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Max Q
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Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Fri Apr 08, 2016 7:35 am

Watching 'Battle history of the Navy' last night there was a shot of a green camouflaged F4 being catapulted
from a Carrier.


Pretty sure no Navy F4's ever operated in green camfouflage, it looked a lot like a USAF aircraft.


I know they exchanged Pilots and still do but I didn't realize the Air force actually operated land based F4'S
off carriers or that these versions were even adequately stressed for this environment.


Anyone have further insight ?
The best contribution to safety is a competent Pilot.


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L-188
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Fri Apr 08, 2016 9:02 am

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):

Pretty sure no Navy F4's ever operated in green camfouflage,

Actually you would be wrong.

The Navy experimented with green camo on several different aircraft in the 1965/66 timeframe in vietnam.

Types I know about include

A5 Vigilanties
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:RA-5C_RVAH-13_camouflaged_Vietnam_1966.jpg
F4 Phantom-Designated F4G in the camo
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F-4_Phantoms_on_USS_Kitty_Hawk_(CVA-63)_in_1966.jpg"
A4 Skyhawks.
In a book I read, have not seen a photo.
A6 Intruders
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A-6A_VA-42_with_camouflage_1965.jpeg"


I don't recall ever seeing an F8 in those colors.

The navy dropped the idea eventually.

I recall reading one of the reasons what the dark colors made the aircraft that much harder for the deck crew on the carrier to work, and less safe too!
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GDB
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Fri Apr 08, 2016 6:21 pm

How about this?

https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:F-4G_VF-213_camouflaged_Vietnam_1966.jpg

Interesting too that there was another F-4G before the USAF Wild Weasel.
 
Max Q
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:31 am

Quoting L-188 (Reply 1):
The Navy experimented with green camo on several different aircraft in the 1965/66 timeframe in vietnam.

That probably explains it then, unless anyone knows if USAF F4's ever operated off carriers.
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strfyr51
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sat Apr 09, 2016 12:41 pm

The F4 had an operable tail hook and the pintle for the launch bridle to operate from a carrier if it had to. About the only thing the Air Force didn't have were a lot of carrier qualified pilots but they Did have some and quite a few over the years. I'm not sure they liked carrier quals but they did have some carrier qualified pilots.
 
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ptrjong
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:45 pm

Quoting Max Q (Thread starter):
t I didn't realize the Air force actually operated land based F4'S
off carriers or that these versions were even adequately stressed for this environment.

It's called jumping to conclusions....
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TWA772LR
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:03 am

Quoting strfyr51 (Reply 4):
The F4 had an operable tail hook and the pintle for the launch bridle to operate from a carrier if it had to

A handful of USAF planes have (had) tailhooks. The F-111 and F-15 are among them, or at least the airframe could be fitted with them. I guy I went to high school with is in the USAF now and he works on aircraft arresting systems, so it's not uncommon.
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Max Q
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 10, 2016 5:31 am

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
A handful of USAF planes have (had) tailhooks. The F-111 and F-15 are among them, or at least the airframe could be fitted with them. I guy I went to high school with is in the USAF now and he works on aircraft arresting systems, so it's not uncommon.

I doubt those aircraft are stressed for the massive deceleration of catching a wire on a carrier though, with the exception of the aborted F111 'Navy' experiment land based fighters with tail hooks are designed to be able to catch a wire on a land base but with far gentler deceleration.


Afaik the F4 was equally rugged whether it was the USAF or USN version.
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Spacepope
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 10, 2016 6:16 pm

F-16 hook:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Johan Havelaar



F-15 hook:
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Wayne Button



F-5E hook (stowed)
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gary Chambers



F-106 had one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aBlbbyCOops

Even USAF-spec A-7Ds had hooks, though apparently no catapult gear.
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © K. Bell



Point being, even though it has a hook like the Phantom, it probably never made it onto a carrier.
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studedave
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 10, 2016 10:59 pm

Quoting Spacepope (Reply 8):
Point being, even though it has a hook like the Phantom, it probably never made it onto a carrier.

And if it did- that was it's LAST flight...




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Ozair
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 10, 2016 11:32 pm

Quoting Max Q (Reply 7):
Afaik the F4 was equally rugged whether it was the USAF or USN version.

