blocks" as in the first generation was a Block 15, then 30 and then 32 etc. Something like that but it's a little bit more complicated. At any rate, this is the 60 in that picture. General Dynamics was going to build an even more advanced version in the Block 70 which was destined for India, but the Indians had a contest with other manufacturers including the Swedish SAAB jets and even the F-18 Super Hornet but they all lost to the French Rafale. So it was scraped. It's too bad because I think there's only a few countries ordering new ones and they might be closing the plant in NAS Fort Worth and shutting down the F-16 line. It will be a sad day in aviation history that's for sure.

Every year, Davis-Monthan AFB in Tucson hosts the Heritage Flight Training course where the Air Force demonstration teams pair up with warbird demonstration teams (this year the lineup included a P-38, P-40, P-47, and 4x P-51s) to be certified by the Air Force to fly in formation over airshows for the upcoming year. It ends up being 3 days of some of the coolest airplanes in the world flying over the city. Here's a few of the pictures I took on Friday and Saturday.

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Speaking of history, there is SO MUCH amazing history and connections just in this one, very cool pic by Mike.

1) The P38 Lightning shot down Yamomoto's plane killing him. Yamomoto, of course, was the brilliant Harvard educated, Japanese Admiral who orchestrated the attack on Pearl Harbor.

2) Many of the planes shot up on the ground at Pearl Harbor were the P40 Warhawks (the one with the painted sharkmouth) if you ever watch Tora Tora you'll see them in that movie.

3) The Republic P47 Thunderbolt (2nd plane) also fought alongside with the P38 in the Pacific theater but was the main WWII fighter in Europe blowing up and shooting all sorts of Nazi stuff and it was also escorting the long, B-17 bombing missions from England into Germany and couldn't make the entire, long distance flight because it didn't have enough fuel.

4) P51 (the last 5 aircraft in Mike's pic) replaces the P47 because that had the additional belly tank (looks like it's pregnant lol) which gave it a much longer range, all the way into Berlin. There's a famous story that when Herman Goering walked out of the Chancellery in Berlin in early 1945 and looked up and saw P51's escorting the B-117 over Berlin, he was famously quoted as saying "the war is definitely over now", or something to that effect.

5) The P51 was the meanest and best WWII fighter it outperformed the British Spitfire and the Messerschmidt 109 and probably even the Focke Wulf 190 although the latter was low in numbers and participated late.

6) P51 was so good it lasted until the early days of the Korean war 5 years after WWII ended and was to be replaced by............

the first, jet-powered, wartime fighter in the F-86 which is in the other pics by Mike! :)

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That F86 Sabre has some pretty impressive history of it's own.

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This thing is a work of art! Can't remember for sure, but I thought it was Paul Max Moga flying this thing at that time.

070_zpsbluxj1hn.jpg

071_zpsa36rvrny.jpg

You don't see this view too often, and a close-up of those thrust vectoring nozzles. The only thing on the F-22 that is not as advanced as the new Russian T-50 PAK-FA is that TV nozzles on the Raptor are 2-dimensional, whereas the PAK-FA's are 3-dimensional and they point 360 degrees and not just up and down like these. BUT...intelligent R&D by American engineers figured that being able to contain the heat signature with those 2-D TVC is much more important than having 3-D TVC where you can't reduce the heat signature at the rear nozzles and your apt to get a SAM up your $^& a lot easier with that 3D than with this super clever design. Gotta love it.

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Those are absolutely amazing looking planes. They look like a flying sculpture. I can see where Cadillac gets its design inspiration.

We need to get some of that anti-radar technology for Drew's SUV!

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Here's a perfect picture of the F4. I love that tail. This thing is fat- but fast, powerful and dangerous.

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I saw somewhere that the Navy had recognized the F4 as the most successful distributor of MIG parts in the world ;)

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Glad you posted the pics, like you say the more the merrier! I did have VIP access cause of the office I work in, but the VIP area was right beside everyone else so all it really did was get you a canopy to sit under (defeats the purpose of watching aerial acts) and some coffee or hot chocolate. Since it was a small event and only open to people who could get on base it was a small crowd so it wasn't an issue. And everyone had an hour to wander around the planes up close before they started flying.

Good rundown on the history of the planes! We had a WWII vet who flew that actual P-47 who was reunited with his old plane this weekend. Pretty cool stuff. If you go to Davis-Monthan's Facebook page you can see some pictures of that. You can also see a bunch of other people's videos and pictures. Another cool part of being at Davis Monthan (DM for short) is we have the boneyard here so driving to work every day is an airshow. They used to refurbish the F-4s here before being sent out to have the electronics installed that made them QF-4 drones that the Air Force would use for target practice and actually shoot them down over the Gulf of Mexico. I LOVED watching them taxi out and takeoff. I'll go through my other shots and see if I have any more that aren't just repetitive and suitable for showing.

