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Old Lockheed "Starfighter" story

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Old Lockheed "Starfighter" story

Old 17th Oct 2020, 11:46
  #21 (permalink)  
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Yes the Lightning turned very well. Mind you when flying low level intercepts and dogfighting, the fuel did not last very long!
Took control an F6 off the end of the runway to intercept a pair of A-10s 15nm away just coasting in at Spurn.

They turned in the horizontal and tried to point their guns at him, he played the vertical whilst trying to keep out of their sights.

8-9 minutes after take-off he was chicken RTB at 10 miles finals.....
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 12:29
  #22 (permalink)  

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Originally Posted by Firestreak View Post
G 91s flown by Belgians? Not the ones we used to fight from Gutersloh, they were the only thing that could live with the Lightning in a turning bout at low level. The Buccs thought they could out turn us but really, get them to roll and pull at the same time and anything could happen aerodynamically, very amusing.

Correct, brain fade on my part. They would have been flown by mad Germans. The mad Belgians flew 104s, more latterly F-16s.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 12:51
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We were flying with the late Dick Langworthy in a Puma of 240 OCU being used by Standards on a Jol..nav-ex to Copenhagen when his twin brother passed under the nose in a Jag.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 13:21
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When I was on basic training at Cranwell on the JP5a, we had 2 German instructors - both ex 104s (affectionally known as widowmakers). After Cranwell one if them went back to 104s and was killed shortly afterwards. The other survived but not sure what subsequently happened to him. He had given me a set of his Luftwaffe metal wings as a passing out gesture, which I still keep with fond memories.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 14:48
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My Starfighter stories run to:
  1. A Canadian 104 pilot let me sit in his on the ground. I commented how uncomfortable it was to handle the throttle with my elbow banging on the rear bulkhead/seat. He said, “Yuh, it isn’t in that position very often”. Doh!
  2. Returning to Gut from the south, up comes a distress beacon signal (we used to fly around -Puma- on TR+G.) The pilot, name withheld, couldn’t remember how to select the homer to get the pointer working. CG could, and it settled right on the nose. We collected the Cloggie pilot in less than 5 mins, and took him to Gutersloh. He was clearly not too badly hurt. He gave me the beacon/radio from his gear as a keepsake, but my pilot made me return it. Because he wasn’t the recipient! The Cloggie went on to be a KLM 747 captain. Stlll had a sore back at retirement!
  3. Oh, a third... On a Bad K coolex, I asked another Canadian (knowing the answer full well) how a 104 glides. "Like a buncha keys", was his response.
CG
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 18:44
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Towards more picturesque speech.

Sorry about the thread drift (complete departure), but it reminded me of a USAF sergeant watching the T31 (Cadet mk3 to the ex-ATC) on the approach at the RAFGSA centre at Bicester. "Glidin' angle of a crowbar" he opined.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 19:27
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Originally Posted by charliegolf View Post
My Starfighter stories run to:

Oh, a third... On a Bad K coolex, I asked another Canadian (knowing the answer full well) how a 104 glides. "Like a buncha keys", was his response.CG
Brilliant....
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 19:50
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I did hear High Key in an F104 was above 20,000 ft...

Once as a UAS stude I 'helped' VASF at Bruggen pack tail chutes into 2 German F104s, while the 2 pilots caught their breath. Neither of them spring chickens, both in their grey leather jackets, looked cool as I don't know what!!!

And being German FJs, CLEAN!!!! Same happened with Tornados. They had conscripts, apparently cleaning jets was what they did.
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 20:42
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The German 'conscripts' were actually doing their national service and took immense pride in keeping their jets looking immaculate!

They also clamoured to work in the restaurant at the Luftwaffe passenger terminal at Koeln/Bonn (Wahn) as that would set them up for subsequent work in the restaurant business.

It was something of a win/win situation and worked very well!
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 21:01
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Understand it was National Service.

First clean fin I ever saw on a Tonka was German Navy
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Old 17th Oct 2020, 21:17
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
The air control orders (ACOs) for RAF helicopters in (West) Germany back in those Cold War days usually stated not above 150 feet agl. That was the whole of the country. Fixed wing had to be not below 250 feet, to give a 100 foot separation. In published low flying areas, or areas designated as exercise areas, or areas which crews were deemed to have become familiarised with, we could transit at 50 feet agl. For certain parts of a flight there was no height limit, only a ten metre MSC, minimum (lateral) separation clearance. We regularly trained to fly under wires. Minimum clearances for that were 6 metres above, 3 metres laterally from a pylon, 2 metres below (to avoid the possibility of HT arcing through the airframe).

It was quite normal to get “bounced” by fast jets looking for training targets to play with. F-104s and F-4s were relatively easy to deal with, you could spot them miles away by their trail of black exhaust smoke and even if they saw you they were in the next county by the time they had turned round to get a bead on you. G-91s were more difficult to see, difficult to lose and flown by mad Belgians! Harrier pilots usually had to be told where we were....

