I should have subtitled this post "...and other odd aircraft nicknames" but I didn't because of this...
|Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-279-0950-09 / Bergmann, Johannes / CC-BY-SA 3.0 (Source)|
Now that bad boy in the snow was a German World War II tank destroyer which packed a version of the (in)famous 88mm dual purpose gun. The Germans initially nicknamed this vehicle Hornisse, which is the German word for hornet. Later it was called the Nashorn, which is, you guessed it, the German word for rhino. You can read more about that beastie here.
So a rhino isn't necessarily an animal or an aircraft.
Huh Sarge? An aircraft? (Well, if you had read the comments from yesterday, you would have seen that my straight man, er, co-blogger, Tuna started this conversation...
So of course, I answered the question (sort of) and decided to post (blog about) it. Why not, I am ever a sucker for suggestions from the readers. (Tuna's not just a co-blogger, he reads this stuff as well. As does Juvat. Hmm, not sure what, if anything, that says about them.)
My son-in-law Big Time flies the Rhino I mention in my first response to Tuna. That would be the F/A-18E (or Echo, as I like to call it) and my daughter, The WSO rides the back seat in the F/A-18F (or Foxtrot, as I like to call it). What's that? Pictures? You wanna see pictures? Heck, why not?
|An F/A-18E of VFA-136, Knighthawks, launching from USS Enterprise in 2011. Heh, that could be Big Time in the cockpit, it's the right time frame. (Source)|
|An F/A-18F of VFA-2 about to trap aboard USS Abraham Lincoln (Wrong boat, wrong time frame for The WSO. Sorry kiddo, couldn't find a good one with you in it.) (Source)|
Now how did the Navy's Rhino get her nickname? I've heard that it's because of...
Do you see that bump just forward of the pilot's windscreen and above and to the left of the side number, 135? I've heard that these birds are called Rhinos because of that bump on the nose. The more mundane story is that they're called Rhinos because...
The Super Hornet is informally referred to as the "Rhino" to distinguish it from earlier "legacy" Hornets and to prevent confusion in radio calls. This aids safe flight operations, as the catapult and arresting systems must be set differently for the heavier Super Hornet. (The "Rhino" nickname was previously applied to the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II, which was retired from the fleet in 1987.) WHey! Did someone mention F-4s?
|A U.S. Navy McDonnell Douglas F-4S Phantom II (BuNo 155880) of fighter squadron VF-161 Chargers making an arrested landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Midway (CV-41) in 1 March 1985. (Source)|
So why is the Phantom called the Rhino?
Study those pictures closely, I think you'll see a certain resemblance!
I would not want to get in the way of any of these Rhinos! (Or Nashorn!)
Want more aircraft nicknames? Go here.