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Old 5th Aug 2011, 08:50   #1 (permalink)
 
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When RAF Pilots Flew the F-104

I recently went to the 70th Anniversary of the opening the RAF Llandwrog runways. I met a charming man who told me about some of his experiences flying the F-104 whilst an RAF pilot on attachment to the GAF at Jever.
I think I recall Don Kingaby saying that he was for a time the Chief PAI of the GAF at Oldenburg and Johannes Steinhoff being on a course there.
Does anyone have further information on this fascinating era?
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 08:58   #2 (permalink)
 
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Read "Flying Freestyle" by J..... P.... He flew them with the Dutch.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 09:01   #3 (permalink)
 
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As a Bucc Nav, I went supersonic for the first time in a Danish 2-seat F-104 out of Aalborg in the mid-70s! Cracking jet!

Foldie
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 09:05   #4 (permalink)
 
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FYI>>>>
AVM Jim Flemming:
Jim is the only Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) pilot to fly the F104 C & D. He did this as a Squadron Leader when he was on exchange duty with the USAF at George AFB in 1958-1960. Jim was Operations officer of the 476th Tac Ftr Sqn of the 479th Tac Ftr Wing being the first unit in USAF to get the F104C. Jim has over 600 hours in the Starfighter. He also was the designer of the famous shooting star insignia for the 479th Wing Starfighters. (in blue for 476th, red for 434th, green for 435th and yellow for 436th TFS)
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 09:15   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote from "Flying Freestyle" by Jerry Pook:

"The Starfighter was beautiful to fly, smooth and sophisticated, supremely fast and powerful - if you took liberties with it you knew it would kill you in an instant."
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 11:29   #6 (permalink)
 
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Chapter 19 of Roland White's Phoenix Squadron describes a six-week period when 16 F-104s of MFG-2, a German Marineflieger squadron, were based at RNAS Lossiemouth while their own airfield at Eggebek was being resurfaced. The Germans and their Buccaneer hosts of 809 Naval Air Squadron competed in a fair few low-flying and drinking games, fortunately without loss of life or limb.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 12:41   #7 (permalink)
 
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I remember my father (now deceased) making a joke when we were stationed in RAFG Wildenrath in the early eighties. It was only later that I 'got it'.


Q: How do you get yourself a Starfighter?

A: Buy a field in Germany and wait.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 14:16   #8 (permalink)
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There was at least one other RAAF pilot (ex Mirages) who flew the 104. He was on exchange at Cold Lake, Alberta at the same time as me, flying the CF104.

If you want the name TBM, PM me.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 16:16   #9 (permalink)
 
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My dad blagged a twin stick 104 ride while he was on a Sqn exchange. The GAF pilot gave him control at the start of the take off roll. Dad rotated when told and they bored upwards at an impressive rate and told him to level off at a certain altitude. Dad missed that level by an considerable margin and the Luftwaffe ace took over with a comment to the effect the 104 must be a lot more sensitive to handle than the Buccaneer.

"I wouldn't know" dad replied. "I'm a navigator!"
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 17:11   #10 (permalink)
 
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Excellent Dan!!! Love it!!!
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 17:19   #11 (permalink)
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Had a very similar experience when a RAF Phantom pilot and nav QWI team bowled up at Cold Lake for a seminar week.

On day 1 they were briefed for a 2-ship SAP sortie. The briefing also covered all the essential knowledge for flying in the front-seat of the 104. The RAF guys were in shirt-sleeve uniform and went to get changed into their growbags straight after the briefing. When they got back to the auth desk, the Canadian that was flying the nav said "Hell, you a navigator? Well, never mind, get in the front anyway". Said RAF nav proceeded to impress the heck out of the Canadian pilot. This nav had spent a fair bit of time in the 2-stick Phantom and had a reasonable amount of poling time.

For interest, we frequently put pilots of other types in the front seat, as the only thing you couldn't do from the back seat was to operate the switch that turned the nav kit from "align" to "nav".
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 18:52   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
"I wouldn't know" dad replied. "I'm a navigator!"
A similar tale from our 7ft tall blonde Luftwaffe mate on 56F in the early 1980s. Before arriving at RAF Wattisham, he'd been sent to RAF Brawdy to do a UK Orientation Course and was soon plonked into the front seat of one of HM's Hawks. "Intense course these Brits run", he mused. Off they went, with the gallant Hauptmann at the helm...

After an hour of poling around Pembrokeshire, back they came to land. At this stage the QFI decided that he was a bit concerned about the skill level our heroic Hauptmann was displaying, so decided to take control and landed.

Come the debrief he was quite diplomatic about the somewhat agricultural flying skills he'd witnessed, but concluded "Well, mate, a couple more trips and we'll send you off on your own!".

"But sir, Ich bin ein Navigator!"

"WTF.... Oh well, bŁoody good show, mate!"
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 18:57   #13 (permalink)
 
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Colin B

Did that charming man speak with a slight lilt in his voice? If so, beware, because when fuelled with a few beers, he was prone to smack one over the head. Charmingly. Lovely man PL!
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 20:55   #14 (permalink)
 
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Harrier was faster to 10,000'!!

On a Sqn Exchange with a GAF 104 Sqn from Norvenich, we did a wheels roll to 10'000ft race in Harrier/104 two-seaters - native pilot in the front of each, with enemy in the rear seat doing the timing.

The Harrier won by 7 secs, as I recall.

But the audience gave their vote to the 104.

10ft down the runway to the east end of Witt runway abeam 1(F) Sqn, going quite quickly, then a wicked rotate to disappear into low cloud vertically!!

Used all its available fuel though, so nothing left for the planned 1v1, unfortunately.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 21:02   #15 (permalink)
 
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[quote][/QUOTET
Quote:
here was at least one other RAAF pilot (ex Mirages) who flew the 104. He was on exchange at Cold Lake, Alberta at the same time as me, flying the CF104.

we had a Canuck F-104 exchange pilot , Bill Nesbitt, at Will in around 1974. I guess this is era you mean...

* My quote about James Hillary Flemming was taken from the F-104 flyers website where he posted that. Not my original quote.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 21:42   #16 (permalink)
 
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That's right TBM, and the RAAF pilot was D--- L----, and did some time at Sollingen in Germany.

Also the RN had an exchange program with the German Navy, at least one ex-Bucc pilot (M-----i) flew the GN F-104G.
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 21:56   #17 (permalink)
 
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Have a look at

Jever Steam Laundry - Home Page
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 22:02   #18 (permalink)
 
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Was I the only Nav to do the Jag OCU? Or at least the groundschool bit.... I chickened out before the flying phase... balls not big enough I guess
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 22:05   #19 (permalink)
 
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20 Sqn had a Jag Nav??
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Old 5th Aug 2011, 22:13   #20 (permalink)
 
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They may be needed one but twas not me.
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