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andrew.deboer

F-14 Expanded Chaff Adapter - Photos?

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Hello!

 

One of my many Tamiya Tomcats will be carrying a TARPS pod. When flying recce, the F-14 frequently carried the ALQ-167 "Bullwinkle" pod, as well as the Expanded Chaff Adapter [ECA], which allowed the aircraft to carry more chaff and flare cartridges and was fitted into one of the Phoenix rails. So here are my questions:

 

  • Does anyone know where a decent photo of the ECA would be? Google gives me some low-res drawings and a few views of the underside of the Tomcat in flight, but nothing good enough to go by when converting a bomb rack to an ECA.
  • I'm trying to determine when the ALQ-167/ECA kit came into use in the fleet. It is likely that my TARPS bird will be from the mid-80's, so I may not need the extra kit anyway.

 

Thanks for any and all help!

Edited by andrew.deboer

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Well, first off,  which A model (BUNO) are you doing ? Not all A models were wired to carry the TARPS pod, if that matters to you for accuracy.

 

Steve

"TOMCATS FOREVER, BABY...!"

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I have the aircraft covered. BuNo 161156 was a Block 110 TARPS wired F-14A that served with VF-103 as AA-211. The Afterburner instructions have the plane painted in Gloss Gull Gray (which was true in 1984), but I have a photo of AA-211 in the mid-80’s on Saratoga where it Is clearly in Ghost Gray without ECM antennas. In the photo I have the crew are still wearing HGu-33 helmets in yellow, which I like. I knew a guy who was with 103 in those days, so I really want to do the jet in the photo.

 

So yeah, I care about accuracy. In the photo the jet is just carrying empty Phoenix pallets up front, but to make the load more interesting I may hang the 167.

Edited by andrew.deboer

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You are correct with all your info. Have you tried M.A.T.S. ?? I just Googled ECA and some images / drawings came up which might be of help for you.

Best of luck with the build and please do a WIP of it.

 

Steve

"TOMCATS FOREVER, BABY...!"

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Thanks for checking my work, Steve. As I said, I did google it and found the line art on MATS, but it’s an incomplete exploded view. I was hoping somebody had a photo of the ECA loaded and on the pylon. Lucky for me, if I take a good guess at the thing, nobody else will have a photo to show I’m wrong! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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I have to admit Andrew, with all my Tomcat reference materials, which is quite extensive, I've never seen a photo of the ECA. I think if you use the MATS line drawing as a guide, you'll be fine. Like you said, unless someone can produce a photo.

 

Steve

"TOMCATS FOREVER, BABY...!"

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I don't have any photos but I might be able to help, I worked on F-14's and loaded the ECA Rail/Bucket numerous times.

 

For starters, you don't need to use a bomb rail, use a Phoenix Rail instead. The ECA Adapter replaces the LAU-93/-132 missile launcher in the Weapons Rail and only protruded about an inch or two from the bottom of the Weapons Rail. The drawing you see on MATS is the ECA Adapter that goes inside the Weapons Rail;

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-eca.htm

 

The door hanging down is to assist in loading the chaff/flare dispenser.

 

Note, the photo on MATS identifying the ECA Adapter Weapons Rail is wrong, the rail in the photo is just a normal BRU-32 Bomb Rail, it is not an ECA Rail.

http://www.anft.net/f-14/f14-detail-eca-01.htm

 

The ECA Rail (as it was called out in the fleet) used one AN/ALE-37 dispenser (the AN/ALE-37 had two dispensers), here is a better drawing of the dispenser;

 

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fmedia%2FCuP-BjDXEAAoVT9.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fberk_kp&docid=hQEmvqTgsP62oM&tbnid=YkWpVvInrxKXJM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjb7LvWr9XeAhXks1kKHZkQDfMQMwhDKAEwAQ..i&w=579&h=584&bih=720&biw=1224&q=AN%2FALE-37&ved=0ahUKEwjb7LvWr9XeAhXks1kKHZkQDfMQMwhDKAEwAQ&iact=mrc&uact=8

 

The dispenser held 120 rounds of Chaff/Flare and at the time the ECA Rail was used the chaff round end caps were either blue (RR-129) or yellow (RR-144) and the flare rounds were a dull brass color. The chaff rounds would go in the from 90 holes and the flares went in the back 30 holes (normal load out). The ECA Rail first came out in the early 80's and was in service until the mid 90's.

 

Here is a picture of the ECA Rail (the black rectangle object) on sta 3R.

http://www.tpub.com/photographyadv/46.htm

 

The ECA Rail was always loaded on station 3R (left forward weapons rail station).

