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About Collin

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    Full Blown Model Geek

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  1. I wasn't in DS. Just flew with some of the old hats that were there. S-3 DS loadouts were variable...I've seen pictures of 5" rocket pods, TALD, ROCKEYE, S-3B with Harpoon. I'm sure they carried 2 or 4 MK-82's in their Bomb Bays. I flew in AirWing FIVE 1995-1999, my comments reflect that period of time when we still had A-6's in the AirWing and after they went away and were replaced by a baby Hornet squadron. When CV-62 sortied to the Gulf for OSW operations...we carried 2 500# bombs in the bays as a standard S-3 loadout (along with a drop tank and ARS pod)....it was a just in case measure if something came up and someone had to drop something. Our alert ASuW birds had 3 x ROCKEYE on a TER instead of the drop tank (but still kept the ARS on the left pylon). Collin
  2. Some S-3 squadrons that were part of DS1 were S-3B’s that had the ARS box installed and could act as tankers. ARS dropped on a patrol boat; true. Collin
  3. Spot on. Mid 90’s until ‘96-‘97, we were one of the last in CVW-5 with S-3’s and straight A-6E’s as tankers (no KA-6’s by that point). You couldn’t swing a dead cat without hitting multiple tankers in the overhead for any given cycle. We would launch the primary and spare tankers for both squadrons a lot for late night recoveries. You could have 2-3 S-3’s and another 1-3 A-6’s in the overhead tanker pattern at night “hawking” everyone that came down the case 3 chute (we had more buddy stores than the A-6’s anyway). If nobody boltered or needed gas, on came the dumps as we all just pissed out thousands of pounds of gas to make our own trap weight. After the Intruders left the AirWing, we got more disciplined with our gas and didn’t dump near as much.
  4. Buddy store on a A-6 or S-3 was just a fuel tank... no impact on carrying ordnance (live or intert). The mission use of the aircraft (with the buddy store) is what dictated what that aircraft would do on the cycle it was launched. During wartime.... we all would have carried the buddy store if they were available. Our alert loadout in VS-21 was a buddy store, 2 x MK-82 slick in the BB, and 3 x MK-20/FMU-140 fuzed on the other wing pylon. Other dedicated tanker birds just had the MK-82's. Later those ROCKEYE could be swapped out with Harpoon or AGM-65F if needed. A-6's had similiar loadouts, but normally a MER (or two) with ROCKEYE's and a GBU-12. They had to watch "come aboard" weight, so that is why you see some A-6's with only a bomb or two on a MER. For normal ops from the boat...the A-6 burned more fuel than a S-3. For that reason you would see two other drop tanks on a tanker fragged A-6 to have fuel available for the entire cycle. S-3's sipped so little gas, we had plenty of fuel to "give" with our internal and two drops for a single cycle, and would normally join up with another S-3 and consolidate/suck away their fuel (if they were fat) so they we always had plenty of gas in the overhead. My first few cruises with A-6's we would dump tons of fuel, by the time I left Japan and we lost the A-6's/gained an extra Hornet squadron....we weren't dumping anyting and just ran a daisy chain of S-3's swapping gas back and forth. Complicated...but fun. Cheers Collin
  5. When I cruised with VA-115, they had specific A-6E’s that had the ARS on the centerline and were fragged to the mission or recovery tanker roll as we were in VS-21. All of our S-3’s had the ARS on our left wing pylon, but only a handful of Intruders. Typically those of us allocated to tanker duty didn’t stray too far from the carrier, but in between cycles could still go out and do proficiency training with practice bombs or act as SSC-ASuW overwatch where we carried live ordnance. Examples are the pics of the A-6’s with blue practice bombs and the SWIP A-6 with the IR Maverick on the wing. In the Gulf every S-3 launched with 2 live MK-82’s in the bomb bay and a ARS because we always had recovery tanker duty. Even when not fragged for tanker duty, every S-3 launched and did a package check (so did the intruders) so CAG knew what ARS’s were working. After the check you proceeded out on your primary mission and the tanker remained overhead. No matter what, that ARS carried about 2500# of fuel and we used it, consolidated it into another tanker, or dumped it as you could only land with a full ARS, or a ARS with less than 500#’s of gas. Tanker Ops above a carrier could be very dynamic, and vital the more Hornets you had in the airwing. I think those numbers are right, it’s been a few years. I remember a few times us and the A-6 tankers going out with MK-76’s and bombing the smoke buoys we put in the water. Cheers Collin
  6. Oh man....like good rye or Jamison....very smooth. Collin
  7. Collin

    S-3 Viking 1/48

    Heaven help the young ensign going out to fight a Hornet in a TA-4J Saturday morning after a night in the good old Jax Officer Club. or God save the backseat TACCO/SENSO that decided to drink heavily on det and have to go out on Saturday morning (with the most aggressive and "not" smooth pilot) and have to track and MOT buoys and drop torpedos in a 90+ degree low level S-3...Hawaii dets were fun, but that was just plain torture. Not that it ever happened to myself...only stories I have overheard. Cheers Collin
  8. Collin

    S-3 Viking 1/48

    We had O2 masks as part of our equipment. You always plugged it in to check the O2 flow and the mask comms, then stowed it for takeoff. Some crew did snap it on for the catapult shot but 98% didn’t. It wasn’t mandatory (unlike Hornets/Tomcats/A-6/EA-6B). After launch as you headed up to do the package check (check out the refueling pod with another aircraft) the pilot and COTAC would throw on their mask for the check then remove them and go back to the boom mike. O2 masks were mandatory for overland low level flights, but not low level overwater when rigging ships or doing ASW. On a side note, just prior to night landing pilots would normally throw their mask on for a blast of 100% O2, supposedly to help their eyesight. Obviously certain in-flight emergencies you had to don the mask. And as a real side note...cool O2 into your body after a night of drinking sure helped the hangover...not that I ever experienced that first hand...just told to me by a friend or two. Cheers Collin
  9. Good job with the construction. It drove me to kill my first attempt at this kit. There are some tricks building this kit (intakes and wing fit) from others online builds that seem to help. I have multiple Harrier kits so before long I will give it a go again. I’m sure your build will get that mojo flowing. Keep up the progress!! Collin
  10. Collin

    A-7E loadout-Vietnam

    AGM-78 Standard ARM on a A-7, never seen that? Shrike and HARM i thought were the only ARM’s cleared on the A-7 series. Thought the -78 was exclusive to Vietnam era modified A-6’s then removed from inventory in favor of -88 HARM. Cheers Collin
  11. Collin

    Quickboost early gun cover for 1/48 Tamiya F-14A

    Tap Tap Tap...Hey Quickboost...Tap Tap Tap...this mike on... 1/48 NACA vent for Tamiya F-14A???...Tap Tap Tap.
  12. Will be watching. I have a few Harriers in the stash whispering my name..."build me". Cheers Collin
  13. Collin

    OOB RF-4B Hasegawa 1/48

    Much too kind a complement from you, especially after that stunning F-14 build I followed. Amazing work. I think sometimes less is more. I work with a USMC former F-4 RIO that says I am pretty close with this build. He says the RF-4’s were always kept pretty clean except for the areas on a Phantom you just can’t keep clean. He also said they always flew with fuel tanks and still outran their standard USMC B/J/S Phantoms. Thanks to all for commenting. Collin
  14. Little AGM-65F IR Maverick love for all: