For aircraft Enthusiasts: On a wing and a prayer, ten more of the worst planes ever.

Blazer

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What's with the Ling-Temco-Vought A-7? That's a subsonic ground attack aircraft. Were the phantoms busy elsewhere?

Bob
Yup, that's the odd one out.
A-7_03.jpg

But all the same, the A-7 can carry Sidewinder missiles and is fast enough to intercept a Russian bomber.
 

CCK1

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I traveled a lot between 1985 and 2020. I really disliked the L1011, and still dislike anything by McDonnell Douglas. I was not fond of Airbus until I flew business class to Singapore on an A380, wow! Never flew in a Boeing plane I didn’t like.
 

Blazer

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I traveled a lot between 1985 and 2020. I really disliked the L1011, and still dislike anything by McDonnell Douglas. I was not fond of Airbus until I flew business class to Singapore on an A380, wow! Never flew in a Boeing plane I didn’t like.
I'm pretty sure you're confusing two planes, since the L1011 TriStar was NOT a MDD made plane, it was a Lockheed.
049c1b0417f0fe97909f0345a87aee1d.jpg
 

Blazer

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The F104s had wing protectors that covered the leading edges when they were on the ground because the leading edge was sharp enough to be easily damaged. The ejection seat featured a two-stroke initialization - handle forward to eject the canopy, handle back to punch out. It was discovered the hard way that a pilot in an emergency just too often missed the first step, and it was fatal.

We had a gaggle of F-104s, the 134th Fighter-Interceptor Wing, based one ridge away from our house during the cold war to protect the nearby Oak Ridge National Nuclear Laboratories. And yes, they were a pure interceptor, much like the MIG-25 Foxbat. Think of them as a missile with stubby wings. They took off and were vectored in as straight a line as possible towards an intruder. We used to go down to the field and watch flight ops. After landing and during taxiing, the pilots would open their canopies and wave at us. At home, as they practiced going to afterburner at takeoff and doing radar intercepts, the sonic boom rattled the glass doors of our china cabinets in a threatening way. My parents simply took the doors off. The sound of freedom.

The reconstituted German Luftwaffe took over our squadron's F104s. On takeoff during a ferry flight, one of the young German pilots developed an engine fire and punched out, using the one-step, pull-back-only departure method. He was killed.

Oh, and our squadron's next planes? It caused a bit of pilot consternation but they accomplished the transition in eight months, starting in April 1964:
KC-97.jpg


That is the KC97L, called by its crews the Stratotanker but the Internet DEMANDS that the name never existed, assigning it instead the same name as the cargo version, the Stratofreighter. Their new name for the group was the 134th Air Refueling Wing. This aircraft was one of theirs, perhaps the one I toured around 1970. It is preserved at the Air Mobility Command Museum in Dover, Delaware. These planes flew above my head during most of my growing up years. The 134th Wing now flies KC-135s and has participated in practically every conflict since the 1960s.

Bob
Are you sure about that? Because the USAF didn't fly the F-104G that was developed for the Luftwaffe. And likewise, the Luftwaffe didn't fly USAF-owned hand-me-downs, building their Starfighters at Messerschmitt.
56-886_56-764_2013.jpg

The USAF as far as I know flew the F-104A (Pictured) and the F-104C and their respective two seat versions, the F-104B and F-104D, but not the F-104G and its two-seater variant, the TF-104G.

I do know that the Luftwaffe has a states side training facility at Luke Air Force base where the German-owned planes flew with USAF markings, but they never flew the C-97. And looking it up now, retired their Starfighters in 1983, way too late to convert to the C-97.
1280px-TF-104G_LukeAFB_Nov1982.jpeg

Luftwaffe starfighters in USAF Markings in the early eighties.
 

Bob Womack

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Are you sure about that? Because the USAF didn't fly the F-104G that was developed for the Luftwaffe. And likewise, the Luftwaffe didn't fly USAF-owned hand-me-downs, building their Starfighters at Messerschmitt.
56-886_56-764_2013.jpg

The USAF as far as I know flew the F-104A (Pictured) and the F-104C and their respective two seat versions, the F-104B and F-104D, but not the F-104G and its two-seater variant, the TF-104G.

I do know that the Luftwaffe has a states side training facility at Luke Air Force base where the German-owned planes flew with USAF markings, but they never flew the C-97. And looking it up now, retired their Starfighters in 1983, way too late to convert to the C-97.
1280px-TF-104G_LukeAFB_Nov1982.jpeg

Luftwaffe starfighters in USAF Markings in the early eighties.
The Tennessee Air National Guard 151st Fighter Intercept Squadron under the 134th Fighter Intercept Group was activated to defense of the Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratories, Alcoa Aluminum Plant, and TVA dams in October 1958 as part of the Mongomery, AL, Defense Sector. Flying F-86D Sabres, they were directed by the Flintstone Air Force Station atop Lookout Mountain, GA in Dade County.

