Tuesday, August 22, 2017

How Rhino's Fly

In an exciting sequel to yesterday's post on Fighter Pilot Cuisine, entitled "When Pigs Fly" which details how to save your career, prepare a meal for millions, thousands, hundreds, Ok a bunch and raise money for charity, today we will discuss "How a Rhino Flies".

No, it has nothing to do with Musca domestica . And with apologies to LUSH, no, this is not about her chariot, the FA-18, or as the Aussies like to call it "The FAY-Aye-Dean".  That aircraft, dear reader(s) (one hopes) is a pretender to the throne.  Johnny come lately.

No, the real Rhino, is this aircraft!


I flew this aircraft, yes, this model, yes this tail number, at Kunsan, which means, Sarge almost certainly worked on this aircraft.

This was the original Rhino.

Since Mrs Juvat is out this evening exploring women's organizations she might wish to join, I got a bit of time to play some airplane videos and as they say in the movies....
Just Play it LOUD, OK!

In any case...I ran across this video explaining the McDonnell Douglas Theory of Aeronautical Engineering.

Specifically stated.

Given enough thrust, even a brick will fly.

Made in 1967, it's a little cheesy by current standards.  I found it hilarious.

It also explains how I "class 26'd" an F-4. The "how" is "Mach Tuck".  The "why" is "I didn't want to see my pink butt impact the Yellow Sea at ~700K Knots at night".  

Those of you who have flown old "Double Ugly", on watching the video, will spend a lot of time saying "Oh, yeah, I forgot about that."

But I'll bet the recording of the Aural tone played at High AOA will cause your knees to come together and your feet to start working the rudder pedals, regardless of how long it's been since you last flew it.  It did for me.

Yes, Dave and VX, I'm talking 'bout you.



  1. Loved the video. Now I have a better idea why I never had a successful landing with the F-4 simulator at Luke AFB.

    1. You could always do it the Navy way. Point it at the end of the runway and drive it on. :-)

    2. Hold what you got, ~ 87%, and wait for the runway. DO NOT REDUCE POWER to flare!

    3. You'll remember that even though it looks crash-like from mobile control, in the airplane it felt just fine. Big struts! I think that I have also mentioned the student who pulled the power off at 100 feet to flare and we lost BLC. Interesting

    4. My Navy IP at RTU probably would have thought that a perfect landing.

  2. Ah, gotta love the Phantom. Oddly enough, when I was working on the Sexy Beast I did not know that one of her nicknames was the Rhino. But as to the aircraft featured above, tail number 37-680. That's not really 7680, that airframe was shot down on 20 Nov 1967. She was made famous by then Colonel Robin Olds when he shot down at least one MiG-21 during Operation Bolo.

    Joe Baugher's site has information on every Phantom made and while it's not exactly up to date, here's what his site has for 7680 (and the single Phantom that the Collings Foundation owns and operates) -

    Built in 1963, McDonnell F-4C-21-MC Phantom 7680 (MSN 806) shot down MiG-21 Jan 2, 1967, flown by Col Robin Olds and 1st Lt C. Clifton. Shot down MiG-21 Apr 5, 1967. Shot down MiG-17 May 13, 1967 flown by Lt Col. F. A. Haeffner and 1st Lt M R. Bever of 433rd TFS. Shot down by AAA Nov 20, 1967 with 480th TFS, 366th TFW while attacking suspected SAM site. Rear seat ejected safely and was picked up, but pilot not seen to leave the aircraft before water impact. Pilot declared KIA. Plane marked as 63-7680 on display at Lackland AFB, Texas is actually US Navy 149421.

    The bird that the Collings Foundation flies is actually tail number 0749 -
    Built in 1965 McDonnell F-4D-28-MC Phantom 0749 (MSN 1813) to AMARC as FP426 Jan 12, 1990. Allocated to Collings Foundation as N749CF in October 1998 and returned to flying status in August 1999. Repainted to replicate the F-4 Capt Steve Ritchie used to achieve his fifth kill in VietNam. Gen. Ritchie will take the aircraft to selected venues around the country as part of the VietNam Memorial Flight.

    During her last overhaul she was repainted from 7463 to 7680. The original 7463 (which I worked on both on Okinawa and in Korea and which you probably flew in Korea) -

    Built in 1966 McDonnell F-4D-29-MC Phantom 7463 (MSN 1967) had 6 confirmed MiG-21 kills during SE Asia war (Mar 1, 1972, Apr 16, 1972, May 8, 1972, May 10, 1972, Aug 28, 1972, Oct 15, 1972). Now on display at USAF Academy, Colorado.

