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Old 07-03-2019, 09:44 PM   #21
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On the flight line...

Habu Habu!!

Three blips and gone at max range...

Good friend of mine helped build it. In an 8 hour shift, his job was to file a titanium panel to a scribed line. He burned out an entire case of brand new mill files. Two strokes, trash the file, grab another.

Talk about 60ís tech. Hand built and not that long ago finally declassified. An absolute beast to fly, but fast as hell.

Exxon made the special fuel it burned. For years they couldnít talk about it.

Was a LockHeed skunk works special IIRC..
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:51 PM   #22
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I swear there was Alien DNA involved in the design of that aircraft.

If any of you want to walk up to that one it's on static display at Eglin AFB in Ft Walton Beach, Fl. It's in really good condition. I've seen several of them since they were retired. This is the best preserved model I've seen. Most recent one I've seen was at Barksdale AFB in December. Nose was all screwed up (as in, a fiberglass replacement had been installed). Love this aircraft. I've seen the one on display at Boeing in Seattle. It was hanging from the rafters in the '90's when I was there. There's another one just about an hours drive from home at Robbins AFB. hope to see that one soon.
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Old 07-03-2019, 10:45 PM   #23
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What plane is cooler than the SR-71?

Well, Kelly Johnson, head of Lockheed Skunk works who designed it, begs to differ. He thinks the plane in an interceptor role (the never-fielded F/A 12) to intercept soviet nuclear bombers was even cooler. "We built the wrong D**m plane," he reportedly said.



Another contender - the (X)B-70. Just as exotic with it's honeycomb alloy panels and hinged wingtips to ride it's own compression wave, it might have exceeded even the top speeds of the sled had it been fully developed. And it certainly could haul more stuff. (this is starting to sound like a forum TV debate!)



X-15 - Faster? Check - Mach 5+ it was hypersonic Higher? Check - almost everyone who flew it made it to the edge of space and earned astronaut wings, including one guy who later made one small step somewhere. A challenge to fly? Check, just read some of the crazy stories.



Aurora spy plane - who knows if it really even exists or if the rumored specifications of a hypersonic flight profile are just misinformation. $2.3B defense dollars went somewhere in the 1980s and it wasn't to my bank account.

And finally, an old favorite and love-at-first-sight from my boyhood, the X-3 stiletto, for no other reason or cogent justification other than it looks really, really cool, still even today over half-a-century since it ever took to the skies.

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Old 07-03-2019, 10:57 PM   #24
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X3? That's just an F101 Voodoo run thru a pencil sharpener.

TV Debate? Cool with me.

Tongue firmly planted in cheek, I remain,

Jim
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:02 PM   #25
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On the flight line...

B-58 ĎHustlerí was my favorite.

Our Air Explorer post had a 1/2 size billboard poster of one on the wall of our meeting room i. The 1960ís.

Heard, then saw one take off from the Air Force field just north of where we grew up in Florida. Was all noise and brute speed as it climbed out almost straight up.
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Old 07-04-2019, 12:05 AM   #26
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yeah, the 58 was ground breaking (air-braking?) in so many ways, the wasp shaped fuselage, the ejection pods, that crazy fuel tank. I think it was the first supersonic bomber.

and Jim, the 101? The plane that most directly derived from the X-3 was the F-104 Starfigher, which Johnson claimed (he was a pretty opinionated guy) could've flown circles around the then much newer F-15, built by the other guys, with just a few tweaks, and for far less investment. I don't buy it, but, I'm not an aerodynamic genius either.

If only the X-3 had been adequately powered... it would have in all likelihood ended in tears, as we didn't know much about inertial coupling back then, but certainly stumbled upon, thanks to the X-3.
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:37 AM   #27
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Sorry guys, but my vote for the sexiest aircraft are a tie between the Dehaviland Mosquito and Hawker Sea Fury.

Cheers
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:31 AM   #28
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Iíll go with the F-22. One one display at the Edwards AFB museum. Itís a shame that they cut production short on that thing. Canít feasibly restart the production line now.

The Edwards AFB museum is relocating outside the gate and expanding.
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Old 07-04-2019, 07:43 AM   #29
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My favorite? I go with...six turning, four burning.

From my I'm never growing-up days.




