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U.S.S. Ronald Reagan - F-18 On Deck  
User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1659 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4562 times:

I was in San Diego this week and was treated to seeing three carriers in port for at least part of my visit - Stennis, Reagan and Vinson. "Carrier Row" is clearly visible from the tourist areas across the bay, and I was surprised to see the Reagan had an F/A-18 on deck. Upon checking my pictures, I'm a little confused.

First, why would there be an aircraft on deck while in port? Doesn't the air wing normally fly off before coming into home port?

Second, although the image quality is poor due to the distance from which I was shooting, this doesn't look to match the markings of any F/A-18 squadron in CVW-14. In fact, it almost looks like a preserved aircraft with panels hanging open - are the engines even still intact?

Anyone have any idea the story behind this aircraft?

http://airshots.homestead.com/files/rr_f18.jpg

7 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 4551 times:

Quoting JohnJ (Thread starter):
First, why would there be an aircraft on deck while in port? Doesn't the air wing normally fly off before coming into home port?
Second, although the image quality is poor due to the distance from which I was shooting, this doesn't look to match the markings of any F/A-18 squadron in CVW-14. In fact, it almost looks like a preserved aircraft with panels hanging open - are the engines even still intact?
Anyone have any idea the story behind this aircraft?

Just about every Carrier in the Fleet has a bird onboard at sometime or another used solely for training the yellow and blue shirts. The bird is basically a hulk that is not a flier and does not belong to the airwing. If you go across the bay to NB San Diego you might also see a hulk of some sort on one or more of the Gators as well.



StudeDave



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlinekric777 From United States of America, joined Jun 2002, 279 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4132 times:
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With a red maple leaf of the tail, it would look like a late-nineties Air Canada CF-18  

User currently offlineSpacepope From Vatican City, joined Dec 1999, 2934 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 4113 times:

It's missing the little bumps behind the cockpit, so it appears to be an -A model. Does the navy refer to these as "ground instructional airframes" too?


The last of the famous international playboys
User currently offlinelegs From Australia, joined Jun 2006, 240 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4090 times:

Quoting StudeDave (Reply 1):
used solely for training the yellow and blue shirts

The fact that airframe on the deck has no engines fitted would seem to back that up.


User currently offlineStudeDave From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 486 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 4072 times:

Quoting legs (Reply 4):
The fact that airframe on the deck has no engines fitted would seem to back that up.

The fact that I have "been there and done that" on about eight different flight decks also helps...


The birds being used for this purpose are usually in very sad shape, and will never take flight again.
I have seen Harriers, Tomcats, Intruders, and even Phantoms being used as deck trainers.
Note the '76' on the nose and tail. I'll bet that the Captain's name is on it too.
Most of the time the ships crew dresses 'their' bird up a bit-
but many of the birds I saw during my 20 years were painted much more then this one is.




StudeDave



Classic planes, Classic trains, and Studebakers~~ what else is there???
User currently offlineEagleboy From Niue, joined Dec 2009, 1843 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4018 times:
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On a similar note I once read that the RAF still has a few Jaguars in use as ground instruction units. Too expensive to be using an actual operational airframe to get pushed around a taxiway.

Interesting snap from the OP.


User currently offlineJohnJ From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 1659 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (1 year 4 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 3935 times:

Thanks for the comments and info, especially StudeDave. Very interesting indeed. I got some great shots this day, Vinson got underway with helo circling shortly after I took this picture and Reagan left a few hours later. Turns out seeing Stennis was lucky; she was on her way back to Bremerton after a major deployment. Vinson and Reagan are the only two San Diego-based carriers.

I'm a tail code geek, and this trip finally solved for me the question of why "NA" tail codes are showing up in photos. CVW-17 ( now assigned to Vinson) carried the "AA" tail code but recently transitioned to the west coast, hence the new "NA" code. To my knowledge, that's the first time that code has been used, even when there used to be many more air wings.


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