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F-102 Equipped Aerobatic Team?  
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 4068 times:

I'm amazed at the little known military aerobatic teams I learn about from time to time. The 366th FBW had, in 1958, an F-100 equipped team called the Tigerjets. Didn't last long and I have no idea how many shows they put on. Don't know that they were officially recognized but the team existed just the same.

Knowing that team existed, I got to wondering if at some time an Air Force or Air National Guard unit equipped with F-102s ever formed an aerobatic team. And does anyone know of another little known team and can you give details?

I know that Robin Olds formed a short lived team flying F-101A or F-101C Voodoos, in Europe (81st TFW) I believe, but I've never seen photos of those planes and I can't recall what the team was called, if it even had a name.


Dare to dream; dream big!
16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 1, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3961 times:

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Thread starter):
does anyone know of another little known team and can you give details?

I know SAC tried to form a B-52G/KC-135A aerobatic team at Fairchild AFB, WA in the 1980s. I forget the full name, but it was the Thunder....Something, or Something....Thunder. It was disbanded after the KC-135 crashed into the bomber and tanker squadron parking lots, killing a Boom Operator on the ground, as well as all aboard the tanker. The cause, IIRC, was the tanker flew through the wake turbalance of the bomber at a very low altitude and low airspeed, during a practice mission.

A lot of careers were ended over that accident.

I refueled the 49th FIS (Griffiss AFB, NY) a lot in the NE US during the 1970s 1nd 1980s. They flew the F-106. We considered them to be an uncoordinated aerobatic team, and sometimes refered to them as the 49th MACS (49th Mid Air Collision Squadron), because they hit so many refueling booms and the boom ice shields.

Maybe that's not what you were looking for.


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 3958 times:

Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
Quoting EBJ1248650 (Thread starter):
does anyone know of another little known team and can you give details?

I know SAC tried to form a B-52G/KC-135A aerobatic team at Fairchild AFB, WA in the 1980s. I forget the full name, but it was the Thunder....Something, or Something....Thunder. It was disbanded after the KC-135 crashed into the bomber and tanker squadron parking lots, killing a Boom Operator on the ground, as well as all aboard the tanker. The cause, IIRC, was the tanker flew through the wake turbalance of the bomber at a very low altitude and low airspeed, during a practice mission.

A lot of careers were ended over that accident.

I refueled the 49th FIS (Griffiss AFB, NY) a lot in the NE US during the 1970s 1nd 1980s. They flew the F-106. We considered them to be an uncoordinated aerobatic team, and sometimes refered to them as the 49th MACS (49th Mid Air Collision Squadron), because they hit so many refueling booms and the boom ice shields.

Maybe that's not what you were looking for.

I didn't know about the SAC team so that got my attention. The "uncoordinated aerobatic team" segment of your comment got my attention to. I didn't realize the 49th was that bad at air refueling.

Actually, what I was looking for was information on professional grade aerobatic teams that're little known. The F-100 team I mentioned was one. The Navy Reserve had an A-4 Skyhawk team called the Air Barons and they were quite good but little is said about them. The Air National Guard is alleged to have had an F-86H equipped aerobatic team, according to Duncan Curtis (F-86 enthusiast in England) but I haven't been able to pin that one down either.

I've always thought the F-102 would have made an attractive aerobatic team mount. I feel the same about the F-106 but so far as I can tell, ADC didn't have an aerobatic team. Thought someone else might know something different.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
The F-100 team I mentioned was one.

Didn't the Thunderbirds fly the F-100?

Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
I've always thought the F-102 would have made an attractive aerobatic team mount. I feel the same about the F-106 but so far as I can tell, ADC didn't have an aerobatic team.

The F-106 was always a crowd pleaser at airshows, especially when they lit up afterburners.



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineRomeoKC10FE From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3914 times:

Quoting Michlis (Reply 3):
Didn't the Thunderbirds fly the F-100?


Yes they did, many still consider the "Hun" to be the best looking jet the T-birds have ever flown, the jets were in their natural metal finish with the colors overlayed on top it, very beautiful!


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3786 times:



Quoting Michlis (Reply 3):
Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
The F-100 team I mentioned was one.

