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CJ Martin

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Everything posted by CJ Martin

  1. Indeed I am. I worked in the Baltimore office (F-15, F/A-18).
  2. Most of the principles behind the original Warbirds left ICI, formed a new company and created Aces High. Same concept, WW2 online combat simulation. I can't speak to the latest version as I've been away from that scene for some time. Seems like AH is still kicking though. A long time ago I was very active in the WB community (and it's predecessor Confirmed Kill). Co-founded the Flying Pigs, good times.
  3. Seems like we did run over the same ground closer than I thought, my bad for assuming otherwise. A good friend of mine was a FRAMP instructor 86-89, but he was an AQ1 so you probably didn't know him. I rolled to Pax in June of 88 myself. Still here but working unmanned stuff (PMA-262). And I'll hold off on the BB stacker jokes. (I was an AT)
  4. I certainly hope you aren't aiming that comment my way. I spent a fair amount of my youth on the flight line maintaining Tomcats (and later Hornets). And GW brings up a number of excellent points. I don't think we are really saying anything too different, particularly when you consider the time perspective. I get the sense that he was in the Fleet sometime after I was. I was a Fleet tomcat maintainer in the mid-80's, this was the height of the Reagan buildup and we still had part shortages. Carriers out-chopping from the Med (I was East Coast Navy) would strip their jets (TCS cameras & pow
  5. I worked on them too, both in the Fleet and at Pax. Post active duty, I worked for NAVAIR Reliability & Maintainability. The Tomcats dismal maintenance number were very real. I saw them, saw the raw data. NAMP/3M data was used. Towards the end, Tomcat MMH/FH was in the mid-40s, spiking higher at times. Legacy Hornets were upper teens, Supers low teens. Do the math. And I believed those numbers. As someone that also worked on Hornets, I was shocked how easy those plastic jets were to maintain. Need access to the radar package? Pull the whole damn thing out of the rad
  6. Towbar connected to tractor and jet = hands off if you are a maintainer. So you wait until respot or whatever is over, meanwhile the clock is still running to the next launch... Life on the roof, baby!
  7. Yeah, looking at the pictures closer, I have no idea what those are. Never saw anything like that in the Fleet or when I was at Pax. Might be something after my time as I got out in '91. As far as what is hanging on station 1B in the first picture, that's this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AIM-152_AAAM China Lake bird, prototype missile shape. Probably just for fit check purposes but may have flown captive carry. That would have been a bit unusual as we usually did the captive carries and initial weapon separation work here at Pax, not at China Lake. The ai
  8. For the belly stations, the weapons rail is lowered down onto the missile and mechanically latched. Then the rail is cranked back up. The umbilical that connects the missile to the jet is engaged on the side of the rail, that's the only "retractable" part. There isn't any "cushion", not sure why you would think that. FWIW, it was possible to accidentally drop one on deck - happened here at Pax while I was on active duty. It was common back then to load the jets the night before (these were inert/blue tube missiles, not live rounds) and then prior to flight install the Cartridge Act
  9. Jed Eckert: How did you get shot down, Colonel? Col. Andy Tanner: It was five to one. I got four. R.I.P. Col Tanner.
  10. Ah Joe how are you man. Recently picked up your Corsair book as the wife got me the 1/32 Tamiya -1A, well done sir. My old eyes plus the fact that I was an AT not an AME makes it hard for me to identify the seat, so thanks!
  11. I can't help you with the decals, but be aware the jet you want to model is a "D minus" test bird from the F-14D program. It's basically an Alpha air frame, TF-30's and all with Delta electronics and cockpit. I don't remember what seats it had in it now. Miles and miles of orange wire under those panels.
  12. Wow that is some serious erosion on that pizza box. I used to support that program at one time. We had similar erosion problems with the blade antenna array (a.k.a. "bird slicers") on the C/D, and IIRC that drove a coating change at the supplier. As a general rule, Fleet maintainers can't / are supposed to paint antennas as it messes them up. They do have erosion tape that can be used on blade antennas. It's a clear tape applied to the the leading edge only.
