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Old Viper Tester

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About Old Viper Tester

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    Established Member

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  • Location
    Dayton OH USA
  • Interests
    Military flight test, R&D, and prototype aircraft.

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  1. Old Viper Tester

    Yankee seat extraction system

    I forgot about the Enforcers, yes they had them, too. I did an inspection visit to Piper to observe their flight test program in January 1984, when I took these images. You can see the extraction rocket standing up behind the headrest, canted slightly forward and the two exhaust nozzles at the top pointed slightly outward and clockwise when viewed from above. I don't think any one makes a Yankee escape system in any scale. Haven't a clue if you can get one or copy one from a 1/48th Skyraider kit. I know the Hasegawa 1/72 kit doesn't have any of this detail. Sven
  2. Old Viper Tester

    Yankee seat extraction system

    I've never worked with it. But very familiar with the Skyraider Yankee extraction configuration. A test pilot friend of mine had a variation of the extraction system installed in a Lear Fan prototype when they were doing high angle of attack testing. All sounded a bit crazy to me, but he actually briefed the workings of it at a Society of Experimental Test Pilots symposium in the early '80s. His description went something like this: Lear had taken two Yankee extraction rockets and mounted them in the doorway of the Lear Fan biz-jet (biz-prop?), for high alpha testing. The crew wore harnesses with an attachment point for the extraction cable that was connected to the rocket. The procedure was for the crew to leave their flight station, stand near the door, hook up the cables to their harnesses, blow the door, and be pulled clear of the aircraft by the extraction rockets. Whether the rockets automatically fired when the door was blown or they had to fire them manually, I don't recall. What amazes me more is that they are supposed to be doing all this while the aircraft is out of control. My other concern was, the doorway being rather small, someone was going to get a face full of rocket blast if this was ever used in anger. While he briefed this like there were going to be a pilot and co-pilot aboard for the testing, I would have expected that for something that the USAF would have classified as "high-risk" testing, that only one crewman would have been on board. If nothing else, if there were two people the risk of collision or entanglement of the extracted crew would have been another added risk. Wonder if they ever actually tested this rig? Stranger than truth? Sven
  3. Old Viper Tester

    F-15B, 77-0166, a little close formation

    Found the tracking camera image of the guns kill, 19 August 1982
  4. Old Viper Tester

    Another Presentation Eagle

    Exactly! Or at least that's what I originally thought as well. Life stuff just keeps getting in the way.
  5. This is another Strike Eagle built for the F-15 Program Office director upon his retirement. The aircraft itself is built out of the box, the cockpit bits left out and the canopy painted over to match similar desk models. There is a block of wood epoxied inside the keel to accept the brass pins of the acrylic stand and the fuselage filled with expanding foam to add some rigidity. Most of the stores come from Hasegawa weapon sets. I think all the markings are from the Revell kit, with the exception of the crew names below the windscreen. As was my practice, the pilot name was always the person receiving the model. The remaining names were usually co-workers. The acrylic stand is covered with cling film to avoid fingerprints until the model was presented. Panel lines were accented with a Paine's Grey oil wash applied over the ModelMaster enamels finish. We (the F-15 office) had just recently certified the Sniper targeting pod for carriage and. operation on the F-15E, so I had to put one on this model. The pod is my own resin casting, and it is slightly over-scale (didn't have time to try to make another master and mold). We had also just cleared a modification to add a satcom radio to the Strike, so I had to add that as well. I didn't add the radio components, but you'll notice there is a slightly raised square frame around the antenna location ahead of the windscreen. This is where we put the satcom antenna, replacing the ADF antenna. Only problem was the antenna aperture covering would start to delaminate at high speed. The quick fix, to get the mod out to the deployed OIF/OEF units, was to add a metal frame covering the edges and protecting them from the air flow. Simple but effective, and still out there today. The feedback from the crews was that it gave the Strike a little more character. I liked this kit enough that I bought one for myself, even though I normally only build 1/72 for my collection. I did keep a small stock on hand just in case I was asked for a model on short notice. Luckily, one of the local craft stores usually stocked this kit and often used to issue coupons for either 40 or 50 percent off one item, so the price was never too dear. Now that I've retired, I'll have to dispose of a couple of kits eventually - the calls asking me to provide a going away model have finally stopped. Thanks for looking, Sven
  6. F-15B, 77-0166, modified as the test bed for the Integrated Flight and Fire Control (IFFC) system. The IFFC tied the fire control system to the flight controls. In theory the system would automatically maneuver the aircraft to an "optimum" weapon employment position on a locked radar or targeting pod bogey (the pilots loved that idea) or it would provide steering cues in the HUD for the pilot to follow. The targeting pod used was an ATLIS pod. The system made news when '166 made a guns kill on a PQM-102 drone in what was essentially a head on engagement. A tracking camera caught a photo of '177 and the flaming drone in the same frame passing each other. Anyway, I got to do a formation proficiency flight with this jet in June 1983... The orange fixture over the missile launcher is the suspension rig for the ATLIS pod On a similar mission in 1985 The IFFC project emblem ... and some McAir images of the same jet Thanks for looking, Sven
  7. Old Viper Tester