There is more to a carrier landing than simply the hook. Naval jets that fly from land, such as the RAAF, RCAF Hornets, cannot land on a carrier anytime they want even though the airframe was initially designed to do it. They must be maintained to meet a carrier landing standard.

Quoting TWA772LR (Reply 6):
I guy I went to high school with is in the USAF now and he works on aircraft arresting systems, so it's not uncommon.

It is a standard procedure to get damaged aircraft into a field and I know numerous nations around the world practise arrested landings and maintain the equipment at the foot of the runway to support these scenarios.

From a RAAF Hornet Aviation Risk management document,

Quote:
The likelihood of an overrun during take-off is very low. F-111 and Super Hornet can accelerate to the scheduled take-off speed and stop in the remaining runway length using only the aircraft brakes following a rejected take-off. The F-111 and the Super Hornet are equipped with an arrestor hook which can be extended to engage the arrestor cables that are permanently installed on Runway 15/33 at Amberley, 500 metres from
each end of the runway pavement. The cables provide a means of stopping these aircraft in the event of a brake system failure or in other circumstances which may cause the aircraft to run off the end of the runway.
http://www.defence.gov.au/AirCraftNo...ircraft%20Hazards%20and%20Risk.pdf
 
RetiredWeasel
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 11, 2016 12:38 am

I spent several years flying and being a part of the F-4 community in the 70's and early 80's. Never heard of a USAF version ever landing on a carrier. That's not to say that it wasn't capable of doing it. USAF Phantoms had the same hook as the Navy versions and the gear was almost the same except for tire/brake sizes, gear doors and pin locations.

Could it take the forces of a carrier arresting system?....I sat in a RSU (Runway Supervisor Unit) long enough observing AF F-4 landings and saw many landings that would embarrass a rookie Naval Aviator with the impact the mains made with the runway. No damage, but certainly not good for the airframe if repeated often.

As the initial poster mentioned there were scores of exchange pilots that flew for a while in the other service. My F-4 RTU instructor (initial training) was such a type and a Lieutenant Commander in the USN. He was missing 2 fingers from a bailout resulting from a "cold cat' launch (I think that's what they called it). He was adamant about trying to get an inter-service transfer to the USAF (a rare thing) and wasn't going back to the 'RAG'. Never heard if he made it.

All USAF fighter/attack aircraft from the century series to F-22 had tailhooks except for A-10s (possibly another). Of course they weren't for carrier traps, but used frequently in approach end cable arrestments (various abnormal procedures) and nice to have at the departure end when brakes/drag chutes failed.

Oh, myself and other longtime Phantom drivers, shot plenty of visual approaches into Navy Land Bases and learned to use the "Meatball" visual guidance system without of course an LSO or com link. Having said that, could any of us landed on a carrier in an emergency situation?...Don't know the answer to that one !!

[Edited 2016-04-10 17:40:18]
 
Max Q
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 11, 2016 3:25 am

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 11):
I spent several years flying and being a part of the F-4 community in the 70's and early 80's. Never heard of a USAF version ever landing on a carrier. That's not to say that it wasn't capable of doing it. USAF Phantoms had the same hook as the Navy versions and the gear was almost the same except for tire/brake sizes, gear doors and pin locations.

Could it take the forces of a carrier arresting system?....I sat in a RSU (Runway Supervisor Unit) long enough observing AF F-4 landings and saw many landings that would embarrass a rookie Naval Aviator with the impact the mains made with the runway. No damage, but certainly not good for the airframe if repeated often.

As the initial poster mentioned there were scores of exchange pilots that flew for a while in the other service. My F-4 RTU instructor (initial training) was such a type and a Lieutenant Commander in the USN. He was missing 2 fingers from a bailout resulting from a "cold cat' launch (I think that's what they called it). He was adamant about trying to get an inter-service transfer to the USAF (a rare thing) and wasn't going back to the 'RAG'. Never heard if he made it.

All USAF fighter/attack aircraft from the century series to F-22 had tailhooks except for A-10s (possibly another). Of course they weren't for carrier traps, but used frequently in approach end cable arrestments (various abnormal procedures) and nice to have at the departure end when brakes/drag chutes failed.

