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mig23

1/72 - F-4D Victor Alert

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This will most likely be a 50th TFW bird from Hahn but I'm really not sure yet ! Configuration will be based on the photo in Detail & Scale Vol 43, F-4C, F-4D & RF-4C In Detail & Scale by Bert Kinzey. The kit is the Monogram F-4D.

The picture shows a single B61 on the centreline and an ECM pod on the starboard inboard wing pylon (anybody remember seeing a USAFE F-4D flying with an ECM pod on a wing pylon ? ). The built in boarding ladder appears to be extended. There are no signs of any cables or hoses running to starter unit - would they have used a cartridge starter in a shelter ??

005.jpg

Cheers,

Haydn.

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This will most likely be a 50th TFW bird from Hahn but I'm really not sure yet ! Configuration will be based on the photo in Detail & Scale Vol 43, F-4C, F-4D & RF-4C In Detail & Scale by Bert Kinzey. The kit is the Monogram F-4D.

The picture shows a single B61 on the centreline and an ECM pod on the starboard inboard wing pylon (anybody remember seeing a USAFE F-4D flying with an ECM pod on a wing pylon ? ). The built in boarding ladder appears to be extended. There are no signs of any cables or hoses running to starter unit - would they have used a cartridge starter in a shelter ??Cheers,

Haydn.

Great photo! My older edition of that Detail & Scale doesn't have that photo. That is interesting that the ALQ-119 is on the inboard and not a missile well. On the other hand, maybe someone just gave had mercy on the ECM troops. Putting in a missile well adapter is hard work, not to mention removing the Sparrow launcher is something of a pain I've been told. I had to help drop a MWA off an F-4E once. It's held on the jet by four large bolts. I had to stand crouched under the thing supporting it with my back as the ECM guy took the bolts out. When the final bolt let go I found out I wasn't in the proper position. The MWA weighs well over 100 pounds, and even knowing that, couching down under it was such an awkward position that when its weight landed on my back, it pulled me over backwards. I let go and the thing CLANGED on the ramp. It actually cracked the concrete. I never got asked to help with a MWA again. Hmmm, worked out well for me!

As far as cart starts inside the TAB-V, yep we did them. By the time I worked on F-4Es at Ramstein in the early 80s they were a rare thing, mostly done to keep the crew certified in the procedure. I don't recall any being done after 1984 or maybe 85.

Here's a video that shows a cart start inside the Zulu barn. It starts with a scramble at Ramstein, ends with jets at Osan:

Edited by Scott R Wilson

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I just was looking at the photo again and it struck me that the jet's starter doors (just in front of the aux air doors) aren't open. The same doors have to be open whether the cart start or external air is used. I can't tell from your photo, are the landing gear downlocks installed? Maybe this jet isn't "up on status".

Scott W.

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Hey Scott thanks for posting that link to the cart start - impressive stuff !

I've blown the picture up and I cannot see any open panels ahead of the auxiliary air intakes - could they be obscured by the nose gear door ?

Also, the main gear leg doesn't look to have a lock on it unless it is quite thin and missing an RBF streamer ? (Heck I thought the gear locks were always in place on a non-powered jet !!)

And there appears to be an adapter/rack in the forward Sparrow well where 'we' are used to seeing the ECM pod !

Do you want me to email the pic to you ?

Haydn.

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Hey Scott thanks for posting that link to the cart start - impressive stuff !

I've blown the picture up and I cannot see any open panels ahead of the auxiliary air intakes - could they be obscured by the nose gear door ?

Also, the main gear leg doesn't look to have a lock on it unless it is quite thin and missing an RBF streamer ? (Heck I thought the gear locks were always in place on a non-powered jet !!)

And there appears to be an adapter/rack in the forward Sparrow well where 'we' are used to seeing the ECM pod !

Do you want me to email the pic to you ?

Haydn.

