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Eddie M.

S-3/ US-3

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I enjoyed the S-3 a lot at sea. One reason was the sound of the engines, especially on recovery. On launch, if you closed your eyes for a second, you could imagine a large airliner by the sound. It always seemed that the main mounts took a beating. I never saw a main mount collapse in person, but I've seen a couple on plat tape. IIRC, the US-3 didn't have ejection seats. Never understood that one. One thing we always looked forward to was Miss Piggy bringing out the mail. :thumbsup:

Eddie

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S-3aft.jpg

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Nice pics Eddie.Thanks for sharing.I do have a question though...... Are there any external differences between the S-3/US-3? I noticed in one of the pics of a US-3(?) that the MAD boom was missing.....are there any other differences? Thanks in advance!!

Full Afterburner....

Scot M.

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Nice pics Eddie.Thanks for sharing.I do have a question though...... Are there any external differences between the S-3/US-3? I noticed in one of the pics of a US-3(?) that the MAD boom was missing.....are there any other differences? Thanks in advance!!

Full Afterburner....

Scot M.

After 1999 all the MAD booms were gone with the removal of the SASP and the ASW Mission.

Edited by Scott Oram

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I love this plane! Too bad they'll be gone soon :) Great shots, here's one from me.

viking_launch_roger_001.jpg

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Nice pics Eddie.Thanks for sharing.I do have a question though...... Are there any external differences between the S-3/US-3? I noticed in one of the pics of a US-3(?) that the MAD boom was missing.....are there any other differences? Thanks in advance!!

Full Afterburner....

Scot M.

Besides no MAD boom on the US-3, she also had her wingtip ESM antennas removed and all of the SRS (Sonobuoy Reference System) antennas removed from the bottom of the wings and underneath the aircraft. She also had a VHF antenna (I think of the top between the wings). The "Piggy" had more of a reason to have VHF at that time with her cargo and pax mission, more chances to go into civilian fields.

The last US-3 headed to the boneyard in '95, after she sat in VS-41's hangar being put back together. 'Rat' Gasparino flew her to the yard, said afterward she took off like a rocket, since she was stripped down...she really moved (as far as Vikings go that is).

Cheers

Atis

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The S-3B, BuNo 159766, from the USS Midway museum in San Diego harbor:

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Edited by David Walker

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Eddie, thanks for starting this thread on the Hoover. It is by far one of my faves. Also the pics of the VRC-50 birds are way cool. I always thought the COD version was sharp, even though it did not last long with the Navy. Question about he cargo pods mounted on the pylons. I have heard that the ESCI 1/48 kit pods are too big. Using the trusty Murphey's rule they scale out to aprox. 18' 6" long and 3'9" in diameter. The 1/72 scale Haesegawa kit, which has the VRC-50 markings, kit pods are about 16' long and 3'9" in diameter. Anyone have a clue which one is correct or closer to the real thing?

The pics below are some I took at the Naval Aviation Museum, summer of 2004 of Navy 1, parked outside of the museum. I thought they might be good reference to someone folding the wings. Don M.

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Edited by viper50

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Does anybody have any pics of S-3's with the LANTIRN pods attached?

I thought Ken Middleton had taken some at some point.

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Question about he cargo pods mounted on the pylons. I have heard that the ESCI 1/48 kit pods are too big. Using the trusty Murphey's rule they scale out to aprox. 18' 6" long and 3'9" in diameter. The 1/72 scale Haesegawa kit, which has the VRC-50 markings, kit pods are about 16' long and 3'9" in diameter. Anyone have a clue which one is correct or closer to the real thing?

The CNU-264/A External Baggage Containers were 200 inches long and 42 inches in diameter. Drawings to follow...

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WOW!! Thanks Tailspin!! Those are great. I found some 1/72 line drawings in an old Aerophile Magazine and your measurements are spot on. Looks like both the Hasegawa and ESCI kits are off on specs. With the pic of the open pod I may have to do some scratch building and open one of the pods on my 1/48 build. Thanks for helping out. Don M. :wacko:

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Here are my notes on the US-3A that I drafted in 2004, regrettably with some uncredited paragraphs copied from on line sources, and revised in 2005. One source was an article on Miss Piggy and her sisters in the Winter 1982 edition of The Hook:

As background, BuNo 157998 was a S-3A Full Scale Development aircraft converted to the US-3A prototype that first flew in July 1976. It had a crew of two and space for six seats in the back, three abreast, for five passengers and a load master. The bomb bay doors were modified for cargo carriage and access, and other electronic bays were also emptied and used for cargo. The ejection seats were either inoperative or replaced with standard seats. Bailouts were demonstrated through the crew entry door in March 1976. (See Naval Aviation News June 1976)

The CNU-264/A External Baggage Container was also used for cargo. The pod was 16 feet, eight inches long with a seven feet four inch constant section that was 42 inches in diameter.