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Old 07-04-2019, 02:51 PM   #30
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Hard to beat the looks of a Beechcraft Stagger-wing for the late 30s.
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Old 07-04-2019, 03:44 PM   #31
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F8 Crusader was one of the last "single seat" fighters, was dubbed the "last gunfighter" and had several "kills" during Viet Nam...top speed of Mach 1.8, it was later replaced by the F-14. I served with VF24 during Viet Nam 1972, as a squadron Trouble Shooter on the flight deck operating off the USS Hancock. Working the flight lines, I saw many incredible events with this aircraft...The F4's were impressive also, but not as nimble as the F8, IMHO...they often used a parachute when landing on land due to weight of the plane with the 2 engines... Not familiar with the SuperSaber shown, but heard a lot about it of course. These pictures were taken of me in Bin Hoa Vietnam, where I was sent off Hancock to handle mechanical issues, should they not make it back to the Hancock in May 72. Also of me on the cats checking the after burners were lit for launch, and of a recovery from a mission. ...fun times..every time I replace a rivet on the Airstream, it reminds me doing same when I !worked on Navy aircraft!
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Old 07-04-2019, 04:27 PM   #32
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Hard to beat the looks of a Beechcraft Stagger-wing for the late 30s.
Ahh.... the "Red Staggerwing"


From a great album...

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Old 07-04-2019, 06:05 PM   #33
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Oh, I am enjoying this.

My current favs: a 1937 Waco AQC-6 and Sopwith Pup replica. (It was a pleasure to be involved in the restoration/build of both).
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Old 07-04-2019, 06:18 PM   #34
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And....how do you get a Sopwith Pup across the Atlantic?

"Turducken" style; inside a C-17.
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Old 07-04-2019, 10:37 PM   #35
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Man, what a fun thread....

I agree the staggerwing is one of the most beautiful civvy planes ever built. Who wouldn't trade their Airstream for one in flying condition, (but what smuck would be so foolish; how could I ever be so lucky?)

Maybe a modern beechcraft that might be almost as pretty was the starship. Too bad it was so expensive and never caught on. I knew one model hidden away in a big hanger on an obscure little airport for about a year or so -- I think the owner was resisting the mandatory recall. That had to have been over 10 years ago. No idea what ever happened to it. I hope it still is out there somewhere....


Now, the most fun airplane I ever got to actually fly in....I would have to say is the Pitts 2B...its a long story, but one of the most memorable 20 minutes of my then young life (who knew hammerheads were so much FUN?) and all so graciously given free from a generous pilot who could see some spark in my eye...or maybe it was the drool running from my gaping mouth.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:06 AM   #36
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Talking about aircraft with you all is much better than old guys talking about aches and pains. Hahaha
I was very fortunate to ride in an F100 and an old navy T6 tail dragger. Both pilots did an excellent job of making me very sick.... but I wouldnít give up those memories for anything.
Thank you all, and please keep this thread going.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:31 AM   #37
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Stopped in at a Waco fly in years ago IIRC a few miles S of Mohican state park Ohio at pretty sure a private air strip. Waco planes all over the place they looked like 57 Chevys with wings.

Best ride I ever had was in a Stearman. That was cool.

But Iíll ad that my Uncle Fred piloted Corsairs other craft and later the Fury Jet FJ3. He was documented as somewhere in the low 400th military jet pilot. Trying to say a real early military jet pilot.
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Old 07-05-2019, 03:06 PM   #38
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Yep, F-100, F-8 & F4. The F100 is not listed on any static display list and has been somewhat canabalized, so I think it is in the boneyard at Davis Monthan or Palmdale.
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Old 07-05-2019, 09:08 PM   #39
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Do you pronounce it Pee-Can, or PaKahn, or Puh-Can, or Pee-Kahn?

Yeah, I don't think there was much love lost on the Hun, pilots were not so enamored with it, despite it being flown by the Thunderbirds for a while. Maybe they were all converted to drones and shot out of the skies.

According to the article, the pic was taken on the south ramp at Edwards over ten years ago.

Speaking of not-so-loved planes...I hereby nominate the Skyvan -- now it's not a bad plane, mind you. I have actually jumped out of several, and they fly ok, which is remarkable in every way, because you would never think so by looking at it. It seems someone found a boxcar and added wings and engines and were done. I must admit I do admire the attempt at the one pictured here to add lipstick to a pig...


And, I must also doff my hat to the pilot who is either so desperate for stick time, or so supremely self-confident as not to mind being seen flying this. (Although he did duck for this pic, I notice)
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Old 07-06-2019, 01:59 AM   #40
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A very well known triple+ ace from WWII told me the Hun was the worst flying airplane he ever got in. The best was the F-86, even better than the P-51.
One of my uncles flew P-51s in WWII and F-86s in Korea. He was not a fan of F-100s either. He told me that the F-86 would warn you when it was getting out of shape, F-100s would just quit flying. He felt that it cost a lot of people their lives.

He did speak fondly of the RF-84s he flew with the Arkansas Air National Guard. They had a big-ole long nose and there was plenty of room for your golf clubs and luggage.
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