Thursday, June 16, 2011

Wright-Patterson Museum visit, Pt. 5.

OK, since I was asked for this one, here's the Convair B-58 Hustler, a delta-winged supersonic nuclear bomber.
And here's a McDonnell-Douglas F-101 Voodoo.

This is Convair's F-102A Delta Dagger, the Air Force's first delta-winged fighter. It was an all-weather interceptor, tasked with heading off and destroying Soviet bombers coming in from the north. This one was stationed in Iceland and actually came face-to-face with Russian bombers several times.
And here's the Convair F-106A Delta Dart, another interceptor. If it looks a lot like the F-102, it's because it's really just a massive upgrade of that aircraft.
This F-106 has a unique history. When flying over Montana, it went into a flat spin and the pilot, unable to recover, ejected. Once he was gone, probably due to the change in weight and balance caused by the canopy coming off and the pilot leaving, the aircraft straightened itself out and flew off, finally gliding in to a perfect wheels-up landing in a field, causing only minor damage to the plane. It was repaired and flew again before finally winding up here.

Full story here.

And naturally, the museum has McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom jets. This one is an RF-4C, used for photo-reconnaissance.was delivered to the USAF on Sept. 9, 1965. It served in Vietnam, Japan, Korea, Europe, Cuba and the Middle East. During Desert Shield/Desert Storm, this aircraft flew a total of 172 missions, more than any other F-4 aircraft. When flown to the museum in May 1994, it had more than 7,300 hours of flying time.

And then there's this Phantom, another F-4C. But this one has history, too. This was SCAT XXVII, the actual aircraft that then-Colonel Robin Olds was flying when he and weapons system officer Lt. Stephen Croker, destroyed two MiG-17s in a single day on May 20, 1967. Colonel Olds officially destroyed four Migs over Vietnam, and the story of his Air Force career as told in the gripping book "Fighter Pilot" is a fascinating one. If you like good books, I cannot recommend this one enough.

Fittingly, the museum has a small exhibit on Brigadier General Olds.But I still recommend the book.

The museum has Republic F-105s, two. They have a two-seat G model and this single-seat D model below. Sadly, this was the best picture that I could get of either of them. Big sigh. These birds were high-speed, low-level fighter bombers originally designed to deliver nuclear weapons but they wound up being used to deliver large quantities of conventional bombs to every corner of North Vietnam, except, of course, the targets that Lyndon Johnson wouldn't let our pilots hit for political reasons.That's the nose of a Lockheed EC-121D Constellation in the background.

This museum has everything. Planes, weapons...even hats. It seems that someone left his hat behind.

There were also displays set up all through the museum to commemorate warriors who never made it back, like this one recognizing Lt. Karl Richter.He was from Holly, Michigan.


  1. Thanks for the pic of the B-58! I really need to go back there. It was 1976 when I visited.

    Oh, AFSH class in Sep. I have registered. I would be honored if you joined me. I just hope the new gun arrives in time!

  2. Keads, I may just do that. I'm thinking that it'll be a good pairing if I do.

  3. I really like these posts ML. I get to see new (to me) stuff and develop the desire for a little travel. Maybe after the new boy gets his adult legs under him...

  4. @ML- Hope you can make it! I think so too. I hope to get up close and personal with A S&W M&P before I go. Been there? Any good places to stay?

    I have a Crackberry but I know how to keep it in check! Email is on my profile.

  5. I just keep saying "thank you," because I mean it. I love these pictures and the histories you're posting.

  6. You're going to do a post that links to all of these so that I can link to it, right?

  7. Tam,

    I'd be honored by the linkage. Let me see what I can do about consolidating them as soon as I finish posting them all.

    I should have the rest of them posted by tonight. The way blogger's been running, it was either short bits as I had the time, or spend days working to make one big one. I decided to try the former this time, especially since blogger will begin deleting them one by one in a few months, as they seem to be doing with my other photo posts.

  8. Ahh, now there's the picture!

    The museum has done an incredible job on the Robin Olds material, the Wild Weasel stuff and honoring Karl Richter who was the most unassuming hero, in every sense of the word, that I've had the honor to know.

  9. I too was happy to see that display mentioning Karl Richter, Ed. I read about him a bit in your book and spent some time looking for more information about him but there really isn't as much as there should be. Someone needs to tell his story.