  13. A couple of thoughts - the later versions of the TF30 were actually pretty good, and in fact at altitude I understand it was actually better than the F110. Also the F110 was not without it's own problems. A/B burn through was a real thing, and crews were lost because of it. A good maintenance department could rack up impressive availability numbers given enough parts. However to do that the maintainers had to work like dogs. The learning curve was steep. Having worked on both, there is no doubt in my mind which bird was easier to work on. McAir got a lot right with the Hornet, whil
  14. Agreed, also the base of the the antenna doesn't look right.
  15. As a former Tomcat maintainer, seeing a Tomcat with spread wings on deck means "something is broken" unless of course it is in tension on the cat or rolling down a runway.. Wing spread spots on the ship were a pain in the a$$ almost always requiring a respot, which means waiting around for hours until the deck crew finally moved the jet. Fortunately for me as an avionics guy I didn't have to maintain the wing sweep or flat/slat systems. On deck, our jets were kept in oversweep afloat or on the beach.
  16. That looks damn good. I never had flight deck pants with huge pockets, I was an air wing (CVW-1/VF-33) roof rat in the pre-cami days. Before a boat det, we'd ride up to Langley AFB and pick up a crapload of the USAF green utility pants. They were dirt cheap and actually held up pretty well. Anything was better than dungarees!
  17. Back in the day, a line rat carrying only 4 chains would have been called another name for a cat. Not sure about these days. Hell it's been almost 30 damn years since I worked the roof. Love the chains. What the hell is in his pocket though? We couldn't do that, FOD hazard and the deck apes would go spastic if they saw that. The padeyes look great, just be sure to put a bunch of nasty gunk in them!
  18. FYI - Eduard has a bunch of photo etch and Brassin seats for this kit scheduled to come out in January. This is on top of the Brassin wheels due this month.
  19. That beaver tail really looks great. The only thing I would do is either hollow out or replace the fuel dump with tubing - it's pretty thin metal and they got banged up pretty good IRL. Also depending on the era you may want to paint the dump red or dark gray. Red for low vis and dark gray for TPS schemes.
  20. I don't think SD 220 or 221 ever went to the boat, but they may have done some carrier suitability work here at Pax or up in Lakehurst. Both jets spent the majority of their time up in Calverton NY at the Grumman facility. SD 202 did go to the boat more than once but only for a week or two at a time. Every time I got assigned to a boat det from Strike something would happen and the det would get called off, so I never went back to sea once I left VF-33. I got out after my enlistment was up and started working in my current field - Reliability & Maintainability. Get my 20 year pin next mont
  21. At least by the mid-80's most east coast squadrons had a mix of blocks. I can't speak to the west coast squadrons but I suspect it was the same. So yes, -102 had some older jets too, at one time I think one of their BuNo's was 159006 or 159007...all I remember for sure is that it was lower than our 207. In 33 we had a couple of block 75s, two block 110s and the rest were a mix in between. We got a third block 110 right before cruise (the ill-fated AB 213). After cruise we turned a couple of birds into NARF and got two brand spanking new Block 140s, new car smell and all. I probably have a comp
  22. Just remember that Modex's change so you really need to know the date. We had at least two different jets wear 207 while I was there. I don't remember the BuNo of the first one but it was most likely Gull gray. It went to NARF shortly after I got there, and we got 159010 right before the '86 cruise. When jets went to NARF they didn't always return to the squadron they came from.
  23. We had two jets in VF-33 with the beaver tail when I was there 85-88, 159010 / AB 207 and 159015 / AB 206. They had different paint schemes - 206 was in the overall gloss gray, with full color markings including the solid black star and yellow lighting bolt on the tails. The older of the two, AB 207 had just been through NARF and came to us in the low vis TPS scheme. The tail markings were dark gray outline star & lightning bolt. We shot a Phoenix off 207 during my last missile shoot with -33, it was the oldest active east coast Fleet tomcat at that time. Note that on both birds the side d
  24. Eduard just announced some Brassin wheels for a Dec release, but I'm not sure what era they represent.
  25. Ha! Worked on both of these 'cats back in the day. SD 202 is designated as an "NF-14A", i.e. it is not a Fleet standard configuration. Miles of orange wire internally to support instrumentation is the primary reason for this. Fun fact, this aircraft was used extensively to test what effects deleting the glove vanes would have in various configurations. For one set of test flights, the entire AWG-9 radar system was removed from the nose (antenna, everything in the TX bay and the power supplies on the other side. Lead weights were added aft in an effort to move the CG as far aft as possible. Dur
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