For my dear friend Brigid...
2 Timothy 4:7 - I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith...May your brother find eternal peace, may you be together again, some day.
|I've always liked the big and bold Union Jack, and slapping it on a jet works for me.|
|Another British Hawk, but I like the first one better. |
|And another one|
|The VFA-195 Dambusters have had some great CAG birds over the years. "Chippe Ho!" must not be PC anymore. More here|
|I put this Hornet picture down under the other ones. Get it? Down under the other ones? |
Sometimes I crack myself up.
|I know it's supposed to be a tiger, but it just looks like one of those weird moths to me.|
|I'm sorry, a paint job featuring Cherry Blossoms and Mount Fuji on an F-15 Eagle? Unlike the Brit symbol of their national identity, the Japanese version just doesn't work for me.|
|A British Hawker that makes me think of those 1970's posters in my cousin's room- a room that had a lot of weird smells emanating from it.|
|A German F-4 with unusual paint. This could be a theme all to itself...(that's some foreshadowing by the way.)|
|Not a real unusual paint job, but it makes a tough-looking jet even more so.|
|Speaking of tough looking, this one is showing its teeth. Not sure what this one is carrying, but it's got a bunch of 'em. How many weapons stations did this bird have anyway?|
|Had to add this one. It's my Dad's last unit- VF-302- a Reserve Squadron where he served as a TAR.|
|Not an interesting paint job picture, but a very interesting load-out picture. |
Any ordies available to help me out here?
|The Germans have found a way to make some Phantoms look ugly.|
|Speaking of German's making things ugly, this plane doesn't even look like it's flying right side up!|
|Did you know that Blue is my favorite color? I'm more partial to the '67 convertible Mustang, but this one is a beauty too.|
Here's another Angel. I threw this one in for Sarge.
|Yeah, it's a painting, but a Scooter loaded for bear deserves some room in this post. |
I like the stars on the blue paint.
|I've never seen A-7's in this configuration before- speed-brake out, hook down. Makes for a cool picture though. I like the subdued paint on these.|
|These Marines are having a very good day.|
|And they're still having a very good day. Some Philadelphia Eagles Cheerleaders |
showing up at your base tends to break the monotony.
|Forgive my lack of unquestioned patriotism here, but this one is a little gaudy if you ask me. Looks more like those vinyl wraps on cars these days, vice some good hard work by the squadron paint shop.|
|This one from Texas is a little better.|
|Look, a bunny! There's two of 'em- just in time for Easter!|
I wonder if any "Bunnies" ever got a ride in one of these?
|I don't think there's a special paint job here, but the vapes are cool and colorful. |
A rainbow Raptor if you will.
|The elusive Prowler sunset pic. If you find more, let me know.|
|The Truman Show|
|Might be a repeat, but it's a good one. This picture reminds me of this.|
|Wrap up the bow, wrap up the waist, the fly day is over, as is this post.|
The Lockheed SR-71 "Blackbird" was an advanced, long-range, Mach 3+ strategic reconnaissance aircraft. It was developed as a black project from the Lockheed A-12 reconnaissance aircraft in the 1960s by Lockheed and its Skunk Works division. Clarence "Kelly" Johnson was responsible for many of the design's innovative concepts. During reconnaissance missions, the SR-71 operated at high speeds and altitudes to allow it to outrace threats. If a surface-to-air missile launch was detected, the standard evasive action was simply to accelerate and outfly the missile.
The SR-71 served with the U.S. Air Force from 1964 to 1998. A total of 32 aircraft were built; 12 were lost in accidents, but none lost to enemy action. The SR-71 has been given several nicknames, including Blackbird and Habu. Since 1976, it has held the world record for the fastest air-breathing manned aircraft, a record previously held by the YF-12. - WikipediaI first saw the SR-71 was when I was assigned to the 18th Tactical Fighter Wing at Kadena AB, Okinawa. There were a few of them assigned to a SAC detachment on the other side of the base. Each launch and recovery of one of these birds was a show all to itself.