    PhanCon at George AFB, March 1992

    F-15C 80-0009, 54th Tac Fighter Squadron from Elmendorf AFB F-15C 82-0025, 54th Tac Fighter Squadron from Elmendorf AFB F-4G 561st Fighter Squadron F-4G 69-7220, 190th Fighter Squadron, Idaho Air National Guard from Boise ANGB RF-4C 65-0823, 190th Fighter Squadron, Idaho Air National Guard from Boise ANGB RF-4C, 69-0357, 67th Recce Wing from Bergstrom AFB RF-4C, 67-0452, 3246th Test Wing from Eglin AFB RF-4C, 65-0854, 106th Tac Recce Squadron, Alabama Air National Guard, Birmingham ANGB F-4F, 72-1253 of JG72, supplementing WTD61 at Point Mugu for AIM-120 testing as part of the Improved Combat Efficiency upgrade program. F-4G 69-7208, 90th Fighter Squadron from Clark AB. These jets were actually being transferred to George AFB as Clark was, or was being, closed down and the 3rd Wing assets being re-distributed around the USAF. RF-4C 66-0423, 196th Tac Recce Squadron, California Air National Guard from March AFB RF-4C 63-7742, 196th Tac Recce Squadron, California Air National Guard from March AFB Thanks for looking, Sven
  8. Old Viper Tester

    Red Flag 90-5: 32nd Tac Fighter Squadron - added F-15D

    Sorry, but didn't make it to that one. Sven
  9. The 32nd Tac Fighter Squadron at Nellis AFB for Red Flag Exercise, July 1990. 79-0017 79-0018 79-0019 79-0023 79-0024 79-0033 81-0065 Thanks for looking, Sven
  10. Old Viper Tester

    It was wet...

    I was stationed in London June 1985 to June 1988. After my first four months, one of the tech guys in the office started keeping track (my luck was that bad. I forget the final numbers, but he concluded that my traveling and the chance of precipitation was "statistically significant". So I guess it was me.
  11. Old Viper Tester

    It was wet...

    Here you go... 68-0567 Sven
  12. Old Viper Tester

    It was wet...

    I don't usually post air show images, but while scanning more slides last week, this one brought back memories. When I was posted as an exchange officer to the Ministry of Defence (UK), it became a running joke that if the "The Yank" was going to an airshow (or on holiday) you should plan on indoor activities. We went camping through Cornwall and Wales, it rained. We did bed 'n' breakfast around Scotland (kids wanted to see Nessie), it rained. We went camping through Belgium and Germany, it rained - the roads to Garmish were terrible and we ended up staying a couple of days in visitors quarters at Ramstein to let our gear dry out. Went for a long weekend in Paris, it rained. You get the idea. Here we have an F-15C of the 22nd Tac Fighter Squadron on static at Lakenheath in July 1986. Scanning the slide of 80-0004 just brought the whole experience back to me. Even my Yorkshire office mate said he'd never seen anything like my experience. Go figure, Sven
  13. Old Viper Tester

    Presentation Strike Eagle

    A couple of reasons: - People who flew these jets would be seeing them - don't need them picking apart the inaccuracies or out-of-date configuration of the Revell cockpit. - Would have had to invest in crew figures. I could have recouped the cost for people in other divisions of the SPO, but I was paying for these myself when it came to people in the test division. - The painted over canopy matched the other "desk" models that one often sees around the offices from the museum gift shop or the Boeing store. - Going without the cockpit saved some time. A couple of years ago I packed up about ten sets of F-15E innards and sent them to a guy on one of these forums. I usually only model 1/72 and didn't need a bunch of 1/48 stuff adding to my clutter. I did do a cockpit on an F-4D for a program manager retiring out of Boeing a couple of years ago. He was an ex-POW and had been shot down in an F-4D. Couldn't believe Boeing couldn't come up with a Phantom model. Ended up doing the Monogram kit in the markings of the jet that was shot down. Test pilot from Boeing-St Louis calls me and says "I hear you build models...."
  14. Old Viper Tester

    Presentation Strike Eagle

    This post is a balk.
  15. Old Viper Tester

    Presentation Strike Eagle

    I took care of F-15 testing almost exclusively. I either budgeted for testing or recommended to program managers what to budget for testing - finance stuff was probably the worst part of the job. People in my office, in conjunction with McAir/Boeing, determined the required scope and schedule of testing for all of the F-15 upgrades. In recent years these were mostly software upgrades to the aircraft and, more importantly, the radar. Number of aircraft was pretty much up to Air Combat Command, and previous to that, Tactical Air Command. That's where all the negotiating took place between numbers of A-10s, F-15s, F-16s, F-22s, and most recently F-35s. They also determine how long these aircraft will remain in service. It's all one big trading game bounded by how much funding is expected each year. Not as exciting as it sounds. Being on the test side of things was great for an aircraft geek like myself to see what capabilities were being considered, what was actually bought, and then to see how it worked long before it went to the field. Still wasn't as exciting as actually executing the testing - that was between Boeing and the USAF test wing guys. I used to do that for F-16s and A-10s at Edwards AFB before coming to the SPO, but flying a desk is one of the draw backs of career progression. Being a glutton for punishment, and wanting stability for the family, when I retired from active duty, I came back to the same job as a civilian. As I used to tell my charges, it's rough when you find that all that you are qualified for is what you've been doing all along! Apologies for the blather of a reply, Sven