It's a good week to post more than I normally do, giving Sarge another day or so to recover from his
sex change, hair transplant, lobotomy, how about we just go with procedure? I'm kidding of course. It wasn't anything quite so interesting. He's doing nicely by the way, and should be back in the next day or two. At least that's what he told the staff here. He wouldn't complain even if he wasn't doing well so what do I know? Since I was so controversial and serious in my last post, I figured I'd go for something easier for me to put together and a bit more light hearted- Plane pr0n! Since I have more S-3B Viking pictures than anything else, it was easy to just scan through my collection to find some of my favorites or ones that might be interesting to the kind readers here at The Chant.
|VS-22 Checkmate over USS SARATOGA (CV-60)|
|S-3As from COMASWWINGLANT, (later Sea Control Wing Atlantic) in echelon|
The S-3 Squadrons on the east coast were based at Cecil Field until it closed in 1999. The Hornets relocated to Oceana in VA Beach, and MCAS Beaufort in South Carolina, while the Vikings moved across town to NAS Jacksonville to bunk down with the P-3s. In order from left to right are the VS-32 "Maulers," VS-31 "Topcats," VS-30 "Diamondcutters," VS-28 "Gamblers," VS-24 "Scouts," and finally the VS-22 "Checkmates." The FRS- VS-27 "Seawolves" isn't shown, which was disestablished in '92 along with VS-28.
This one is just a concept for an E-2 replacement. We called it the Dorito chip Viking. The Viking's predecessor, the Grumman S-2F or "Stoof" had a E-2 variant (see below)- actually the E-1, so despite looking rather goofy, it wasn't a far-fetched concept.
The ES-3A Shadow was a highly modified S-3A packed with electronic surveillance gear, similar to the EA-3B Skywarrior which it replaced (in service from '91-'99). Actually, the heart of the Shadow is an avionics suite based on the Aries II system of the land-based EP-3E Orion. I flew an S-3B during OIF that had some of the Shadow's systems which I'll mention later.
|A fairly rare view from the "Belknap Pole." VS-21 S-3A on USS RANGER parked next to an EA-3B Skywarrior.|
|The World Famous "I" Bar.|
Since the Vikings are almost all gone, more on that in a moment, the bar in building "I" on NAS North Island (I just can't call it Naval Base Coronado), is somewhat of a memorial to the Viking Community, with plaques, wing fins, and other memorabilia. If you haven't been and you're in town, let me know and we'll go get a beer and play some dice.
|Wings in mid-spread, which was done just prior to entering the shuttle on the catapult.|
|I like these shots with steam coming up from the catapult track.|
|S-3B exhibit on the USS MIDWAY (CV-41) Museum|
|US-3As, AKA "Miss Piggy," from VRC-50 in Cubi Point Philippines|
The US-3A was a "Utility" aircraft, serving in the "COD" or Carrier Onboard Delivery role for the 7th and 5th Fleets. Notice the "blivet" on the left wing pylon of A/C 713 for hauling mail and cargo externally.
|The view from my cubicle|
|S-3B Viking flown by NASA. One of two they own, and of the four still in service.|
|S-3B from VX-30 in Pt. Mugu, the unit flying the other two Vikings.|
|S-3As from IKE.|
|Vikings in the stack overhead JFK|
|The only thing better than a Viking picture is a Viking sunset picture.|
|A VS-21 Viking from the observation window of a P-3. The S-3 was the Aircraft Carrier's primary ASW asset for intermediate and long range ASW.|
|A view of my office from the neighboring building.|
|Just because you can, doesn't mean you should. It's a gaudy paint job, but the lights make up for it.|
|VS-33 Screwbird launching from the USS STENNIS in San Diego Bay during Fleet Week|
|Mk-83 drop over Fallon NV|
One of the things I loved about the Viking was the variety of missions it conducted. From aerial refueling, to bombing, ocean surveillance to Anti-Surface Warfare and ASW, and being fully acrobatic- the flights never got boring. I've got a boatload of pictures I could use, but that's enough for today.