If it's a full-res crop, I don't think the original will do much good. I just didn't know it was a full-res crop. That zoom does run out a little early, doesn't it...
If you were shooting 3264, there is no higher res. 3264 3:2 is essentially like letterboxing on your TV
to show a 16:9 format movie. It just throws away pixels at the top and bottom so that the image is in an SLR aspect ratio.
I shoot RAW, but I don't think it would have helped much in this case. The heat haze is just too much. The A2, like every other digital camera I've ever used, does too much in-camera sharpening for my taste in JPG mode on default settings, and you might try rolling the sharpening back a little and seeing how you like it if you don't want to shoot RAW. That said, it's the heat haze that's obscuring that middle digit, and most of what I don't like about the shots is the heat haze.
As for the identification of the third plane, the only -808 T-38 listed is denoted as withdrawn from use by Scramble. The only -818 is listed as stored. 67-14838, 67-14848, and 67-14858 are possibilities.
[Edited 2005-04-28 08:27:54]