|There's no mistaking the shape of the Habu for anything else.|
While deployed to Okinawa, the SR-71s and their aircrew members gained the nickname Habu after a pit viper indigenous to Japan, which the Okinawans thought the plane resembled. - Wikipedia
|A NASA-operated SR-71|
|SR-71B trainer over the Sierra Nevada Mountains|
|Ahhh - pilots and their "selfies" (this is Major Brian Shul, SR-71 pilot, so yes, it's cool and awesome)|
|Major Shul with his visor up|
|View of the earth as seen from the SR-71 Blackbird at approximately 73,000 feet...|
Brian Shul (born 1948), is a Vietnam-era USAF fighter pilot and a retired major in the United States Air Force (USAF). He flew 212 combat missions and was shot down near the end of the war. He was so badly burned that he was given next to no chance to live. Surviving, he returned to full flight status, flying the SR-71 Blackbird. Major Brian Shul completed a 20 year career in the Air Force. He has written four books on aviation and runs a photo studio in Marysville, California. - Wikipedia
|Major Brian Shul, USAF|
|SR-71 Pilot's Cockpit|
|Awesomeness x 2!|
|SR-71 Cutaway Drawing|
|SR-71 In 'Burner|
|Taxiing Out (Bring the Heat!)|
Sigh...Initial RetirementIn the 1970s, the SR-71 was placed under closer Congressional scrutiny and, with budget concerns, the program was soon under attack. Both Congress and the USAF sought to focus on newer projects like the B-1 Lancer and upgrades to the B-52 Stratofortress, whose replacement was being developed.
The SR-71 had never gathered significant supporters within the Air Force, making it an easy target for cost-conscious politicians. Dick Cheney told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the SR-71 cost $85,000 per hour to operate. Opponents of the program estimated it cost $400 million per year to support; that number was subsequently reduced to $260 million. Also, parts were no longer being manufactured for the aircraft, so other airframes had to be cannibalized to keep the fleet airworthy. The aircraft's lack of a datalink (unlike the Lockheed U-2) meant that imagery and radar data could not be used in real time, but had to wait until the aircraft returned to base. The Air Force saw the SR-71 as a bargaining chip which could be sacrificed to ensure the survival of other priorities. A general misunderstanding of the nature of aerial reconnaissance and a lack of knowledge about the SR-71 in particular (due to its secretive development and usage) was used by detractors to discredit the aircraft, with the assurance given that a replacement was under development. In 1988, Congress was convinced to allocate $160,000 to keep six SR-71s (along with a trainer model) in flyable storage that would allow the fleet to become airborne within 60 days. The USAF refused to spend the money. While the SR-71 survived attempts to retire it in 1988, partly due to the unmatched ability to provide high-quality coverage of the Kola Peninsula for the US Navy, the decision to retire the SR-71 from active duty came in 1989, with the SR-71 flying its last missions in October that year.
Funds were redirected to the financially troubled B-1 Lancer and B-2 Spirit programs. Four months after the plane's retirement, General Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr., was told that the expedited reconnaissance which the SR-71 could have provided was unavailable during Operation Desert Storm.
ReactivationDue to increasing unease about political conditions in the Middle East and North Korea, the U.S. Congress re-examined the SR-71 beginning in 1993.
Final RetirementThe reactivation met much resistance: the Air Force had not budgeted for the aircraft, and UAV developers worried that their programs would suffer if money was shifted to support the SR-71s. Also, with the allocation requiring yearly reaffirmation by Congress, long-term planning for the SR-71 was difficult. In 1996, the Air Force claimed that specific funding had not been authorized, and moved to ground the program. Congress reauthorized the funds, but, in October 1997, President Bill Clinton attempted to use the line-item veto to cancel the $39 million allocated for the SR-71. In June 1998, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the line-item veto was unconstitutional. All this left the SR-71's status uncertain until September 1998, when the Air Force called for the funds to be redistributed. The plane was permanently retired in 1998. The Air Force quickly disposed of its SR-71s, leaving NASA with the two last airworthy Blackbirds until 1999. All other Blackbirds have been moved to museums except for the two SR-71s and a few D-21 drones retained by the NASA Dryden Flight Research Center.