My all time favorite, and first love, is the F-14. To me it's a sexy airplane with great lines and looks like it's getting ready to pounce (which is where it's name comes from). I remember watching them fly up and down the VA Beach coast when I was there on vacation as a kid. Too bad they are almost all gone from fear of spare parts falling into Iranian hands.

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Here's a perfect picture of the F4. I love that tail. This thing is fat- but fast, powerful and dangerous.

hsgs9934as01m-lg%20copy(1).jpg

I saw somewhere that the Navy had recognized the F4 as the most successful distributor of MIG parts in the world ;)

Hahaha, great line. Speaking of F-4's shooting MiG's, did you ever read the story of Randy Cunnigham, Joe?

It's actually a miracle that "Flying Bus" became the great fighter that it did. First, they had some of the worst testing results on any aircraft besides the current miserable F-35 ever in the history of Amercian military aviation. That thing failed almost every single air tunnel tests it went through prior to them putting all those bends on all those wing surfaces. That very cool tail and the way those horizontal stabilizers tilt down and the outside 3rd of the wings with the way they bend up were all aerodynamic bandaids to help fix an otherwise terrible flying jet. Then they introduce it straight into battle in Vietnam WIHTOUT A GUN lol thinking it was gong to introduce the world of aerial warfare to the new form of weapons in the Sparrow missile and they put it in the worst position to fail as it got shot out of the sky by some of the most incompetent jets from the Soviet Union in the MiG-17, flown by Vietnamese pilots. Heck the MiG-21 in the early days of the Phantom had a feast with the F-4 Phantom. It wasn't until they figured out they needed to put a gatler on it to give it a chance at close quarter combat that it started turning the tide. Then it turns into a classic of all time but that thing was destined for failure way from the start but it fought the odds and succeeded.

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Hahaha, great line. Speaking of F-4's shooting MiG's, did you ever read the story of Randy Cunnigham, Joe?

It's actually a miracle that "Flying Bus" became the great fighter that it did. First, they had some of the worst testing results on any aircraft besides the current miserable F-35 ever in the history of Amercian military aviation. That thing failed almost every single air tunnel tests it went through prior to them putting all those bends on all those wing surfaces. That very cool tail and the way those horizontal stabilizers tilt down and the outside 3rd of the wings with the way they bend up were all aerodynamic bandaids to help fix an otherwise terrible flying jet. Then they introduce it straight into battle in Vietnam WIHTOUT A GUN lol thinking it was gong to introduce the world of aerial warfare to the new form of weapons in the Sparrow missile and they put it in the worst position to fail as it got shot out of the sky by some of the most incompetent jets from the Soviet Union in the MiG-17, flown by Vietnamese pilots. Heck the MiG-21 in the early days of the Phantom had a feast with the F-4 Phantom. It wasn't until they figured out they needed to put a gatler on it to give it a chance at close quarter combat that it started turning the tide. Then it turns into a classic of all time but that thing was destined for failure way from the start but it fought the odds and succeeded.

Proof positive you can make a brick fly if you put enough thrust behind it.

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Proof positive you can make a brick fly if you put enough thrust behind it.

Yep, but what about the later designs, like this brick lol?

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If it wasn't for the genius of computer designs, things like this atrocity would never even get off the ground. The flight computer makes an unstable aircraft fly better than it would otherwise and the fly by wire system makes it even easier for the pilot to fly these planes. Planes that failed in the old days because they were so unstable were able to be recreated and brought back, or at least the design concept such as the B-2 Spirit which was originally the YB-39 & YB-45 Flying Wing.

This here...

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Becomes this, here.

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I live near the Niagara Falls Air Force Base-Reserve. Back in the day, we had Voo Doos based here. But what I remember the most, was the F-4. There was never any question as to whether they were flying or not. That distinctive howl! The used the ILS at BUF for practice and they flew over where I lived. To see them in formation on the ILS was just to cool. Did I mention the HOWL!

We got upgraded to the F-16 but then they switched to KC-135's Then, another city stole them from us. Fortunately we still have the C-130's. Old Smokey! Rumor has it that the fight for the new B767 tanker [KC-46A] is getting started. I would love to have that plane here.

I have a picture somewhere of the F4U Corsair. I was standing behind it while he started it and readied for flight. I was at the Geneseo Airshow this past season. Holy cow was it HOT! The prop blast was a nice breeze.

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I grew up near March afb in CA. It was full of F4's. I used to love just hanging out on the roof and watching training maneuvers and practice runs when I was a kid.

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Glad you posted the pics, like you say the more the merrier! I did have VIP access cause of the office I work in, but the VIP area was right beside everyone else so all it really did was get you a canopy to sit under (defeats the purpose of watching aerial acts) and some coffee or hot chocolate. Since it was a small event and only open to people who could get on base it was a small crowd so it wasn't an issue. And everyone had an hour to wander around the planes up close before they started flying.

