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Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?  
User currently offlineTheRonald From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 41 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 6414 times:

moments ago i noticed a pic on the a.net home page showing the Air Force Thunderbirds prepping to depart; a C-17 nearby...

My question is WHY NOT a dedicated C-17 or C-5, tricked out in Thunderbirds color scheme? The Navy has Fat Albert for 'The Blues'...

Can any one just picture in your mind a C-17 or C-5 in the Thunderbird colors?


I already have the quilty concious, may as well have the money, too.
10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 6279 times:

Quoting TheRonald (Thread starter):
moments ago i noticed a pic on the a.net home page showing the Air Force Thunderbirds prepping to depart; a C-17 nearby...

My question is WHY NOT a dedicated C-17 or C-5, tricked out in Thunderbirds color scheme? The Navy has Fat Albert for 'The Blues'...

Can any one just picture in your mind a C-17 or C-5 in the Thunderbird colors?

In the early years when the Thunderbirds flew the F-84s, F-100s and perhaps even in the F-4E years, the team had dedicated support airplanes. I know of one C-130 that had the Thunderbirds squadron patch on it but was otherwise in camouflage colors. I suspect the main reason is a cost effectiveness thing. And perhaps it's a matter of where the team is home based. Nellis is a base where units come and go often for exercises and it follows that support transport planes come and go with them, as well as coming and going for direct support of base operations as well. It's likely very easy to get a standard transport squadron airplane in to do the job and hence it's more cost effective.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineF4wso From United States of America, joined Oct 2003, 974 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (7 years 8 months 2 weeks ago) and read 6268 times:

I think this is the image you refer to:

View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Chambers



There is a long out of circulation magazine, Aerophile, that had a good Thunderbird feature that had a C-123, C-119, and I believe either a C-54 or a C-118, in Thunderbird colors.

For many years, it has been more effective to use either a C-17 or two C-130s from operational units with the parent airlift units bearing the overhead of maintenance and crew responsibilities.

There are periodic airlift conferences where units select the missions for the next quarter. Thunderbird support is one of the ongoing missions available.

Another type of Thunderbird support I did a lot of when I flew RF-4Cs was take photos of airshow sites so the team could pick visual references for their timing cues. These were done a few weeks prior to a show.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA



Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 6258 times:

Because they aren't as badass as the Blue Angels  Big grin


Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineElmoTheHobo From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 1534 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 6245 times:

... take it back!

The Blue Angel aren't as badass as this ->

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...3108393387680067&q=th%20underbirds


User currently offlineMigfan From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 6225 times:

Quoting ElmoTheHobo (Reply 4):
The Blue Angel aren't as badass as this ->

great video! Did you catch the pilot/backseater trying to catch something flying around the cockpit while doing the 8-point roll? Also, those missile rails were wobbling. Would it be better to just remove them, if possible?

/M


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 6213 times:

Quoting F4wso (Reply 2):
Another type of Thunderbird support I did a lot of when I flew RF-4Cs was take photos of airshow sites so the team could pick visual references for their timing cues. These were done a few weeks prior to a show.

How long did the team get that kind of support? It's great and it's something you never hear about unless you're directly involved with the operation.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently onlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 6118 times:

Quoting Migfan (Reply 5):
Also, those missile rails were wobbling. Would it be better to just remove them, if possible?

No. The aircraft configueration is one of the main differences between the Thunderbirds and the Blues. The T-Bird's F-16C/Ds are front line combat ready aircraft. They can be painted and on the front lines in 24 hours.

The Blue Angles F/A-18A/Bs are the prototype F/A-18s, I believe. Each aircraft is almost unique, and I believe none are combat capable.


User currently offlineFlyUSCG From United States of America, joined Jun 2006, 656 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6082 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The Blue Angles F/A-18A/Bs are the prototype F/A-18s, I believe. Each aircraft is almost unique, and I believe none are combat capable.

You should read the thread I started a few weeks ago about why their are no Super Hornet Blue Angels yet. There were a few people commenting on the fact that the Blue Angels are also combat ready and need only 48 hours or so to be back on the lines. And I would assume all of the prototype hornets are out of service by now (seeing as they would be over 20 years old).



Go Trojans! Fight On!
User currently offlineFtrguy From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 358 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 6022 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The Blue Angles F/A-18A/Bs are the prototype F/A-18s, I believe. Each aircraft is almost unique, and I believe none are combat capable.

Don't really know what you mean by prototype aircraft but the Blues fly the A and B models. They have removed the gun, added a spring like system to the flight controls to make the stick heavier, and a smoke system. As far as I know all that stuff can be "fixed" and ready for action in a day or so.

The A/B models are better than the C/D because they're lighter, more manuverable, and have a better thrust to weight ratio. There are also plenty of them to use and abuse, because the Blues aren't exactly gentle with their airframes.


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 5978 times:

Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 8):
Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 7):
The Blue Angles F/A-18A/Bs are the prototype F/A-18s, I believe. Each aircraft is almost unique, and I believe none are combat capable.

Blue Angels first Hornets were "pilot production" aircraft; not carrier suitable due to landing gear not being quite up to par but they were nearly full production standard. Don't know if they've since gotten full production standard airplanes or not, but would think so after all these years.



Dare to dream; dream big!
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