For Aircraft Enthusiasts: here's a question for everybody who served in the navy.

Blazer

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Well you might have noticed that my "For aircraft enthusiasts" threads have been sparse this year, which is because of personal things happening and me not finding the time and inspiration to start a new one.

ANYWAY, let's turn the clock back to 1975, when Fender Telecasters looked like THIS.
1975-fender-telecaster-blonde-1-FToYyfJ.jpg


Glen Campbell had a number one hit with this one.


And back then, the Royal Navy Flew the Phantom FG-1 (F-4K)
80da0d_00cb3f08d2a241be9dc20afba7dd182e~mv2.jpg


And the Blackburn Buccaneer.
64283_1496243388.jpg


From the HMS Ark Royal.
b6760f86b8df08db86d6a4f682917f85.jpg


Now the reason why I bring this up as a question to everybody who served in the Navy, is that I found this amazing clip from carrier operations on the Ark Royal back in 1975.

And my question is, how similar or different is it from what you saw during your service?

How does it compare?
 

Alex W

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I was just a wee lad in 1975, and never served in the military, but I will say those "badgers" on the flight deck were working their butts off.
 

Mad Kiwi

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How freaking cool do those Phantoms look in that colour scheme!!!

We had a Harrier come out to New Zealand for an Airshow doing vertical take-off and landing demos roughly 25 years ago. So awesome but incredibly loud, I was shocked at how loud they were.

Similar in sound level to a Nitro drag car but at a significantly higher frequency and a continuous noise, unlike a drag car that buggers off at a very rapid pace very quickly :)
 

Tenderfoot

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Ark Royal:) My (US Navy) ship, USS Independence CV-62, did war games with the Ark Royal during a Med Cruise in 1971. I was attached to an A7 squadron as an aircraft electrician and flight deck trouble-shooter. During a port call in Naples, Italy I got to meet a few of the crew when we ran into each other while making the rounds of the various night spots.

Interestingly it's the first time I learned what "Pissed" means when spoken by someone from the UK. After a few to many drinks one of the mates off the Ark Royal stood up and yelled, "I'm Pissed!" At that moment, I felt that I or one of my (US Navy) shipmates must have offended the (Ark Royal) sailor and we were going to battle stations. However, one of the other (Ark Royal) sailors was quick to tell us that the mate was simply saying he was "Drunk!".
 

Tele-friend

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I wasnt even born in 1975 but I sure am an aircraft enthusiast and have read many books about this topic. Here are my two books about the Harriers/Navy from the Falklands in 1982.
If one thing is for sure, this guys really had balls of steel. Just landing a Harrier in a total fog with the carrier going up and down through the waves in a heavy wind was a heroic act by itself. Because of heavy winds, there was always a possibility of a rollover when landing, not to metion skidding of the deck after the plain landed because of the deck moving heavily.
20211213_060512.jpg
 
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wblynch

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In 1975 I served on the USS Oriskany, CV-34, on her final trans-Pacific deployment. As an electrician I was never above decks during flight ops. But we had closed circuit TV and I’ve seen plenty of films. We had F8’s, A4’s, occasional S-3’s and other odd planes plus the ubiquitous helicopters. Flight ops looked much like this video. Our ship did have blast walls that lifted behind the planes on takeoff.

my station was in one of the main engine rooms at 132* f, in an emergency generator room or after steering, which was always freezing cold. We had simulation drills where the ship would lose power steering and we had to turn huge brass wheels mechanically connected to the actual rudders.

Without engineering there would be no steam for the catapults or arresting wire, no elevators, no power for lighting and communications and the ship wouldn’t be going anywhere. It was tough work. The Airedale’s were first off the ship in port while we were still pulling shore power and securing the plant.
 
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Cesspit

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1975, I had been in the RAF one year. The RAF had Buccaneers and F4s but not at Wyton where I was stationed. We had Canberra PR9s and Nimrods, all photo recon and up the road was RAF Alconbury, an American base, also photo recon using F4s.

My God, happy days for an eighteen year old.
 

Lonn

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1975, I had been in the RAF one year. The RAF had Buccaneers and F4s but not at Wyton where I was stationed. We had Canberra PR9s and Nimrods, all photo recon and up the road was RAF Alconbury, an American base, also photo recon using F4s.

My God, happy days for an eighteen year old.

I was stationed at Alconbury much later, 84-87 but they still had the F4s. I lived at RAF Wittering which I believe still had Harriers at the time. Have a pic somewhere of my 1 year old son in a Harrier cockpit.
 

Blazer

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I watched part of the video. There are many technical and safety upgrades...but in the bigger sense, the flight deck work is much the same--highly physical and dangerous.
I see those deck hands duck underneath that Phantom to hook it onto the catapult and move away at the back of the plane, so close to the afterburners.

