Friday, June 17, 2016

Eglin's pre-Century birds

Eglin AFB's Armament Museum sure has some beautifual old jets parked outside.

This Lockheed T-33 trainer taught a whole new generation of pilots how to fly jets.

And Republic's swept-wing F-84 carved it's niche in early jet aviation history too as a fighter and a nuke bomb carrier.

But the classiest of the old classics just had to be the North American F-86 Sabre.
If I could have one, it's be this one. No question. Chuck Yeager described it as the jet that flew like a prop fighter, only faster.

And here's an old Northrop F-89 Scorpion. You don't see a lot of these anymore, even in museums.

So many planes there...and so little time...and too much daylight for me to get one on my trailer hitch and tow it off to Louisiana.

14 comments:

  1. I like the blackbird. The nice thing about that museum is that you can walk up and touch 'em. Very cool.

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  2. And the F-86 is a little bitty thing... Especially compared to today's fighters.

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  3. Interesting story in Yeager's autobiography about the F-86. The ailerons were locking in some of them, and pilots were driving them into the ground. Aileron lock happened once to Yeager, but he went into a dive, and they unlocked. Of course, he went up a little higher and tried the maneuver again, and sure enough, he could lock and unlock them at will.

    Turns out an old man on the assembly line was ignoring the drawings and putting in some wing bolts heads-up instead of heads-down, because it "looked right." How many pilots did that assembler kill, I wonder.

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  4. Isn't the Scorpion the one that had the HUGE rocket pods on the wingtips?

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    1. It has big fuel tanks on the wings. But thwy did fly with air-to-air rockets on harpoints, including nuclear-tipped Genies

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    2. There were several mods of the Scorpion all the way up to J or K, and one or more of those did, indeed have rocket pods on the wingtips. See wikipedia if you want the details. I used to see ANG Scorpions stooging around the skies above Spokane in the 63-64 era. Kind of a letdown from the F-102's that used to go booming out of Eielson when we lived there.

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  5. Do they still have the MOAB prototype sitting out front that you can park next to? I think I had a picture of one of my cars next to that when I went home to visit my dad.

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    1. They do. Lemme look for it.

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    2. It was amusing the first time I stopped there-as I had a tiny Chevy Aveo. Made my car look even smaller next to it.

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  6. F-86 had the same wingspan as the P-51. And notice that 86 had a kind of beak. That little beak was a radar set tied in to the machineguns. Yes it would lock in on a enemy fighter at say 1-2 miles and the gunsight would compensate for the distance and lead. Gen. Yeager wrote about them.

    Oh, and the Scorpion did have a bunch of little rockets in wingtip pods. Kind of like the ME-262 and it's rockets. They were fin stabilized and meant to shoot at bomber formations.

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  7. Ah, it was the F-86E were equipped with the A-1CM gunsight-AN/APG-30!

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  8. A park near me has an extensive equipment display/ veteran's memorial - it has a fighter that I think is an F-89' I'll have to look next time I'm there.

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  9. Thanks for sharing these pictures

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