Sent: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 6:42 PM
Subject: F-100 aircraft wrecks
E-mail out of left field here, but I found a picture recently taken of two F-100 hulks in Balbala, Djibouti that look like they might be restorable.
Would this be something that you're interested in recovering, and if so, can I help?
PS--any luck yet on getting an F-105 flyable?
They were quick with the response:
Subject: RE: F-100 aircraft wrecks
Date: Wed, 16 May 2012 09:06:29 -0400
Those aircraft are probable still sitting there because it is not economically feasible to bring them to the US and restore them. We purchased our flying F-100 last year for less than $250,000, so the cost of bringing those into the country and returning them to flight would cost significantly more than buying one in flying condition. There are several others in the US that could be purchased if anyone was in the market for a F-100, so I think the chances of people lining up to bring those back into the US is pretty unlikely.
As for the F-105, we have not found a way to make it happen. There are none on the civilian market that are feasible for return to flight. The DoD is not interested in us returning one of the 100+ that they have on display to flying status, so the chances are not looking very good.
OK, so they don't want those. And that's understandable considering that they got teir F-model for under $250K. Heck, I could probably swing $250k if I sold my house and most of the guns and dipped into my retirement accounts a bit. For a flyable supersonic fighter jet? Hmmmm.... I'd lie if I said that I wasn't tempted, even if it meant that I did have to live under a bridge somewhere in order to pay for it's fuel. I'm sure that Murphy wouldn't mind. And I'm sure that our county sheriff could use a Fast FAC or close air support for his tactical operations every now and again, so it's not like the idea's totally impractical, right?
Stil, it's a bummer about the F-105. Pity that the Air Force has to be so niggardly with the remaining airframes and engines that they have. Ed Rasimus has documented their reluctance to part with one quite well, notably here. It's not like they haven't been asked. Is just a few derelict airframes and any remaining J-75 engines such a hard thing to part with? I mean, it's not like they're using them any more. Maybe Mitt Romney needs to be asked if he'd be willing to donate one to the Collings folks if elected, in exchange for my vote in November. Heck, that might actually get me to support the guy for a reason other than that he's not Barack Obama.
Now if you'll excuse me, I've got to check and see what UPS and Fed-Ex would charge to move two 21,000lb. packages from Djibouti to my FBO at Martinsburg, WV.