Good rundown on the history of the planes! We had a WWII vet who flew that actual P-47 who was reunited with his old plane this weekend. Pretty cool stuff. If you go to Davis-Monthan's Facebook page you can see some pictures of that. You can also see a bunch of other people's videos and pictures. Another cool part of being at Davis Monthan (DM for short) is we have the boneyard here so driving to work every day is an airshow. They used to refurbish the F-4s here before being sent out to have the electronics installed that made them QF-4 drones that the Air Force would use for target practice and actually shoot them down over the Gulf of Mexico. I LOVED watching them taxi out and takeoff. I'll go through my other shots and see if I have any more that aren't just repetitive and suitable for showing.

My all time favorite, and first love, is the F-14. To me it's a sexy airplane with great lines and looks like it's getting ready to pounce (which is where it's name comes from). I remember watching them fly up and down the VA Beach coast when I was there on vacation as a kid. Too bad they are almost all gone from fear of spare parts falling into Iranian hands.

Must be wild driving by the boneyards everyday to work and seeing miles and miles of parked aircraft. You wouldn't think storing them wide open in that desert sun would be a good thing but that dry air is just the thing all that metal alloy needs.

I remember reading an article about the QF-4 and many of veteran Vietnam F-4 pilots were upset and filed complaints about those aircraft being used in that program because they had so much history behind them, and a few that they turned into drones where actually platforms that had several kills in Vietnam. Imagine that, a Phantom that could've possibly had 1, 2 or even 3 kills and turning it into a drone for target practice? I can see why some of those guys would get upset about that.

The Randy Cunningham chase with the MiG-17 in Vietnam and scoring 3 kills in 5 minutes was really something. The way he described what was happening and going vertical side by side and looking into the MiG's cockpit and seeing the Vietnamese pilot's face before shooting him down wow, crazy stuff. He's lucky they made it out past land and over the water before they ejected. Otherwise they would've ended up best buddies with John McCain at the Hanoi Hilton. Crazy stuff. Even the stories McCain had about watching the B-52 bombing missions over Hanoi and whenever one would get hit by an SA-2, he said they would look out the jaibars and watch this huge, lumbering aircraft slowly spin with it's gigantic wings down to the grown and they'd be lit up like a firefly. You can almost picture it in your mind. Really eerie, some of the stories they had.

I also remember reading a lot about the F-14 that you mentioned and the special stripping of that aircraft because of Iran. You're completely right on that one and I marvel at how paranoid they were about that. Crazy! Either way, I've also been following the IRIAF and what they've had going and TBH, they're barely keeping their F-14 fleet airworthy. They claim they can build all the parts necessary for it but I highly doubt it. That whole regime is so full of propaganda. Just like that "stealth" jet they trotted out and claimed it was a newly developed aircraft when it was nothing but a welded metal mock-up for a university project! lol

They have an F-14 at the Rhode Island Aviation Museum and they trot it our every year for that airshow. Your post reminded me of that and I had to dig out this pic. I know I have a few more without so many people camped up underneath it like that LOL!

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Here's a couple pics of what one of VX-4s old F-4s looks like now sitting in the boneyard here in Tucson for you Joe.

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with a couple other Phantoms...

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It sucks they killed so many Tomcats cause of the whole Iran thing. Here are a couple that were sitting there in 2004. Not sure if they are still in there or not. I know a few are, but don't know how many.

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Even though I've lived here a total of almost 8 years so far, I still catch myself staring into the yard. Their inventory changes and they rotate the airplanes around the yard for various reasons. Some of the planes I've flown are in there now and it's a strange feeling.

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Mike, I would love to walk that boneyard. I've looked at pictures on line of some of the planes, and it's an amazing place.

As for shooting up the F-4's for target practice, I can't stand that idea. I completely understand the use of assets for other purposes once they're past their useful life, but those were historic planes. It's so easy to assume that there are so many of them around, no one will miss them. Look at how many B17's and B29's were built, and the (literal) handful that are left today. If we don't take care of these pieces of American history, they'll be gone forever. I can imagine that quite a few Navy and Airforce museums around the country would love to have an F-4 that flew in Vietnam. There's an F-16 in a memorial park off US19 in Largo that I've stopped to study in the past. I love driving by there on 19 and looking over to see the plane. It's a beautiful little park, and that plane is a great visual anchor. We need more of that kind of historical display. We're not very good at preserving our own history in this country. We had a habit of tearing down historical buildings in the past, as well, but that's for a different thread.

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Was at the Quonset, Rhode Island National Guard air show a couple of weekends ago and saw the F-35A for the first time.  It was pretty good.  Not as impressive as the F-22 by any means.  Still, it was somewhat captivating considering all the hoopla behind the whole program and that Lockheed Martin touts it to be the most advanced fighter jet out there to date.  I guess the stuff that really makes it impressive is in the cockpit so we can't really see that, but it was pretty exciting.

An Avenger and F4U4 Corsair flying right over the parked F-35s.

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Got some nice close-ups of it after it landed.  Pilot was pumped.

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