I'm glad you liked the video. YouTube is awesome, isn't it? I should haven mentioned that by the early 80s we no longer did cartridge starts on the alert jets at Ramstein. The QRA/Zulu jets were always started with Dash 60s during my time there. When the ANG took over QRA (Creek Klaxon) they had a special Y-shaped hose connected to their Dash 60s that enabled them to start both engines without spending the 5 or 10 seconds or so it took to disconnect the hose from #2 and hook up to #1 like we did. But funny, their scramble times weren't any faster than ours... Several F-4s had caught fire and burned during cart starts over the years, so they essentially quit doing them except like I said on rare occasions. The couple of times we did them in the 526 TFS that I was aware of were always in a TAB-V with a firetruck standing by "just in case". I never got to see one in person, everytime they did one during my time at Ramstein I was always somewhere else in the restricted area working on another jet, dang the bad luck. I sure would've like to have seen one in person. Oh wait, I did! The Thunderbirds F-4Es at Sheppard AFB in 1970 when I was a kid in the 5th grade! Seeing five F-4Es doing simultaneous cart starts, sure wish I had a video camera back then. I remember it being quite loud and smokey, I don't recall much else.

I can see what you mean, it does look like there is a missile well adapter in the right forward missile well. So why did they hang the pod on the inboard pylon? That would be interesting to know.

Alert jets never had downlocks installed. The seats were left unpinned as well except for the face curtain pin. We also never had the intake plugs installed on our Zulu jets, which surprised me about your photo. Also, it was surprising that the canopies are closed. Maybe they didn't have the reaction time of five minutes that the QRA/Zulu jets had, but then why cart start them?

The only ground safety devices we had on the QRA/Zulu jets were the Sidewinder dome covers. I don't know the reason, but the seeker domes had to be covered when electrical power was first applied to the missiles. As soon as the aircraft was powered up they pulled the dome covers off. For the Zulu jets the pairs of dome covers were joined together by a rope so you could grab the rope and pull a pair of them off quickly.

Yeah, if you could e-mail me a larger scan of that photo I'd appreciate it. My e-mail is avnav at hotmail dot com. Thanks in advance!

The engine starter doors would be quite visible for the #2 engine in that photo if they were open. Here's a photo I took of the #2 engine starter doors, taken from the rear looking toward the front of the jet. As you can see, the starter exhaust door opens in such a way that you couldn't miss it if it were open in your photo:

2enginestarter.jpg

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This is still in work (and I accidentally started a third F-4D which will be a Lakenheath bird)....

f4d11031202.jpg

f4d11031201.jpg

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Nice row of Phantoms, what's the other one going to be? One from the 48th TFW, one from the 50th TFW and one from...?

NVM, found it. Woodbridge, right?

Edited by Pete

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...

The picture shows a single B61 on the centreline and an ECM pod on the starboard inboard wing pylon (anybody remember seeing a USAFE F-4D flying with an ECM pod on a wing pylon ? ). ...

... That is interesting that the ALQ-119 is on the inboard and not a missile well....

In "The Phantom Story" (Thornborough & Davies, Arms & Armour, 2000) a Lt Col John Roberts, USAF Ret, who was the former ops officer of the 92nd TFS at Woodbridge/Bentwaters, is quoted thus: "The alert aircraft carried one B61 thermonuclear weapon on the centreline, two fuel tanks and an ECM pod (my italics) on the wings and the usual four Sparrow AIM-7 missiles in the recessed fuselage wells."

This implies it was SOP, certainly for this unit, and it makes sense if there was the requirement to carry the missiles - which the aircraft in the pic does not seem to be carrying when the pic was taken.

Edited by MikeC

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This is still in work (and I accidentally started a third F-4D which will be a Lakenheath bird)....

Thats not an accident! Thats a plan coming together!

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They've finally made it into the paint barn !...

120506f4d2.jpg

120506f4d1.jpg

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Finished !

IMGP0006.jpg

may3105.jpg

IMGP0009.jpg

may31052.jpg

Edited by mig23

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Good work! I really like the little details like the extended crew ladder and the not so standard loadouts. Good job on the camo with the wrong shade of tan, too! Which color did you use for it?

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