Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Did the F-4D's for ADC ever carry the center-line tank AND a full load of sparrows at the same time?

It looks like the forward sparrows would not clear the front of the tank when launched. (Too close, fins would hit?)

So I am thinking on NOT using the center-line tank with a sparrow load? Jake's MFG does not mention this.

Thanks.

Scott

CNJC-IPMS

Link to post
Share on other sites

The front sparrows are locked out when a centerline is aboard. To launch them, either the centerline would have to be punched off, or a circuit breaker would have to be pulled to disable the interlock. If an ADC bird on alert needed to launch any missiles, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have any problems with the pilot losing the tank prior to engagement.

I don't recall the loadouts for the alert jets at the HIANG when I was there, I'm not even remembering there being any on alert. So, I can't vouch for what was carried by our Cs. I suppose the active's F-15s were doing any alert at the time. Or maybe as a DFW (Dumb F...ing Weekender) I just didn't get the memo.

Our alert jets on the boat when I was in 531 carried two or four sparrows depending on weather conditions. If it was too hot or to still only the back stations were loaded. If it was cool or windy enough, all four plus the centerline were carried. Always four 'winders.

Edited by Grey Ghost 531
Link to post
Share on other sites

Our alert jets on the boat

Boat? Boat? What's a boat? Air Force runways are nice and loooooooong, and typically don't move more than a few mm's a year :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not meaning to hi-jack this thread, but one of my middle names is "rampant curiosity" but this statement makes me want to know what the weather had to do with the # of AIM-7s?

Our alert jets on the boat when I was in 531 carried two or four sparrows depending on weather conditions. If it was too hot or to still only the back stations were loaded. If it was cool or windy enough, all four plus the centerline were carried. Always four 'winders.

Was it a weight thing or was there something about the AIM-7s in the front bay on hot humid days? If a weight thing, did the birds sit alert sans center line tank as well?

TIA

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would certainly hope an F-4 could take off from the boat with 4x AIM-7 and fuel. That's what the airplane was designed specifically to do from the get-go.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wind and air temperature are fine tuned by aircraft being catapulted off.

The number of Sparrows and the centerline tank affect the "speed of rotation" of an aircraft after it drops off the Bridle.

higher wind speed and cooler, denser air both mean more wing lift and more stabilator response, with less dense air and less wind speed, you leave weight off forward of the Center of Gravity, which increases the rate of the aircraft's rotation

Yes, an aircraft can take off with low wind on a hot day, with 4 Sparrows, 4 Sidewinders and a Centerline tank,,,,,,,but, the risk is only worth it during wartime,,,,,,sort of the same logic as the 6 Phoenix load on a Tomcat (it would have been done on multiple aircraft if needed)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wind and air temperature are fine tuned by aircraft being catapulted off.

The number of Sparrows and the centerline tank affect the "speed of rotation" of an aircraft after it drops off the Bridle.

higher wind speed and cooler, denser air both mean more wing lift and more stabilator response, with less dense air and less wind speed, you leave weight off forward of the Center of Gravity, which increases the rate of the aircraft's rotation

Yes, an aircraft can take off with low wind on a hot day, with 4 Sparrows, 4 Sidewinders and a Centerline tank,,,,,,,but, the risk is only worth it during wartime,,,,,,sort of the same logic as the 6 Phoenix load on a Tomcat (it would have been done on multiple aircraft if needed)

Thanks. So it was a CoG thing then. I was wondering because sometimes heat and humidity mean adverse aerodynamic performance and other times they mean adverse electrical circuit performance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did the F-4D's for ADC ever carry the center-line tank AND a full load of sparrows at the same time?

It looks like the forward sparrows would not clear the front of the tank when launched. (Too close, fins would hit?)

So I am thinking on NOT using the center-line tank with a sparrow load? Jake's MFG does not mention this.

Thanks.

