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About GW8345

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    Old Cranky Bastard

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    Fly 4

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  1. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    You are correct sir. --------------------------------------------- Most of the A-7C's were converted to TA-7C or EA-7L's in the mid to late 70's, only a hand full of Charlie's survived into the early 80's and only one of those (IICR) was painted in low vis colors (it was a test bird at Kirkland AFB and had some kind of bird on the tail). By the mid 70's, all of the A-7C were turned over to either test squadrons or the RAG's (VA-174 and VA-122) and I think a few were re-engined after they were retired and sold to foreign countries. The only external difference between the C and the E was the wave guide conduits, the E got them shortly after Vietnam, the C's never did IIRC.
  2. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    Yes, the A-7 could fly with just the spacer (adapter), we did it from time to time when we had to remove the launcher and didn't have one to put on.
  3. They were rarely used.
  4. This picture is from the early 60's, they are still using ropes to tie down aircraft. What time frame are we talking, I was thinking Vietnam (65) and later.
  5. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    To add what Jim stated, those missiles appear to be test missiles and the photo was taken prior to Vietnam. The LAU-7's (launchers) do not have fin retainers which were required starting with the AIM-9D's and appear to be early test/development assets since they don't have the holdback pin either. Also, the guidance section of the D doesn't appear to be live, I don't see the glass eye for the seeker and there's no nose cone installed which was required when power was not applied to the aircraft so I'm thinking the guidance sections were dummies and these missile were used for compatibility/weapons separation testing. Also, the tow bar is the old 50's/early 60's style and they are still using ropes to tie down the aircraft so I would guess this photo was taken during ship board compatibility testing in 62/63) time frame. Back then they didn't have inert training missiles like we do today so they had to use live components during testing. As Jim stated, the brown bands weren't on Sidewinder's during the early years (AIM-9A-C's) but they were on from the AIM-9D and up (the Delta was introduced around 62 IIRC) . As to your question about types of missiles, there are several different types; AIM/AGM = live tactical missiles. AIM - Air Intercept Missile (air to air missile), AGM - Air to Ground Missile ATM = Air Training Missile, live rocket motor and guidance/control sections but inert warhead, the warhead is usually replaced with a telemetry section so the missile can be tracked and determined if it "killed" the target. These are used for training aircrew in the operation/firing of the weapon. The Air Force calls ATM's "JAIM"'s but they are the same thing, just different name. CATM = Captive Air Training Missile, live guidance section, everything else is inert, used to train aircrew in the operation of the missile. DATM = Dummy Air Training Missiles, totally inert, used to train ordnanceman in the assembly, handling and loading/downloading of the weapon, not for flight. The markings come already applied from the factory but can be applied by the ordnanceman when they need to be. touched up/replaced *Before anyone says anything, I kept this to air launched missiles, I am not getting into RIM's, BGM's, etc, that's Gunnermate's stuff.
  6. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    Not sure what you are asking, are you asking if the A-7 can fly without the fuselage AIM-9 Launchers? that would be a yes. If you are asking if the A-7 could fly the Launcher without the adapter (spacer) that goes between the launcher the fuselage, no, the mounting bolts are in a different location/set-up so you can't mount the launcher directly to the fuselage, you have to have the adapter. Also, even if you could mount the launcher to the fuselage, you couldn't load a Sidewinder, the back wings would hit the fuselage before you could get it slide onto the launcher. For the lumps and bumps on the A-7C, IIRC it depends on the time frame. During Vietnam it had the same forward "belly pan" but the aft belly pan was smaller, I don't know if the avionics were every upgraded to Echo standards, I don't think they were. They also did have the strike camera that was on the belly by the tail hook and the wave guide conduits on the fuselage side like the Echo. For the Echo, the waveguide conduits came after Vietnam, around the 1975 timeframe IIRC.
  7. GW8345

    A-6 Intruder Wing Struts

    Yes, they were red.
  8. GW8345

    A-6 Intruder Wing Struts

    PM inbound.
  9. If I may; The pylon's (adapters) would be grey and the launchers would be white. Reasoning: The launchers are not aircraft specific (i.e. restricted to a certain aircraft type) so they would be painted in the most common camouflage color it would be next to, white. The adapters (Y Racks and single launcher adapters) were aircraft specific so they would be painted in the surrounding camouflage color of the aircraft. Bear in mind, neither the launchers or the adapters (basically, all of the ordnance gear except the guns) were "owned" by the squadron, they were really owned by the Intermediate Level Maintenance activity (i.e. AIMD) and "loaned" to the squadron. The gear was turned in on regular intervals and the squadron is issued a different piece of gear, thus the reason why they were not painted to the aircraft specific camouflage scheme. Were there variations, yes, but norm was white launchers and grey pylons/adapters. Just my .$02, ymmv
  10. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    Yes, the live missiles will have a brown stripe on the rocket motor and a yellow stripe on the warhead.
  11. GW8345

    What are your top 5 dream model kits?

    How about anything except another; F-4 F-14 F-16 P-51 Me 109 Spitfire
  12. GW8345

    AMK 1/48 F-14!!!

    There's a panel line off between the first and third bump.
  13. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    Dang those bring back memories
  14. GW8345

    Observations of Vietnam era A-7E features and loadouts

    For AGM-45’s, use the same launcher that the AGM-88 HARM uses. You don’t need to hang a data link pod for Vietnam era loadouts, they dropped them fairly short ranged so they didn’t need the pods (the pods were normally carried when carrying Walleye II’s and they were being dropped from an “extended” range). Mk 84's were carried for certain missions but not as a norm, for example; the Thanh Hoa Bridge mission. Now for the technical mumbo-jumbo The AGM-45 Shrike used the AERO-5B Missile Launcher while the AGM-88 HARM used the LAU-118 Missile Launcher. For modeling purposes both missile launchers are identical but in real life the external difference between the two was the door on the nose where the umbilical was connected. On the AERO-5B the door hinge was on the right side, about three inches from the nose. On the LAU-118, the door was on the right side but the hinge was on the left, about an inch from the nose. This allowed the entire right side of the nose to open, giving more room to connect the missile’s umbilical to the launcher and “snatchaway”. The AERO-5B could only carry the Shrike but the LAU-118 could carry both the Shrike and HARM. AERO-5B’s were phased out in the mid 80’s and replaced by the LAU-118 since it could support both missiles. The LAU-118’s were modified/upgraded AERO-5B’s. For Vietnam era Walleye, the Navy did not start carrying Walleye II’s until Operation Linebacker and only a hand full of squadrons got them so depending on the timeframe will determine what Walleye would be loaded. Basically, most of the Walleye’s dropped were Walleye I’s, Walleye II’s didn’t show up until 1972. The data pods were used when the range was going to be greater than 15-16 miles and the pods were usually used with Walleye II’s. There was a Walleye I ER but I don’t recall them dropping Walleye’s that far out that required a pod during Vietnam.
  15. Attack Squadron made some a few years ago, you might be able to find them on Ebay.