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QF-16 Arrives at Tyndall for Drone Transition

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In today's budget climate, seriously? The Air Force doesn't keep any F-100s, or F-102s, or B-9s, or P-12s flying either.

Do you know how many active duty USAF personnel know the first thing about maintaining the F-4? Answer: zero. Most current USAF members weren't born when the F-4 was still in production.

The Collings Foundation operates an F-4D Phantom. It took an act of Congress to force the USAF to let them have it, and since then the USAF has been very uncooperative in helping them maintain it. As part of the deal Collings was given several spare engines. A few years ago the F-4D had an engine suffer FOD (foreign object damage ) at its home base at Ellington Field in Houston. The spare engines were in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB. The Base Commander refused to let them on base to get a new engine. They were able to obtain another engine through other sources.

Just a year or two ago the DoD tried to get legislation passed that would have allowed the military to repossess all former military aircraft. Thankfully it was not passed. I know the Experimental Aircraft Association among others lobbied hard to defeat that proposal. The military sees civilian operators of ex-mil aircraft as a potential liability.

Collings Foundation also operates a TA-4J and F-100F. The TA-4j qwas obtained from the D-m boneyard, I'm not sure if Congress had to get involved or if it was part of the same bill that let them have the F-4D. The Super Sabre is ex-Danish AF. Collings recently expressed interest in obtaining an F-105. "Coincidentally' right after that the USAF "demilitarized' and disposed of a group of Thuds at Lackand AFB that had been used for training Security Police. Several of the Thuds were given to museums, I don't know what happened to the rest of them.

Edited by Scott R Wilson
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A friend posted this on another forum.

Here is the Phantom status briefing I received the day of QF-16 arrival:

1. Tyndall Phantoms are here for TWO more years and then GONE.

2. Holloman will continue with QF-4's for another TWO years beyond that and then they are GONE.

3. I specifically asked if the "pretty" F-4's," the painted ones, would be kept for Heritage flight support. I got a reluctant, "...no, not in the plans at this time."

4. I'll do the math for you: 4 more years of F-4's and then they are ALL GONE.

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