 

hth

GW

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well that makes way more sense than the drawing or the photo on MATS.

thanks for clarifying that

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So, for modeling purposes, this would just be a slot in the Phoenix pallet, with some representation of the 90 holes, is that right?

 

oops, wrong direction,,,,a slice of plastic card glued on, with the 90 holes

 

In my scale (1/72), I would just rob three of the photo etched chaff buckets from a Hasegawa kit, and surface glue them onto the Phoenix pallet, and let the PE thickness stand in for the "raised rectangle" that stands out from the pallet.

Edited by Rex

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3 hours ago, Rex said:

So, for modeling purposes, this would just be a slot in the Phoenix pallet, with some representation of the 90 holes, is that right?

 

oops, wrong direction,,,,a slice of plastic card glued on, with the 90 holes

 

In my scale (1/72), I would just rob three of the photo etched chaff buckets from a Hasegawa kit, and surface glue them onto the Phoenix pallet, and let the PE thickness stand in for the "raised rectangle" that stands out from the pallet.

Rex, the dispenser held 120 rounds and using the existing photo etched chaff buckets won't work, the pattern is different.

 

For the AN/ALE-39 and AN/ALE-47 chaff buckets the holes go in a straight pattern, for the ECA Rail, the holes go in a diagonal pattern.

 

AN/ALE-39/47 pattern

......

......

 

ECA Rail Pattern

...

 ...

  ...

   ...

 

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One other technical tidbit;

 

If you are going to put a AN/ALQ-167 Pod (Bullwinkle) on a pre 1990 Tomcat you are going to have to scratch build the bomb rack, the existing bomb racks out right now are all for after 1990.

 

Prior to 1990 the bomb rack used for Bullwinkle Pods and baggage pods was the BRU-10 (and adapter), after 1990 the rack was the BRU-32 (with a ADU-703 Adapter).

 

The BRU-10 had a big rectangle adapter and the rack protruded below the rail just enough for the sway braces to clear. Prior to the BRU-32 Bomb Rails the Bullwinkle was hardly carried because there was no way to unlock the rack (BRU-10) once you loaded the pod so when you had to take the pod off you had to pull the entire rail off with the pod still loaded, it was a huge PITA. I would recommend just putting an empty Phoenix Rail in front of the TARPS Pod since that is how we flew the bird 99.9% of the time.

 

There is a thread named "Odd ET/Pod on early F-14A" where I have a pic of what the BRU-10 adapter/rack looks like. I can't post the URL right now but will later on tonight.

 

hth

GW

Edited by GW8345

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Awesome info GW, thanks. Would like to see the pic.

 

Steve

"TOMCATS FOREVER, BABY...!"

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Fellas:

 

Thanks for all of the help! I never would have figured out that the ECA was not actually part of a BRU rack. It really looked that way from the drawings.

 

As far as equipping my mid-80’s VF-103 jet, it sounds like I could go either way: 167 on a BRU-10 and a scratchbuilt ECA, or empty Phoenix rails with some scratch built shackle detail. The latter is more common, but the former gives a little more interest to viewers, with the colors of the flare and chaff cartridges and the shape of the 167. Decisions, decisions...

 

Thank you both for being so generous with your knowledge!

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Thanks for clarifying, Gerry.

 

I will look for something different in the parts locker.

 

Micro drilling would sure be fun, though, eh?

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4 hours ago, Rex said:

Thanks for clarifying, Gerry.

 

I will look for something different in the parts locker.

 

Micro drilling would sure be fun, though, eh?

Yep, did the micro drilling years ago when I "soup'ed up" a 1/72 scale Airfix SBD, decided to open the dive flaps so I had to cut them out, thin them down and then drill open the holes.

 

Did you know that there are 72 holes (IIRC) in each wing dive flaps on a 1/72 scale Airfix SBD! .

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4 hours ago, andrew.deboer said:

Fellas:

 

Thanks for all of the help! I never would have figured out that the ECA was not actually part of a BRU rack. It really looked that way from the drawings.

 

As far as equipping my mid-80’s VF-103 jet, it sounds like I could go either way: 167 on a BRU-10 and a scratchbuilt ECA, or empty Phoenix rails with some scratch built shackle detail. The latter is more common, but the former gives a little more interest to viewers, with the colors of the flare and chaff cartridges and the shape of the 167. Decisions, decisions...

 

Thank you both for being so generous with your knowledge!

Andrew,

 

Back in the mid 80's the most common TARPS load out was the TARPS Pod, an ECA Rail on the left front station and a Phoenix Rail on the right from station with Sparrows and Sidewinders on the wing stations.