Didn't the Thunderbirds fly the F-100?

The Thunderbirds and Skyblazers (USAFE) flew F-100s; Thunderbirds flew F-100C and later F-100D; Skyblazers flew F-100C.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 3784 times:



Quoting RomeoKC10FE (Reply 4):
Yes they did, many still consider the "Hun" to be the best looking jet the T-birds have ever flown, the jets were in their natural metal finish with the colors overlayed on top it, very beautiful!

No doubt this is true. Their F-105Bs were sharp looking as well, but flew only 6 shows before the team reverted back to the F-100D. Sure wish I could have seen one of the Thunderchief shows though. And I don't know where to find video of one of those shows.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineMichlis From United States of America, joined Jul 2007, 737 posts, RR: 2
Reply 7, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 2 days ago) and read 3777 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 6):
Their F-105Bs were sharp looking as well, but flew only 6 shows before the team reverted back to the F-100D.

Hmm...I wonder if they decided to switch back before the Thunderchief's nickname decided to present itself during a demonstration.  Smile



If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the outcome of a hundred battles.
User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 3749 times:



Quoting Michlis (Reply 7):
Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 6):
Their F-105Bs were sharp looking as well, but flew only 6 shows before the team reverted back to the F-100D.

Hmm...I wonder if they decided to switch back before the Thunderchief's nickname decided to present itself during a demonstration.

The Thunderbirds were flying the F-100C before they transitioned to the F-105B. The team flew only 6 demonstrations with the Thud. One of the planes broke apart during the last demonstration and the F-105s were grounded. Rather than wait for the grounding to be lifted, the team transitioned to the F-100D and remained in that airplane until the F-4E was obtained. The F-105Bs the team had used were modified and were issued to an Air National Guard unit, as I recall. Keep in mind the late 50's and early 60's were a troublesome time for the F-105. The airplane was very advance for that time and it had its share of bugs. In time it would turn out to be a first rate fighter-bomber. Viet Nam proved that. But in those early years the airplane was called the "Thud" because it had a bad tendency to crash and that was the sound it made when it hit the ground. Had the airplane not had its problems, I suspect it would have proved to be a very popular Thunderbirds demonstration airplane, at least to the air show crowds. The F-105 was never known to be a real easy airplane to maintain. But then, the same can be said about most, if not all, of the Century series airplanes.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineRC135X From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3732 times:



Quoting KC135TopBoom (Reply 1):
I know SAC tried to form a B-52G/KC-135A aerobatic team at Fairchild AFB, WA in the 1980s. I forget the full name, but it was the Thunder....Something, or Something....Thunder. It was disbanded after the KC-135 crashed into the bomber and tanker squadron parking lots, killing a Boom Operator on the ground, as well as all aboard the tanker. The cause, IIRC, was the tanker flew through the wake turbalance of the bomber at a very low altitude and low airspeed, during a practice mission.

A lot of careers were ended over that accident.

The nascent SAC team was known as the "Thunderhawks," sponsored by then-CINCSAC GEN John T. "Jack" Chain.

On 13 March 1987, (a Friday, IIRC), the B-52 and KC-135A (60-0361) from the 92nd BW at Fairchild AFB, WA, were practicing their low-altitude routine. The timing got off a little allowing the KC-135 to fly through the B-52's wake turbulence. The KC-135 was slow (hence the timing issue) and vulnerable to loss of control, stalled, and crashed into an open field. All on board were killed, as was a person on the ground. In the ultimate irony, the person on the ground was the Thunderhawk boom operator. He was ill/DNIF (duty not involving flight) and was watching the display from the ground and was scheduled to have been on board the mishap airplane. This accident occurred one month after (13 February 1987, also a Friday, IIRC) KC-135A 60-0330 exploded and burned on landing at Altus AFB, OK, originally believed due to electrical shorting but later assessed as overheating pumps in the main body fuel tank, the cause of several other KC-135 losses.

Although the Fairchild KC-135A loss resulted in some command changes and the demise of the multi-ship SAC demo team, a.netters no doubt recall the tragic 24 Jun 94 crash of the B-52 at Fairchild.


