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Everything posted by canberraman

  1. A magnificent feat of modelling with a terrific diorama to match! Well done and thanks for sharing. Mark
  2. A fantastic pair of De Havilland's finest. Nice clean builds with excellent finishes. bet you're pleased with 'em! Mark
  3. A superb build and from the finish, hard to believe its brush painted. Well done! Mark
  4. The more the merrier! Thanks Tony for these fabulous additions. Anyone else, feel free to add to. Mark
  5. Many thanks, I'd forgotten how good Lakenheath approach can be and with SF F-15s also present plus the newly delivered F-35s, I reckon another trip soon is in order Mark
  6. Many thanks Mike! It sure is hard to believe the Eagle has been around so long but its place in aviation history is guaranteed from the number of preserved examples out there. Mark
  7. A lovely selection of shots Latinbear from a variety of locations. Shame the weather didn't completely play ball but at least it gives us excuses to get back out there again! Mark
  8. Thanks Lord Riot! You are correct that the F-15E equipped 492 and 494 FS will retain the Strike Eagle for the foreseeable future. The 48th will become a mixed Fighter Wing with two sqns each of F-35s and F-15Es. Although it will lack a dedicated superiority fighter, the F-15E still has a formidable multi role capability. Perhaps one day USAFE may introduce the new F-15 variant to the European stage?
  9. Richard I believe so. I think a matt finish would have been preferable. Mark
  10. Hi Latinbear I walked up to the forest entrance at about 8am and hung around in the field until 1100 by when my fingers and toes were numb with the cold! Like you I had set off in the expectation of wall to wall sunshine for most of the day, and was very disappointed to see the banks of cloud rolling in from the west by mid morning. As there had been no further launches by 1100, I decided to call it a day and only later found out that numerous F15Es including the SJs had flown that afternoon. I will just have to return on another day when hopefully the met forecasters have got it more accurate Thanks for the nice comments btw! Mark
  11. With its disbandment as the last USAFE F-15C squadron in Europe drawing closer, the 493rd FS at RAF Lakenheath recently applied special anniversary markings to aircraft 86-0172. These markings commemorate 45 years of the F-15A/D/C/D in Europe during which time the type flew from Bitburg and Spangdahlem ABs in Germany, Soesterberg in the Netherlands and since the mid 1990s, at RAF Lakenheath. If is however not the end for the 493 FS 'Grim Reapers' as the squadron is earmarked to eventually receive the new F-35A with which it will re-equip along with the 495th FS 'Valkyries' as part of the 48th FW at Lakenheath. These images were shot at a bitterly cold Lakenheath on 21 January. Hope they are of interest. Mark
  12. Thank you everyone for the supportive comments and likes. In the next instalment I will feature the 493 FS anniversary jet ahead of the squadron disbandment in the next couple of months. Mark
  13. Andre, that ex Soesterberg bird looks immaculate. Think I may have to add that museum to my 'to do' list! Mark
  14. The McDD/Boeing F-15 Eagle air superiority variant (A/B/C/D), is without doubt the most successful Western combat aircraft of the last 50 years, being responsible for over 100 air-to-air kills in numerous conflicts, (over half by the Israeli Defence Force), all without loss. Sadly, the end of the F15 fighter in US service is looming, and by March 2022 it is understood that USAFE will have withdrawn the type from RAF Lakenheath, where the 48 FW/493 FS is the last USAF sqn in the European theatre still operating the type, 45 years after it was introduced. (The 493 FS will re emerge at Lakenheath in due course after re-equipping with the F-35A). Also, there are no plans to retire the later and more advanced F-15E Strike Eagle variant which remains a potent USAF long range strike platform, with which the 492 and 494 FS are equipped at Lakenheath. As of Jan 2022, the US had nine F-15C/D squadrons still active - three in the USAF and six in the Air National Guard. Two of the Air Force squadrons are based in Japan, with a third based in Britain. Air National Guard squadrons are all based on American soil. The USAF intends to retire two squadrons of F-15C/D fighters, among the oldest in its inventory, in Fiscal Year 2022. The Eagle has been in service since 1976, and Cold War era variants of the jet have remained active long after their planned retirement date due to issues with the replacement program, the F-22 Raptor, which led to 75% of Raptor orders being cancelled. With the F-22 program seeing orders to terminate production given less than four years after it entered service, and the fighter effectively failing to serve as a viable replacement to the F-15, the Air Force is now expected to replace its old Eagles with a newer version of the F-15 that is in production today - the F-15EX. While the F-15C/D has a formidable range and flight performance, only a portion of the fleet have been upgraded with modern sensors and avionics. Maintenance costs are also increasing for the ageing airframes which have increasingly suffered