    1. I looked that up last night. Different site, but it said it went to AMARC in '88 and scrapped in '91. Getting old I guess.

      Hank Caruso used to provide sketches for the Fighter Weapons Review with the F-4 stylized as a Rhino.

  3. https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/0f/b7/92/0fb7927910a52db921a171a94a4960ca.jpg

    1. That's what I was looking for! Thanks.

    2. Great! Wasn't sure if the link would make it into the comments.


    3. Blogger sees that as a string of text and not a link, so you're usually safe including links that way.

      Then again there are days when Blogger has a mind of its own. (For some reason Blogger doesn't like PLQ.)

  4. Almost too many things in the movie to comment on. Funny, I do not remember a tonal warning for AOA. or a pedal shaker, either for that matter. I wonder if it was a retrofit. We used to teach energy maneuverability a lot. The concept works in any airplane I flew. I happily flew with a guy at Western Airlines ("the ONLY way to fly") who could set the throttles on a 727-200 over Big Sur and not touch them until flare. That was in the days you when you could say I see the airport and they'd clear you for a visual approach. Energy Maneuvering also came in handy coming in to LAX from SFO. WE could do what was know as the "tool-box number one arrival".
    I've mentioned here before probably ( I can't remember of course) the Colonel who used to request me as his IP. He flew ACM - that''s all. Slick wing Phantoms. "George, Fuzz, taxi two phantoms". What fun, except his use of the stick instead of rudder at high AOA. Bingo and one landing. Maybe 45 minutes.

    1. It may have been a retrofit, although the date of the film is '67 and the tone may not have made it everywhere yet. It was my second AOA indicator (maybe third, if you consider encountering my WSO's knees confining stick motion to fore and aft), behind buffet. The Gauge and indicator lights required taking my eyes off the other guy, which I was unwilling to do.
      I did that set throttles thing as a student in UPT. Started the approach to a formation landing from the T-38 Airspace North and West of the Airport. We were high, so set the throttles, rocked the wingman in to my left side, rested my arm on the canopy rail and except for gear and flaps kept it there until throttles back in the flare. My IP gave me an "Average" for the approach. The other IP, the Flight Commander, upgraded it to Excellent. I was pretty pleased with my self, if I do say so.

    2. That's one of those "superior airmanship demonstrated" rides you get pink'd for

    3. Truly. Like the time "...Lt juvat showed the flight lead his burner cans inverted as he passed in front of the formation on his rejoin out of traffic". I still treasure the "Holy S4!7" from the back seat on that one.

  5. "...impact the Yellow Sea at ~700K Knots..."
    Juvat, if you've ever done 700,000 knots, you really DO clank when you walk! Step aside, please, General Yeager (pbuh).
    --Tennessee Budd

    1. A little early onset Parkinson's I suspect. But, I don't think the dimensions of the largest surviving portions would be that much different.

  6. "Rhino" is a new one on me. When we were (with great futility) trying to get the radar to operate, we called them "Pigs."

    By the way, the APQ-109 WCS (weapons control system) radar's official MTBF (mean time between failures) rate was one hour. Based on the 1950s-technology USN F-4B, it used a lot of vacuum tubes and very few transistors. The F-4E and its all-solid-state APQ-120 was a vast improvement. It had a MTBF rate of two hours.

    Three very important letters in the life of a WCS puke were CND: Could Not Duplicate. Over the years I may have signed off 500 writeups as "CND malfunction," and very few came back as repeats. In case you get the wrong idea, I never did this out of spite or to avoid work. The malfunction was truly not apparent when we did the ops check. Sometimes we'd run the radar for an hour just to be sure. But when the radar REALLY broke, it was generally unquestionably and badly broken. Ask the Sarge.

    I worked on 7463 (Steve Ritchey's plane) a few times. The airframe was bent from excessive Gs over the years (how much of that was Capt. Ritchey's fault I couldn't say), so it wasn't a popular aircraft to fly, except when there was some kind of inter-unit competition. Then all of the pilots wanted 463. Superstition, we were told. Us radar pukes just rolled our eyes.

    1. The God's Honest Truth right there.

      We may have worked a couple of those together Brews!



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