Saturday, October 13, 2012

Army vs. Air Force

Just about the only consolation of being stuck on an air force base in the middle of nowhere for four months (aside from graduating my course, that is - assuming I graduate, of course) is that I'm an aviation junkie and air force bases are like miniature museums with airplanes everywhere.  This one is no different.  Sadly, there is no active flightline.  Although the runways are still here, they have that large 'X' at each end indicating it is no longer active.  We use it for our PT runs once or twice a week.

There are a few airplanes around - including a couple of special ones and another surprise, all of which I'll save for the end of the post.  We'll start off in chronological order, with the older trainers and work our way up to the ultra-cool. 

BT-13A Valiant, basic trainer from 1941 to 1944
 
AT-6/T-6G Texan, primary and basic trainer from 1944 to 1954
 
T-28A Trojan.  This particular plane was carried on the AF
inventory from 1951 to 1976! 
 
So much for the trainers.  They have there own history, but aside from names I really don't know much about them.  The Texan was used as a ground attack aircraft by the South Korean Air Force during the Korean War and the Trojan was used in the same role by the USAF during Vietnam.  And speaking of Vietnam...
 
An RF-4 - not sure of the specific submodel
 
Not sure of the exact submodel of this B-25 - I'm guessing
it's either a trainer or recon version.  Turns out I should have
put this before the RF-4 as the last B-25 was decommissioned
in 1960.
 

A standard C-47 painted to resemble an EC-47 used in Vietnam.
 
Now we get into some more modern fun:
 
RQ-4 Global Hawk
 
RQ-1 Predator.  Hmmm, strangely resembles an aircraft seen
recently over Yerbouti...
 
OK - so now we get on to the really, really cool (at least in my estimation) stuff.  First there was this:
 
Yes, that is an SA-4.  And with it, of course...
 
...is its Pat Hand radar.
 
And even better, we got to go inside the vehicles.  There wasn't much room, even with the seats removed.  I've been in an M1 Abrams, and there is tons more room than in these bad boys although I have to admit that the driver's compartment in these is slightly roomier than the Abrams.  But not much.
 


Inside the missile transporter.
 
Inside the radar vehicle - that's the main radar screen just to the
right of center.
 
And the opposite wall inside the radar vehicle.
 
Now we get to the cooler part of the post.
 
What we have here is a MiG-23 and...
 
I got to check out the cockpit!
 
 
But wait!  That's not all!  We also have (the coolest part) a...
 
MiG-29!  Now don't get ahead of me, folks...
 
Yup, I got to sit in the Fulcrum too!
 
It is a beautiful little plane - much smaller
than you'd expect it to be.  This particular
specimen if pretty messed up inside the cockpit
because they didn't black out the canopy
and the sun here just beats it to death.
 
That's it, folks!  Hope you enjoyed the tour!




3 comments:

  1. Hi, since you are interested in Air museums,
    why don't you give a little look at my blog? There's a post from a while back with a selection of WWII Italian aircrafts from the Vigna di Valle Air Museum...
    Here's the link...
    http://gnotta.blogspot.it/2011/03/museo-storico-dellaeronautica-di-vigna.html
    Hope you like it...
    Ciao!! :)

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  2. About that Rhino on a pole: It's a RF-4C out of Zweibr├╝cken in the early 80's, judging from the black tail labeling. Was there for a week in the mid-70's as part of a exercise from RAF Alconbury.

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  3. Pic #4 is an RF-4C painted in 38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron colors, from Zweibrucken Air base, Germany. That specific jet left Zwei in 1991, transferred to Bergstrom AFB Texas; then went to AMARC mid-summer 1992.

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