Scott

CNJC-IPMS

I worked on F-4Es in Germany back in the 80s. When our jets went up on alert we flew 370s only, no centerline (since having a centerline locks out the two forward Sparrows), along with four AIM-9P-3 Sidewinders and either four AIM-7E-2 or four AIM-7F Sparrows. When our unit began the conversion to the F-16C and D, the ANG sent over six F-4Ds, two each from the North Dakota ANG, California ANG and Minnesota ANG. On alert at Ramstein they flew the same missiles and fuel tanks as we did but also the SUU-23 gunpod on the centerline since they didn't have a nose gun.

After my assignment at Ramstein I was at McChord AFB. The 318 FIS was there and their alert F-15s only carried two Sparrows loaded diagonally, as in left forward and right rear. I don't know how pertinent that is to your question, except to say if you want to have a fully loaded ADC F-4D I would suggest you model one of the Creek Klaxon birds as seen at Ramstein from late 1985 through I guess 1987.

Edited by Scott R Wilson
Link to post
Share on other sites

Does the gun pod disable the forward missile bays, too? Or is it narrow enough for the missiles to clear it?

Ben

I don't know for certain. I presume the gunpod doesn't interfere with the forward AIM-7s, and I also wonder if the gunpod could be jettisoned. I do know NATO required all eight missiles and a gun for Zulu/QRA jets, whether Phantom or Eagles.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would certainly hope an F-4 could take off from the boat with 4x AIM-7 and fuel. That's what the airplane was designed specifically to do from the get-go.

CAN and SHOULD are two different things, especially in peacetime. They COULD crank up the steam enough on a hot still day to fling an F-4 to takeoff speed at full load, but why put the extra strain on the equipment if it wasn't necessary? This wasn't the Nimitz, it was the Coral Sea. Probably the shortest, oldest cats in the fleet at the time. I'm just stating what were the facts, if it was hot and/or no-wind, they didn't load the forward sparrows. Sorry to intrude on theory with history.

As for a gunpod on the C/L, I don't know; we only hung a gun pod a few times in the 5 years or so I was in the squadron and never with any missiles loaded. I expect that it would enable the interlock since it was just a switch and the pod would push the switch in just like a tank, but if it was safe to launch a sparrow with the pod on board, the interlock could be bypassed by pulling a couple of circuit breakers. We had to pull those circuit breakers to test the forward stations when a centerline tank was installed. Testing the racks was part of the radar shop's job.

As an aside, that test was a PITA. We had to hook up hydraulics, cooling air, high pressure nitrogen (to fire off the ejector feet without using a cartridge) three test boxes and about 10 self-tangling cables to test the ejection sequence. It took at least an hour to set up and probably another 20 minutes apiece to move between each of the four stations and the test itself took about 1500 milliseconds to run. Tune the station, master arm on, pull the trigger and, bang, it was done.

Edited by Grey Ghost 531
Link to post
Share on other sites

CAN and SHOULD are two different things, especially in peacetime.

A great quote!!! Too many times aviation enthusiasts fail to see the distinction. Another good example was even though the F-4 was an all-weather fighter we often cancelled flying when the weather got too bad. Were the planes capable in wartime? Of course. But were flying training sorties in really crappy weather worth the extra risk of an accident? Heck no!!

Top speed is another one. Could a particular jet reach Mach such-and-such? Sure. But was there any reason to do so? Rarely if perhaps never (except maybe the SR-71!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, forgot to mention I loved your description of "self-tangling cables!" Those were standard issue with some of the test equipment I used as well, not to mention ground crew intercom cables which I swear were actually designed to tangle!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah, forgot to mention I loved your description of "self-tangling cables!" Those were standard issue with some of the test equipment I used as well, not to mention ground crew intercom cables which I swear were actually designed to tangle!

I hear you on that,I took my time to roll mine up and strap it to my helmet bag,others did the "crew chief wrap" and took ages to untangle their cord the next day.

Link to post
Share on other sites

we only hung a gun pod a few times in the 5 years or so I was in the squadron and never with any missiles loaded.

This would be a HIPEG rather than a SUU-16/23, I'd gather?

Cheers,

Andre

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...