The most obvious external differences besides the cargo pods (external fuel tanks being substituted when more range was required) were the rounded wing tips, the extra slit window ahead of the standard cabin window, a blank where the MAD boom had been, deletion of the sonobuoy chutes and ASW antennas on the belly, and a extra antenna on the top of the fuselage and on the vertical fin.

The cockpit was basically the same as the standard S-3 except for the installation of color weather radar and additional navigational systems. Because of the long range missions, it always retained dual controls and was flown by two pilots.

Following flight test evaluation, 998 was initially assigned to the RAG, VS-41. It eventually went into service as a ship based COD in 1977 assigned to Kitty Hawk (VS-33) as 712NH. It was handed off from deploying squadron to squadron for two or three years after that and finally assigned to VRC-50, appearing in several different paint schemes along the way. In December 1978, for example, it was marked with the side number 737 as part of VS-37, with an American flag on the tail and Constellation on the rudder. It appeared in the colors of VS-38 as 712NK. It was also photographed in both the split gray/white scheme and an all-white scheme with the BuNo and American flag on the tail, but no squadron affiliation. The latter appears to be the last scheme before or as it was transferred to VRC-50. It was based at Diego Garcia in 1980 as Gonzo Airline in this scheme and finally appears in VRC markings as 712RG.

Four other FSD aircraft, 157994 - 997, and another test aircraft 158868, joined 998 as US-3As beginning in 1981. They reportedly retained their cockpit ejection seats. I've seen pictures of them assigned to Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 50 (VRC-50): 994 as 715 or 717RG, 995 as 716RG, 997 as 714RG and 868 as 713RG. (Another report has VRC-50 taking over the US-3As beginning in 1982.) 996 was lost in January 1989 when it reported stalled on approach to Cubi Point in the Philippines and crashed in the water.

n.b. 996 was first modified with a tanker package in the left hand aft fuselage compartment and evaluated as a dedicated tanker, the KS-3A prototype. Although trials were very successful, the KS-3A was not selected. S-3s were used as tankers, however, with the refueling pod mounted on a wing station.

The US-3A was faster than the C-2 and had more range, even more with aerial refueling. It's main shortcoming as a COD was there was either no space for large items or a big enough door to use the cabin space. The main reason for dedicated CODs (the C-1 and the C-2) was to resupply the carriers with engines and nuclear weapons. (On 26 June 1958, a Grumman TF-1 (C-1A), of VR-21 at San Diego, delivered a J-34 engine to Yorktown 300 miles at sea, in the first delivery of an aircraft engine by carrier-on-board delivery.)

Only 120 S-3s were produced, the development aircraft most of which were eventually stripped of all mission equipment and outfitted with extra seats to become the US-3A COD (carrier on-board delivery). The aircraft's long range made it perfect for moving priority equipment and personnel to the battle groups in the Indian Ocean and Western Pacific. Initially these US-3s were assigned to the air wing's S-3 squadron, but later were incorporated into VRC-50 based at NAS Cubi Point in the Philippines, then Andersen AFB in Guam until withdrawal in the early 1990s when the planes were then sent to the boneyard after the disestablishment of VRC-50 at Andersen AFB, Guam in October 1994.

The US-3A VIKING was a utility conversion of the S-3A Anti-submarine aircraft. Removal of various electronic equipment resulted in a weight reduction of about 4,000 pounds. Ten cargo storage compartments and space for 5 passengers and a crew of 3 resulted. This aircraft was a long range COD that was especially suited for operations in the Indian Ocean while VRC-50 maintained a permanent detachment on Diego Garcia especially when carriers were operating on Gonzo station in the Indian Ocean.

A typical long-range mission would be 2,400 miles in 6.5 hours.

Prior to the conversion of 998, Lockheed unsuccessfully proposed a US-3 with a wider, longer (six feet?) fuselage with a rear cargo door/ramp. The modification provided seating for as many as 30 passengers or cargo space/access for two large jet engines. 85% commonality with the S-3 was retained, since it had the same cockpit, wings, stabilizers and engines.

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Thank you sir for all the great info. It must have been pretty cool to be around all these aircraft. I just found this video, I now know why it is referred to as the Hoover. Don M.

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WOW!! Thanks Tailspin!! Those are great. I found some 1/72 line drawings in an old Aerophile Magazine and your measurements are spot on. Looks like both the Hasegawa and ESCI kits are off on specs. With the pic of the open pod I may have to do some scratch building and open one of the pods on my 1/48 build. Thanks for helping out. Don M. :whistle:

Don

Is it possible to get a copy of those drawings. I have the Koku-Fan and Aviation News drawings and would like to compare them.

TIA

John

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....I seem to recall that there may have been a thread back in Real Aviation that discussed the arming of the Vikings....

That may be the thread I've pasted below, and it has a couple of links that might help too. I'm still trying to find the thread with the LANTIRN photos in it. I remember seeing it but can't find it.

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....2289&hl=S-3

Here's another one:

http://www.arcforums.com/forums/air/index....0343&hl=S-3

Edited by David Walker

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