Those guys have balls of steel.
 

Bob Womack

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One thing that has changed is that there are now women working on the flight deck and flying the planes. The first attempts at integration were horribly crude political affairs. I recall the Kara Hultgreen tragedy where unqualified women were forced up the pilot training syllabus, and poor Kara was repeatedly qualified over the protests of the trainers when her scores and performance weren't passing. She ended up flying an F-14, the toughest bit of kit in the inventory. She crashed on approach due to a compressor stall, a characteristic threat of the F-14 and why, up until the integration program, only the best of the best flew the f-14. Sad.

A friend was an ordnance man on the flight deck, or more specifically the twenty-year chief in charge of ordnance crews. They are the guys who hang the things that go bang onto the planes before flight. My friend ran - ran to the planes carrying four thirty-pound tool boxes, two in his hands and two under his arms. He and three others then manually picked up the bombs, up to 250 pounds, and missiles, and hung them on the planes. During the initial female integration they handed him a ninety-nine pound wisp of a gal to fill a billet on his crew. On her first shift she turned to him at the door from the ship's sail onto the flight deck and asked, "Can you help me carry my tool kits?" He said, "No, sorry. I have four of my own to carry." The ship's ordnance officer attempted to discipline him for non-cooperation with the program and he had to take it all the way to an Admiral's commission to be proven right.

Despite these clumsy starts, integration has happened. With the political pressure mollified, the Navy has found ways to bring women into the workforce without compromising the performance of duties. From everything I can tell, it has been successful.

Bob
 

Cesspit

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I was stationed at Alconbury much later, 84-87 but they still had the F4s. I lived at RAF Wittering which I believe still had Harriers at the time. Have a pic somewhere of my 1 year old son in a Harrier cockpit.

We often worked at each others stations, I used to love working with you guys (decent food).
Once saw a U2 at Alconbury and the US officer with us tried to distract us from it, pretending it wasn't there, made us laugh.
I remember the F4s were covered in names (pilot & rear) and ground crew names. Plus nude ladies, a bit like WW2. We weren't allowed to do that. Man all that brings back memories, nice to meet you buddy.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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Spent my Navy enlistment inside a P-3C Orion. Carriers were something we only saw from the air. Although I cannot comment on how carrier flight deck ops gi, I do have firsthand experience in getting yelled at by the Chief Petty Officer in our Operations Dept. for enjoying a cup of coffee at one of the aft observer windows in full view of the F-14 just off our wing. They thought I was mocking them as there is no coffee pot in a Tomcat. Ha ha. I was! I figure the pilot was some squadron skipper or XO who had enough clout to get a nastygram from the ship back to our operations wing in Puerto Rico.
 

uriah1

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Ark Royal:) My (US Navy) ship, USS Independence CV-62, did war games with the Ark Royal during a Med Cruise in 1971. I was attached to an A7 squadron as an aircraft electrician and flight deck trouble-shooter. During a port call in Naples, Italy I got to meet a few of the crew when we ran into each other while making the rounds of the various night spots.

Interestingly it's the first time I learned what "Pissed" means when spoken by someone from the UK. After a few to many drinks one of the mates off the Ark Royal stood up and yelled, "I'm Pissed!" At that moment, I felt that I or one of my (US Navy) shipmates must have offended the (Ark Royal) sailor and we were going to battle stations. However, one of the other (Ark Royal) sailors was quick to tell us that the mate was simply saying he was "Drunk!".

I had some beers with some chaps from the Ark Royal when they came into Port Everglades around 76. I was in the USCG at the time.
 

Old Deaf Roadie

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I wasnt even born in 1975 but I sure am an aircraft enthusiast and have read many books about this topic. Here are my two books about the Harriers/Navy from the Falklands in 1982.
If one thing is for sure, this guys really had balls of steel. Just landing a Harrier in a total fog with the carrier going up and down through the waves in a heavy wind was a heroic act by itself. Because of heavy winds, there was always a possibility of a rollover when landing, not to metion skidding of the deck after the plain landed because of the deck moving heavily.
View attachment 928442
Our one hard & fast rule when visiting RAF bases was to never mention the Falklands. This would have been early to mid 1980's.
 

Tele-friend

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Our one hard & fast rule when visiting RAF bases was to never mention the Falklands. This would have been early to mid 1980's.
Because tensions were still high? No info leaking? My understading is that USA was neutral in the conflict, so I understand that you werent allowed to talk about it.
 

Lonn

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Once saw a U2 at Alconbury and the US officer with us tried to distract us from it, pretending it wasn't there, made us laugh.

That wasn’t a U2, it was a TR1. Cosmetically they were identical but the TR1 was a tactical reconnaissance version.
 




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