from metal fatigue. The aircraft are increasingly seen to be outmatched by rival fighters, including not only other heavyweights such as the Russian Su-30SM, but also advanced lightweight jets such as the Chinese J-10 which the U.S. Congress, among others, has warned could outperform the Eagles in the air. Most surprisingly, at least 57 retired ex USAF Eagles currently remain on display or preserved around the globe, including two here in the UK. In this photo essay I will highlight those examples that my good friend Stewart Dempster and I have photographed on our travels during the last 15 years or so. AMARG at Davis Monthan AFB in the Tucson desert, is where most of the retired Eagles were sent, or will be, to meet their fate after retirement from active service. F-15A 76-0020 wearing the colours of the 5th FIS seen outside the American Air Museum at IWM Duxford. F-15A 74-0131 on display at the Wings of Liberty Memorial Air Park at RAF Lakenheath, painted to resemble an F-15C of the based 493d FS. A further two ex US Eagles are preserved in Germany. This photo is of F-15A 74-0109 on display outside the Auto Technik Museum at Speyer (photo courtesy S Dempster) At Spangdahlem AB, F-15A 74-0085 is one of two preserved aircraft that guard the entrance. It wears the markings of the 52 FW/53 FS, the F-15 sqn formerly assigned to the base. (S Dempster). This 2010 photo is of F-15A 76-0037, on display at Holloman AFB New Mexico, wearing the unit markings of the 49th TFW when the type was resident there. (S Dempster) F-15A 76-0110, marked to represent F-15C 86-0177, and in the markings of the 366th TFW at Mountain Home AFB Idaho. (S Dempster) F-15A 76-0008 at March Field Air Museum near Riverside California and photographed in 2014. This aircraft was rescued from the Sheppard AFB Training Center, hence the ST tail code. (S Dempster) F-15A 71-0285, mounted in a rather unusual manner, and preserved at the Boeing Avionic Antenna Laboratory at St Charles, Missouri. (S Dempster) F-15A 75-0055, displayed at Langley AFB Virginia, and wearing the markings of the resident 1st Fighter Wing (S Dempster) Also displayed at Langley is this early prototype YF-15A 71-0281 (S Dempster) F-15A 76-0042, on display in front of an impressive building at the USAF Academy at Colorado Springs, Colorado.. wearing the TY tail code of the 325th FW at Tyndall AFB Fl. (S Dempster) F-15A 75-0065, wearing 5th FIS unit markings, and displayed at Minot ABB North Dakota (S Dempster) F-15B trainer variant, 77-0159, preserved at Volk Field Museum Wisconsin. In this 2018 image, the aircraft wears the marks of the 122 FS Louisiana ANG. (S Dempster) F-15A 76-0108 seen in 2012, marked as F-15C 85-0114 of the 33rd FW at Eglin AFB, one of numerous preserved aircraft at Lackland/Kelly AFB Tx. F-15A 74-0119 at Castle Air Museum Atwater, Ca, when seen in 2016, and wearing the FF tail code of the 1st FW at Langley. Sun bleached F-15A 74-0118 seen at the impressive Pima Air Museum at Tucson in 2012, wearing the unit markings of the 325th FW at Tyndall. F-15A 77-0170 in the markings of the Hawaii ANG, one of the exhibits in 'celebrity row' at AMARG, Davis-Monthan AFB Az, shot in 2012. F-15B 73-0108, in the TAC 1 scheme, and photographed at Luke AFB Az. in 2014. F-15A 77-0146 on public display at the Veterans Park, Callaway Fl. seen in 2017, marked with the TY Tyndall tailcode of the 325th FW. F-15A 74-0124 on display at the Air Force Armament Museum at Eglin AFB Fl, and marked as the CAG aircraft of the 33rd FW. F-15A 75-0043 seen on display near Warner-Robins AFB Georgia in 2017. The aircraft wears the GA tail code of the Georgia ANG. Hope these pictures are of interest. C&C always welcome. Mark
  15. Lovely stuff, but shame they lack unit markings. Nice catch btw. Mark
  16. A thing of beauty Tony, and from the detail on show here its hard to believe its not 1/72. It's strange that this important British transport type has not been better served by the world's kit manufacturers but we live in hope of a 1/72 IM release one day. I too am just about old enough to remember the type droning around the approaches to RAF Abingdon. Mark
  17. Not sure that that is necessarily true. The P-8 is an in service and successful aircraft with the USN, for which as an overseas customer we are buying off the shelf. The problems usually set in when we change the spec, look for add ons, or replace some of the US kit with home produced bits. In this case the P-8 is virtually identical to the US Navy platform and the price quoted by the manufacturer should have been a fixed cost. Mark
  18. Sublime! A lovely Chippy in my favorite colour scheme for the type. Nice base too. Mark
  19. A quite delightful build of a type and variant that the big kit companies have strangely omitted over the year. Well done, she looks great! Mark
  20. Another beautiful addition to your growing collection of Raspberry Ripple liveried UK test types. Very eye catching all! Mark
  21. That is fabulous! You did incredibly well with the masking and the finish knowing how difficult these colours can be to get right. I built the S&M resin C1 a few years back but like others, would dearly love to see an injection moulded kit. How about it Mikromir? Mark
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