TheRonald
Topic Author
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Jun 29, 2006 11:25 am

Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:43 am

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.
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2006 12:39 pm

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!
 
f4wso
Posts: 942
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2003 1:58 pm

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:43 pm

I think this is the image you refer to:

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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
 
FlyUSCG
Posts: 520
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:29 pm

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2006 3:56 pm

Because they aren't as badass as the Blue Angels  Big grin
Go Trojans! Fight On!
 
elmothehobo
Posts: 968
Joined: Thu Aug 10, 2006 11:10 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:53 pm

... take it back!

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

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...3108393387680067&q=th%20underbirds
 
MigFan
Posts: 710
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 12:50 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:06 pm

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
UH-60's suck!!!
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:18 pm

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!
 
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kc135topboom
Posts: 11022
Joined: Sun Jan 30, 2005 2:26 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Sat Aug 12, 2006 9:58 am

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.
 
FlyUSCG
Posts: 520
Joined: Sat Jun 03, 2006 5:29 pm

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Sat Aug 12, 2006 5:44 pm

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!
 
ftrguy
Posts: 347
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 8:17 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Sun Aug 13, 2006 4:26 am

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.
 
ebj1248650
Posts: 1517
Joined: Mon Jun 06, 2005 6:17 am

RE: Why No Dedicated Thunderbirds Transport Aircraft?

Sun Aug 13, 2006 11:03 am

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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