 

We use to fly 2x2x2 (2 AIM-7 x 2 AIM-9 x 2 AIM-54), when we had to configure a bird for a TARPS mission we would "drop" the Phoenix off the right front rail and drop the Phoenix/change out the Phoenix Rail to an ECA Rail for the left front rail and then have the PH's load the TARPS Pod. I had heard from guys who were in VF-103 on the 86 cruise say that they did occasionally fly Bullwinkle Pods on TARPS missions. I didn't get to VF-103 until March of 90, they had A+'s by then and we did occasionally fly Bullwinkle Pods when we did TARPS missions during Desert Shield/Desert Storm.

 

hth

GW

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5 hours ago, A-10 LOADER said:

Awesome info GW, thanks. Would like to see the pic.

 

Steve

"TOMCATS FOREVER, BABY...!"

Whoops, misread the post (been a hell of a day so far).

 

Will post the thread tonight.

Edited by GW8345

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As promised;

 

 

The pic I posted in this thread has the BRU-10 and adapter installed into a Phoenix Pylon but it would look the same if it was installed in a Weapons Rail.

 

Edited by GW8345

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Gerry, on the ECA, is that a blanking plate behind the adapter in the photo you posted? The ECA does not seem to go the entire length of the BRU slot.

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On 11/15/2018 at 11:33 PM, Skull Leader said:

Gerry, on the ECA, is that a blanking plate behind the adapter in the photo you posted? The ECA does not seem to go the entire length of the BRU slot.

Yes, there was blank off panels forward and aft of the ECA, the ECA sat in the aft part of the LAU-93 well so there would be a longer blank off for the forward part and a short blank off just aft of the bucket.

 

The blank off plate on the forward end is where the sequencer was housed the door on the forward part provided access for programming the sequencer.

Edited by GW8345

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10 hours ago, GW8345 said:

This set of walk around has pics of the BRU-10 and adapter also.

http://www.carrierbuilders.net/element/element.php?id=582

 

hth

 

OK, this thread and that link are the frickin’ jackpot. Can’t wait to try scratching an adapter and a BRU-10 to go in a Tamiya Phoenix adapter, and an ECA. Definitely will be creating a decal to represent the chaff and flare cartridges - because they’re loaded, and because I’m not drilling 140 holes!

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28 minutes ago, andrew.deboer said:

 

OK, this thread and that link are the frickin’ jackpot. Can’t wait to try scratching an adapter and a BRU-10 to go in a Tamiya Phoenix adapter, and an ECA. Definitely will be creating a decal to represent the chaff and flare cartridges - because they’re loaded, and because I’m not drilling 140 holes!

Make sure you check out this link, it shows you the hole pattern for the ECA Bucket (3 rows of 40 holes for a total of 120). The bucket was one piece but was set up in two sections, an aft section that with 30 holes and a forward section with 90 holes.

 

https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fpbs.twimg.com%2Fmedia%2FCuP-BjDXEAAoVT9.jpg&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fberk_kp&docid=hQEmvqTgsP62oM&tbnid=YkWpVvInrxKXJM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjb7LvWr9XeAhXks1kKHZkQDfMQMwhDKAEwAQ..i&w=579&h=584&bih=720&biw=1224&q=AN%2FALE-37&ved=0ahUKEwjb7LvWr9XeAhXks1kKHZkQDfMQMwhDKAEwAQ&iact=mrc&uact=8

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Looks like there may be more than one hole pattern for the bucket. The photo below has a staggered pattern, where one set of holes is 88 and the other is 32. 

 

 

Flar and Chaff dispensers

 

So I presume the ECA bucket had a slightly different layout. Below is the 32 / 88 layout, and below that is the 40 / 80.

 

ECA.png

 

 
 

  

Edited by andrew.deboer

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3 hours ago, andrew.deboer said:

Looks like there may be more than one hole pattern for the bucket. The photo below has a staggered pattern, where one set of holes is 88 and the other is 32. 

 

 

Flar and Chaff dispensers

 

So I presume the ECA bucket had a slightly different layout. Below is the 32 / 88 layout, and below that is the 40 / 80.

 

ECA.png

 

 
 

  

Go with the 88/32 set up, that's what I remember now that I'm looking at it.

 

The more I think about this the more I am starting to remember, haven't had to think this hard about the ECA since 92.

 

Good catch on the hole pattern and for keeping me honest.

 

BTW, the pod below it looks like an AN/ALE-41 pod, we flew both type when I was in A-7's, hated those damn thing!

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