Friday, November 10, 2017

Horsing around

And these are some of the wild horses that I saw while driving or hiking around in Nevada. Some were way out in the desert, others right in town. Wild horses. They go where they want.

Alas, even a horse's days in the sun are limited. Via con Dios, horse.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

Still more Fallon--the Bad Guy edition

This post contains more aircraft from Fallon NAS. And special thanks to Russia and the Eastern Bloc for donating so many of these wonderful aircraft for our pilots' training programs.

Here we have the MiG 15, a very capable early Russian jet using an engine taken right from Rolls Royce of Britain when the Labour Government there agreed to an seemingly inane request from Russian agents for a license to build them and technical help setting up their plant. Thanks, Brits!

Then the Russians refied it into the even more capable MiG 17, shown here.

Then there was this really impressive MiG-21, which was so fast and agile that combat with it was referred to as "being like a knife fight in a phone booth," especially if you happened to be flying an F-4 Phantom that day.

Next up is a MiG 23. Supposedly very fast, but not much for avionics or turns.

And here's a MiG 29.

It was really nice of the Communists to let us have al of these--and many more like them--back in the day so that we could study them and teach our pilots how to fight them. Alas, for as much work as it was to get some of these once, now there are plenty of them for sale on the open market, including the civil registry. Yes, you too can buy a Mig 17 or Mig 21 for less than you'd pay for most American collectible warbirds...and you could probably have some fun with it too, at least until it's engine needed replacing, and unlike American fighters, the engines in these aircraft were made to be pretty much disposable--you're not just overhauling it even if you could get parts, which you probably can't. Still, A Mig 21 could be a blast to fly for as long as it stays airworthy!

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

More Fallon

They got so many aircraft in here to drool over. One of my favorites--an oldie but a true classic, the North American F-86 Sabre Jet:

If I could have one to fly out of here, it'd be the F-86. Chuck Yeager described it as the last jet that handled like a high performance piston-engine fighter.

Then there's my other favorite, the Northrop F-5 Freedom Fighter, built mainly for export but used at Fallon in a training role to simulate aggressor aircraft. It was said that a capable pilot in one of these could still take on an F-15 or F-16 pilot and win.

And here's something you don't see every F-16 in NAVY colors.

And here's a Lockheed S-3 Viking, aka "the War Hoover".

And a Northrop Grumman E-2 Hawkeye.

And of course there is an F-18 here too.

Several F-18's, in fact. And not all of the static displays.

It was a great day to be alive out there.

Sunday, November 05, 2017


So I couldn't not be in NW Nevada and not go to Fallon NAS, home of the Navy's "Top Gun" program now, could I?

I drove up to the gate of this Navy facility way out in the desert only to be challenged by some rough and ready MP types who let me right in and gave me directions to all the cool stuff to see once I gave them my ID and dropped Old NFO's name.

The actual name of the field is Van Voorhis Field, named for LCDR Bruce Van Voorhis.
And the plaque bearing his Meal of Honor citation is flanked by these two gate guardians, a Vought A-7 Corsair II (left) and a Douglas A-4 Skyhawk (right).

There's also a beautiful Douglas A-1 Skyraider just inside the gate.
And across the street is a slick-looking North American A-5 Vigilante.

And here's a Grumman F-14 Tomcat, a pane so cool even Tom Cruise could not screw that up when he pretended to fly one on the movie Top Gun.

They have lots of really cool warbirds on display in an open-air park here. I spent a fair bit of time walking among them and I was the only one there.
Here's a Grumman A-6 Intruder.

They have another Douglas A-4 too.

There's another A-7, too.
And a Vought F-8 Crusader, the "last of the gunfighters".

And naturally there's a McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom. There has to be.

Apologies is some pictures look close-cropped or don't show both sides of the aircraft. As a guest here on this active duty installation, I don't want to photograph and publish pictures of the many, many communications and radar antennae that are all around. Erring on the side of caution for Opsec at the expense of numerous photos. Sorry.

More to come soon as I can. Many, many more.