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Flight Hours - Cold War Era

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Flight Hours - Cold War Era

Old 18th May 2014, 17:57
  #21 (permalink)  
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RAF Wildenrath - Phantom FGR2 - 1977-1980


To clarify, what I meant was if a pilot had done part of a 2.5-year (single) / 3-year (married) tour elsewhere in Germany - for instance, when 92 Sqn formed in the AD role at RAF Wildenrath, some crews came from 2 Sqn at RAF Laarbruch when the Phantom FGR2 was replaced in the recce role by the Jaguar - they could get 1000 hours in 3-5 years total during their tour at Wildenrath. I do also remember that HQ RAFG was very concerned about "aircrew experience dilution rates" and would try to get only experienced crews. Initially, many of the pilots either had 1000+ hours in the Lightning or 1000+ hours in the Phantom in the strike/attack/recce roles. During my tour as JEngO, we next had just 2 first tour pilots out of 20 (NATO aircraft:crew ratio was 2:1) and after about 18 months we started to get some pilots from other areas including those whose immediately previous tour had been on the Bulldog or Jet Provost training aircraft. Interestingly, I have discovered on PPRuNe that one of our 1000+ hour ex-Lightning pilots did an exchange with the USAF on U-2 - didn't know that at the time !

Low level - probably 1977. Great machine (in it's day) - great people - great times !

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Old 18th May 2014, 18:55
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That's a cracking pic RAFEngO

Any more ?
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:33
  #23 (permalink)  
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That would be a certain RC then?
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Old 18th May 2014, 19:48
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Since you ask, and at the risk of thread creep, here's an "out with the old - in with the new" pic I found on-line which was taken at Gutersloh in Mar 77.

We also had the first trial all grey Phantom FGR2 - there was an earlier one in the UK but it had a black radome initially. Whenever possible, I had it housed in the HAS that could be viewed from the Aircrew Crewroom so it could be seen by our numerous visitors - caused quite a at the time when all the other NATO F-4s were in various green/grey/brown disruptive schemes.

I arranged for this photo to be taken one night - note the positioning of spare missiles and tanks in the HAS:

Last edited by RAFEngO74to09; 18th May 2014 at 20:05.
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Old 18th May 2014, 20:01
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Many thanks RAFEngO ... Still a "good looker" IMHO
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Old 18th May 2014, 20:32
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Canadian Break,

No, actually R Sh.....s - "Guns". In the public domain on the RAF U-2 Pilot's thread and various US websites.

RC did also fly the U-2 earlier - I know who you mean - probably a wg cdr by 1977 though - name rings a bell - he might have been OC Ops Wg at Wildenrath.

Last edited by RAFEngO74to09; 18th May 2014 at 21:02.
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Old 18th May 2014, 20:55
  #27 (permalink)  
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> RAFEngO74to09
Thank you very much for your detailed reply! In different training systems, with diff. aircraft types only the flight-hours is a bit relative data. Can you tell me the average no. of flights/crew/year in your time at Wildenrath?

Of course any photos from that period is very interesting too...
Here is one from my archives, 1972 GDR Damgarten airbase, MiG-21SMT's from the 33.iap.(Wittstock)

p.s.: HuAF was the smallest and 'poorest' in the WP, AFAIK the Soviets flew much more, more exercises, more live-firings etc.
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Old 18th May 2014, 21:18
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Nice photo. I'm sorry I don't have that detail but one of the posters on this forum was a Navigator at Wildenrath at the same time and has written a book about his experiences on the Phantom during the Cold War. The Pilot and Navigator normally flew as a constituted crew so his hours would be near enough for comparison.

The Phantom in Focus<BR>A Navigator?s Eye on Britain?s Cold War Warrior<BR><I>David Gledhill</I> - Detailed item view - Fonthill Media

He might be willing to answer when he sees this thread.
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Old 19th May 2014, 20:35
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Thanks for the plug Jengo! Chapter 7 covers the RAFG flying.

Flying in the low flying areas in Germany at the time was free play. If you were cleared to play you played! If someone wasn't combat ready they waggled off. If they were, they didn't! Some played at 250 feet, some played at 500 feet, some struggled to stay below the light aircraft level of 1500 feet.

I got 850 hours on my first tour but that slowed down at Wildenrath when I started pulling duties in the tower and on the desk. I finished with 1550 hours at the end of that tour and 2000 hours when I finished on the F4 after an instructional tour. It all depended on the squadron and the role you played. The Boss flew the most!

Most of our flying was at low level. We flew the medium level stuff at night. The weather was normally terrible but it didnt stop flying. The only people down low in those conditions were normally the RAF -known as Brit VFR. We saved ACT and gunnery for Cyprus and Deci mostly. Mind you, the average day in the low flying area was as close to ACT as you could get.

The exchange pilot yu were struggling to remember was "Uncle Ron" (Ron S)

Last edited by Geehovah; 19th May 2014 at 20:50.
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Old 21st May 2014, 21:57
  #30 (permalink)  
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Cracking read, Gladys; brought back many fond memories of a great jet and great times operating it with the finest blokes...
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Old 22nd May 2014, 16:09
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I agree, it's a very good book. I enjoyed reading it very much.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 14:00
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Very interesting to see the other side's poiint of view once in a while.
Talking of hours, I got my 1000 hrs F4 one year into my second tour.

It's a great shame that this, and many other debates are devalued by people like Wrathmonk and their infantile attempts at banter.

Last edited by maxburner; 23rd May 2014 at 14:15.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 16:04
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From my logbook: 92 Sqn around 1980 for a full month's work, average 22hrs from 17 sorties.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 16:32
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devalued by people like Wrathmonk and their infantile attempts at banter
That'll be a bite than
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Old 23rd May 2014, 19:05
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Great thread, thanks.

Nothing finer than seeing the F4s CAP'ing over the Peheim mast. Lock 'em up, run away and live to fight another day.

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