GST
Topic Author
Posts: 811
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:27 am

Origins Of A Military Aviation Legend

Wed Mar 25, 2009 11:37 am

Most people have heard the tale. A policeman is using his radar speed gun on motorists and it suddenly clocks 1000mph etc. Next thing he knows is that a jet overflies him at treetop height, and he later finds out the fully armed jet locked onto his radar and went into attack. It was only a savvy pilot that aborted the auto weapon launch etc etc. This story seems to come around every few months or so. I have heard it about USAF, Netherlands air force, RAF, and most recently the RAAF.

The reason I bring it up now is that this week's Flight International wrote out the story (Page 36 for those interested), this time about the RAAF and an officer around Newcastle. I realize that in the Straight and Level section they realize it is a tall tale, and this isn't an "OMG the experts got it wrong! I'm so clever!" thread.

What gets my interest is the origins of the myth. I realize that even in armed patrols over enemy territory, there is no such thing as an autonomous weapons release when detecting a radar signature, and it especially wouldn't happen on your own soil. But these things always seem to have some base in truth no matter how small. Does anyone know how this started? Did some fighter jock decide to buzz the copper for a laugh one day to surprise him after detecting the radar and someone manipulate the tale into its current form? Any ideas or historical knowledge welcome.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4922
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Origins Of A Military Aviation Legend

Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:32 pm

I've heard a similiar story but that one involved a USMC F-18. I don't know of any military aricraft that can launch weapons automatically. Sounds like another urban legend.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
GST
Topic Author
Posts: 811
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 10:27 am

RE: Origins Of A Military Aviation Legend

Wed Mar 25, 2009 2:40 pm



Quoting LMP737 (Reply 1):

Oh i know it is an urban legend, I'm just trying to figure out where it came from.
 
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Origins Of A Military Aviation Legend

Wed Mar 25, 2009 6:57 pm

Isn't it likely that someone just thought "Hmm... police radar, Air Force radar detection... what if..."? It seems like one of those stories that was bound to have been invented at some point.

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