return to anotherlife
Just some fun stuff
This is a view that the pilot sees looking through the windscreen. That is the runway - the strip of white near the horizon in the windscreen. The runway also shows on the radar screen as the long black space between the yellow blobs.
The airfield is RAF Alconbury in England. It is about 60 miles due north of London.
This airplane is in landing configuration with the flaps full down. Notice the leading edge flaps on the front of the wings and the trailing edge flaps at the back of the wing. All the flaps have "boundary layer control" (BLC). Air from the engine compressors is pumped through 3 mm slots at the flap hinge to "blow" over the flap and make it seem bigger. This lets the airplane land at a slower speed.
This was at Shaw AFB in January 1965. The first RF-4Cs were delivered in the "Navy" paint scheme. Light gray above and white underneath. Several years later the Air Force used a two tone brown and green 'camouflage' scheme. Then long after I finished flying, they went to a two tone gray for "air defense camouflage".
|This is what it looks like landing from the back
seat. This is just finishing the base turn to final. You can see
that the indexer light is a red circle (lower left) which means I am right
on the correct speed for landing.
That is Moron Air Base in Seville, Spain.
|And here is the view on short final. Very soon the
nose will obscure the runway and you have to look to the side of the runway
to gauge your height above the runway.
|This is also at Moron AB at Seville, Spain
That is a B-58 on a "Reflex" mission. Several times a years the B-58s would visit Moran AB to keep their reflexes up.
The B-58 used the same GE J-79 engines as the F-4, only it had twice
Observe that the RF-4C number 007 has one of the engine bays doors open. It is having an engine changed while I wait at Moron with my gib to fly the FCF (Functional Check Flight) after the engine change. An FCF uses an extensive check-list to test the airplane to make sure it is ready for operation flight. Basically we push the airplane to the edge of the operating envelop to make sure it "will hang together.".
|There were four B-58's in from Indiana
sometime in 1969 during this exercise,
plus two KC-135 tankers to refuel them on the trip to and from Indiana.
They spent about four days in Spain doing nothing but buying stuff. On
the day when they left, I was in 007 waiting to take off for a test flight
after the engine change. The two KC-135 tankers departed first. Then the
four B-58's about a minute apart. When the last B-58 took off it did not
depart, but pulled back power and turned to downwind. The pilot called that
tower and talked to the "SFO" (supervisor of flying - a B-58 pilot in the
tower for this exercise.) He said, "Jack, it shounds like there is something flapping in
the breeze, I'm going to bring it by for you to look at." As we are sitting
on the ramp waiting to get clearance to take off, the B-58 goes about three
miles downwind (almost out of sight) and turns final (aligned with the
runway.) And then from the B-58 black smoke appears, tons of black smoke.
You only get black smoke from a J-79 engine when it is put to 100% power. I
said to the back seater, "He's going to do a high speed pass." Sure enough,
he passed over us doing about 600 knots and Jack (in the tower) said, "I
don't see anything out of place." And the pilot said "Thanks" and went into
a vertical climb in full after-burner on all four J-79's.
Later, one of the KC-135's returned to Moron AB and the pilot and crew were mad. The "show" put on by the B-58 used so much fuel, that after the KC-135 refueled it, the KC-135 did not have enough fuel to continue on to the states. So it had to return to Moron and spend the night.
Still it was quite a show!
Formation flying was always fun. This was at Shaw AFB in 1965
This was at Bergstrom AFB in 1970