F-86D_Tennessee_ANG_1950s.jpg


They transitioned to F-104As in 1961.
F-104A_Tennessee_ANG_in_early_1960s.JPG

F-104A on the flight line at McGhee Tyson ANG Base. It is sitting near where I debarked from a C-130 about ten years later.

They were federalized in 1961 and deployed to Ramstein AFB in reaction to the Berlin Crisis of 1961. They returned to the USA and to state control in 1962. In 1964, the F104As were reassigned to the 319th and 331st FIS at Homestead, AFB. My understanding is that the planes were forwarded to the Luftwaffe from there - active, training, or research, I don't know which. Perhaps that is what the guys at Luke were flying?

The 151st was cross-trained to fly the KC-97G out of McGhee Tyson in eight months and did so in support of post-Chrome Dome Arctic B-52 missions and a bunch more operations under the new 134th Air Refueling Wing under TAC. They transitioned to the KC-135A under SAC in 1976 (later the E in 1982 and the R in 2006). In 1992 they moved under the new Air Mobility Command.

Bob
 

Masmus

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Who says that those bombers come with escorts?

Because they do not, look up pictures of Soviet Bombers being intercepted by Western jets: there is NO escort.
1980s-page-1-tile.jpg

Let's see who spots the odd one out here...
Am I wrong that the third plane down is a Canadian F101 Voodoo?
 

Blazer

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The Tennessee Air National Guard 151st Fighter Intercept Squadron under the 134th Fighter Intercept Group was activated to defense of the Oak Ridge Nuclear Laboratories, Alcoa Aluminum Plant, and TVA dams in October 1958 as part of the Mongomery, AL, Defense Sector. Flying F-86D Sabres, they were directed by the Flintstone Air Force Station atop Lookout Mountain, GA in Dade County.

F-86D_Tennessee_ANG_1950s.jpg


They transitioned to F-104As in 1961.
F-104A_Tennessee_ANG_in_early_1960s.JPG

F-104A on the flight line at McGhee Tyson ANG Base. It is sitting near where I debarked from a C-130 about ten years later.

They were federalized in 1961 and deployed to Ramstein AFB in reaction to the Berlin Crisis of 1961. They returned to the USA and to state control in 1962. In 1964, the F104As were reassigned to the 319th and 331st FIS at Homestead, AFB. My understanding is that the planes were forwarded to the Luftwaffe from there - active, training, or research, I don't know which. Perhaps that is what the guys at Luke were flying?

The 151st was cross-trained to fly the KC-97G out of McGhee Tyson in eight months and did so in support of post-Chrome Dome Arctic B-52 missions and a bunch more operations under the new 134th Air Refueling Wing under TAC. They transitioned to the KC-135A under SAC in 1976 (later the E in 1982 and the R in 2006). In 1992 they moved under the new Air Mobility Command.

Bob
Thanks for the reply.

And no, all the Starfighters the Luftwaffe operated were F-104G models, recognizable by the longer rudder.
F1045.jpg

They never had the F-104A, since it differed so much from what the G was.
800px-Lockheed_F-104C_Starfighter_USAF.jpg

An F-104C, showing how different the G model is.
 

O- Fender

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Let's see who spots the odd one out here...

My guess for odd one out would have been the Canadian CF 101 Voodoo among the American jets.

edit: I meant Canadian jet amongst the American interceptors and Russian bombers.
not sure if I was clear.
 
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Blazer

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My guess for odd one out would have been the Canadian CF 101 Voodoo among the American jets.

edit: I meant Canadian jet amongst the American interceptors and Russian bombers.
not sure if I was clear.
No, the odd one out was the Vought A-7 since that one wasn't designed to do interceptor duties, it's a subsonic, ground attack aircraft/bomber.
279658.jpg

A "SLUF" Short Little Ugly [email protected]&%$^* performing the role it was meant for.
 

ping-ping-clicka

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How many of the worst planes are providing commercial flights, that are just waiting for an engine or wing to fall off?🤕
 

Blazer

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I found the clip of the Starfighter pilot repping about how great the plane was.

Note how he goes into "Well to be honest with you guys..." pretty early on here.
 

Willie Johnson

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You know, I did a model of a F104 when I was a kid, too; seems like a lot of kids at the time did. Conspiracy theory: the Pentagon worked with Revell to try to get the F104 design stolen by the USSR or China to intentionally get a flawed design incorporated into their plans.
 




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