Oh, myself and other longtime Phantom drivers, shot plenty of visual approaches into Navy Land Bases and learned to use the "Meatball" visual guidance system without of course an LSO or com link. Having said that, could any of us landed on a carrier in an emergency situation?...Don't know the answer to that one !!

Thanks RW for your knowledgeable insight, very interesting, another question, did you have BLC on the USAF F4's ?
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RetiredWeasel
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:03 am

Quoting Max Q (Reply 12):
Thanks RW for your knowledgeable insight, very interesting, another question, did you have BLC on the USAF F4's ?

I was lucky enough to get into F-4E's after they modified the wings with LE slats. When they did that, the BLC was disconnected. In later model E's there was actually no mention of BLC. I eventually started flying F-4Gs which had the same wing as the E's. I know the D models had BLC. I have no idea what models of the Navy had BLC.
 
Max Q
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Tue Apr 12, 2016 8:11 am

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 13):
I was lucky enough to get into F-4E's after they modified the wings with LE slats. When they did that, the BLC was disconnected. In later model E's there was actually no mention of BLC. I eventually started flying F-4Gs which had the same wing as the E's. I know the D models had BLC. I have no idea what models of the Navy had BLC.

Thanks for the information and most of all, for your service.



Best wishes.
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kc135topboom
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:06 pm

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 11):
Oh, myself and other longtime Phantom drivers, shot plenty of visual approaches into Navy Land Bases and learned to use the "Meatball" visual guidance system without of course an LSO or com link. Having said that, could any of us landed on a carrier in an emergency situation?...Don't know the answer to that one !!

For a USAF F-4 in an emergency trying to get to a USN CV, I would think your best bet would be to fly along side of the carrier and punch out. The CV has a SAR capability and a rescue helio, or 2.

Trying to land by an unqualified USAF pilot on a CV with a pitching deck might be suicidal. The Navy is just going to push the USAF F-4 over board anyway, so might as well just bail out near the carrier.
 
RetiredWeasel
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Sun Apr 17, 2016 10:38 pm

Quoting kc135topboom (Reply 15):
The Navy is just going to push the USAF F-4 over board anyway, so might as well just bail out near the carrier.

Ya, easy to say, but have you ever heard the term "You can meet your Maker in a Martin Baker". It actually was a pretty good ejection seat, but most F-4 pilots never had a warm fuzzy about the 'Rube Goldberg' mechanism of the ejection seat process in that aircraft.
 
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 18, 2016 4:26 am

When I was in the Navy I remember seeing an illustration in Approach, I think, showing a USAF F-4 lining up to land on a carrier. It shows all the sailors jumping off the side of the boat.  
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angad84
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:17 am

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 16):
the 'Rube Goldberg' mechanism of the ejection seat process in that aircraft.

Do tell. What made it different?

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RetiredWeasel
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:09 pm

Quoting angad84 (Reply 18):
Do tell. What made it different?

The ejection mechanism in that seat had a series of events , which if anyone one of them failed then the ejection either failed or was severely degraded. Training and manual study was full of things like ".1 seconds later this happens, .3 seconds later this switch is activated, .8 seconds later this happens.......etc..etc". It was pretty much mechanical switching and that era technology.

Coming from T-38s or T-37s and into the F-4, the complexity of that seat seemed perplexing, but it worked ....ugh most of the time. We had "bail out!" branded in our brains since day one of pilot training and rightly so. Delays in ejection killed a lot of crews. But there was always those isolated cases where ejection may have not been the best decision.

The wildly hypothetical situation of an USAF fighter landing on a carrier doesn't really deserve any consideration but it's fun to think about it.
 
angad84
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 18, 2016 2:34 pm

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 19):

Thanks. Fun to talk about it though!

cheers
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AAR90
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RE: Air Force F4 On A Carrier

Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:41 pm

Quoting RetiredWeasel (Reply 19):
The wildly hypothetical situation of an USAF fighter landing on a carrier doesn't really deserve any consideration but it's fun to think about it.

Best comment so far. A fun discussion, but does anybody actually think the CO of a CVN is going to risk his ship and crew trying to pull off such a trick?
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