User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 10, posted (6 years 5 months 1 week 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 3723 times:



Quoting RC135X (Reply 9):
On 13 March 1987, (a Friday, IIRC), the B-52 and KC-135A (60-0361) from the 92nd BW at Fairchild AFB, WA, were practicing their low-altitude routine. The timing got off a little allowing the KC-135 to fly through the B-52's wake turbulence. The KC-135 was slow (hence the timing issue) and vulnerable to loss of control, stalled, and crashed into an open field. All on board were killed, as was a person on the ground. In the ultimate irony, the person on the ground was the Thunderhawk boom operator. He was ill/DNIF (duty not involving flight) and was watching the display from the ground and was scheduled to have been on board the mishap airplane. This accident occurred one month after (13 February 1987, also a Friday, IIRC) KC-135A 60-0330 exploded and burned on landing at Altus AFB, OK, originally believed due to electrical shorting but later assessed as overheating pumps in the main body fuel tank, the cause of several other KC-135 losses.

Although the Fairchild KC-135A loss resulted in some command changes and the demise of the multi-ship SAC demo team, a.netters no doubt recall the tragic 24 Jun 94 crash of the B-52 at Fairchild.

Thanks, RC. That was it.

Yes, the overheated fuel pumps were the hydraulicly driven refueling pumps. IIRC, the tail of a KC-135A was blown off while he was returning to Loring AFB, ME, as well as an AKANG KC-135E blowing up on the ground, while taxiing into parking. Both of these also happened in the late 1980s.

IIRC, the temp fix was to keep the pumps submerged in fuel, to keep them cool. We kept 3,000lbs in the aft body tank, and 8,000lbs in the forward body tank.


User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 11, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

Can't do much in the way of aerobatics in an F-102.
Rather boring to have the team perform 10nm radius circuits to demonstrate how tight it can turn for example  Smile
And those 20.000ft high loopings aren't too interesting either for the public on the ground.



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineKC135TopBoom From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 12061 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3538 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
Can't do much in the way of aerobatics in an F-102.

Actually, in it's day the F-102A was a surprizingly manuverable airplane. Remember, it was one of the first successful delta wing designs. The trainer version, the TF-102A, with it's side by side seating was really a dog. The later F-106A greatly improved on the F-102, and later the French improved the delta wing design again with the Marage series.


User currently offlineEBJ1248650 From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 1932 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (6 years 5 months 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 3535 times:



Quoting Jwenting (Reply 11):
Can't do much in the way of aerobatics in an F-102.
Rather boring to have the team perform 10nm radius circuits to demonstrate how tight it can turn for example
And those 20.000ft high loopings aren't too interesting either for the public on the ground.

I've watched the F-102 in the landing pattern and it manuevered very well, for its time. True, the early deltas didn't do well in a turning combat situation; speed bled off real fast. '102 had this problem and the Mirage III series did too. But that's not to say the planes weren't manueverable.



Dare to dream; dream big!
User currently offlineJwenting From Netherlands, joined Apr 2001, 10213 posts, RR: 19
Reply 14, posted (6 years 5 months 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 3468 times:

a procedure turn does not an aerobatics display make  Smile

For its time and intended flight profile it wasn't bad, but it was no aircraft to use for display teams (just like the F-104 wasn't good for it either).



I wish I were flying
User currently offlineEx52tech From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 559 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (6 years 4 months 4 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 3371 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Thread starter):
F-102s ever formed an aerobatic team.

I have an uncle that flew 102's for a while, and he told me "the only time you took that &%@# thing out of afterburner was on final. He liked the 106, lots of power.



"Saddest thing I ever witnessed....an airplane being scrapped"
User currently offlineGimliGlider From Germany, joined Jun 2006, 90 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 3260 times:



Quoting EBJ1248650 (Reply 2):
The Air National Guard is alleged to have had an F-86H equipped aerobatic team, according to Duncan Curtis (F-86 enthusiast in England) but I haven't been able to pin that one down either.

The ANG did indeed have an F-86 equipped team, though they were F-86Fs, from here in Colorado:

http://sabre-pilots.org/classics/v133minute.htm


The CO ANG recently painted an F-16 in the paint scheme of the team:


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Photo © Paul Filmer - skippyscage photography




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