Glad to have been part of it, but I wouldn’t want my kids doing it!
Ahhh...those were the days. Good days.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 06:15
  #32 (permalink)  
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" The German 'conscripts' were actually doing their national service and took immense pride in keeping their jets looking immaculate "

True, and the German Air Force also offered them a very attractive package to transfer to full time service if they wished. Met a few who had taken up the offer.

Did my F-104 " Cross training " at Memmingen, nice view of the Alps to wake up to every day, and I've still got the certificate, but then came the real thing when they came to Bruggen for a week. There was the "7 finger check " as part of the start up...all was going well until we got to the AoA vein which had to be moved by the engineer....alas, said vein is also heated so the CB had to be pulled by the pilot.....he didn't.... hence the delicate aroma of frying flesh and some rude words...from me. Got one of those "oops ! sorry looks " however, international relations were fully restored later with some medicinal alcohol he supplied .
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 08:38
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IIRC, the RAF loss rate for Lightnings was greater than the Luftwaffe F 104 rate, the big difference was in the pilot survival rate, far better from the Lightning.

Once had a trip in a Danish F104. We did a PFL and again, IIRC high key was @20 thousand, low key at 9000, over the hedge speed in the region of 200kts. I believe in the real case the u/c was lowered very late in the procedure by a socking great reserve bottle which blew the gear down in an instant.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 09:33
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I understand that the characteristic ‘howl’ of a Star was created at a certain throttle setting ?
am I correct
David
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 09:53
  #35 (permalink)  
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IIRC, the RAF loss rate for Lightnings was greater than the Luftwaffe F 104 rate, the big difference was in the pilot survival rate, far better from the Lightning.
And the fact that most of them ended up in the North Sea rather than a farmer’s field.....
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 09:54
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Originally Posted by The AvgasDinosaur View Post
I understand that the characteristic ‘howl’ of a Star was created at a certain throttle setting ?
am I correct
David
In the early 70s the howl was a daily occurrence at Prestwick, where maintenance was carried out on these 1950's winged missiles. Fascinating to watch with takeoffs well over 200kts, and landings at (IIRC) about 180-190kts. The howl was heard pretty much throughout the takeoff roll.



In 1968 I flew to Nürnberg as part of a four ship Navex; in Hiller 12E windup clockwork toys! On the way we had the inevitable experience of being underflown by a gaggle of F104Gs, and then overnighted at Büchel where we looked after quite magnificently by the Luftwaffe and hosted by an F104G Squadron. As a newly minted Acting Sub-Lieutenant I was bitterly envious of one of their pilots who was about my age (21) and driving around the skies in one of those machines: we went off somewhere for a drink or three and I mislaid the bottle of Jägermeister I'd acquired. No worries, after breakfast he had the Officer's Mess bar opened and they sold me another bottle; at 07:00

Efficient lot; happy days.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:10
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916 Starfighter


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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:13
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Or the Irish sea. An Irish friend of mine had an undercarriage anomaly which required an automatic ejection over the sea in the Lightning. As he was in the North Wales training area at the time he elected to bang out over Llanbedr heading West. While he sorted himself out he decided to engage the autopilot - and then forgot to disengage it prior to ejection. So there was this Lightning heading towards Dublin with no pilot! A couple of aircraft were scrambled to attempt to shoot it down before it reached the Irish coast, but luckily it ran out of fuel before it got there! I remember the stick that he took in the bar that night - trying to take his country folk out!
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:25
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Originally Posted by PaulH1 View Post
Yes the Lightning turned very well. Mind you when flying low level intercepts and dogfighting, the fuel did not last very long!
"Muldoon" of the 74th was known to like to mix it with 20's Hunter FGA 9s. I once sat in 20's crew room watching miles of cine film with the pipper on Muldoon's cockpit.

And that's where I first heard that one should try to fight with the Lightning vertically, not horizontally.
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Old 18th Oct 2020, 10:32
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Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
We were flying with the late Dick Langworthy in a Puma of 240 OCU being used by Standards on a Jol..nav-ex to Copenhagen when his twin brother passed under the nose in a Jag.

indeed.

on ‘flag’ 85/1 I was lucky enough to get a ride in the SF C130 on the final package. I had to work for my living, though. On my knees along side the RH seat, my job was as a spotter looking out for redair with hostile intention. The rad alt installation was somewhat “experimental” with the readout fitted to the top of the cockpit coating with copious strips of black bodge tape. It was reading somewhat less than 150’ when the wings were momentarily level and I spotted a Jag go directly underneath us. I never realised Jags had such a large fin....😱





Last edited by oldmansquipper; 18th Oct 2020 at 10:34. Reason: Fighting off the grammar NAZIs.....
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