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

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  1. Old Viper Tester

    Cylon One

    VA-127 TA-4F Scooter BuNo 153683 As Squadron CO jet, AKA Cylon One, Nellis AFB, January 1981 Edwards AFB visiting USAF Test Pilot School, October 1981. Modex changed (no longer Cylon One) and a replacement canopy fitted. Thanks for looking, Sven
  2. Old Viper Tester

    Red Flag 85-2: 336TFS

    336th Tac Fighter Squadron, "Rocketeers" at Nellis AFB for Red Flag 85-2 large force exercise, February 1985. 72-1479 72-1490 73-1186 74-1039 74-1061 74-1621 74-1629 74-1631 74-1649, squadron commander's bird with inert GBU-12 laser guided bomb 74-1665 Thanks for looking, Sven
  3. Old Viper Tester

    Gunsmoke 1981 - 93TFS

    Unfortunately, no.
  4. Old Viper Tester

    Green Flag 81-3: 12th Tac Recce Squadron

    I posted this same article on a Facebook F-4 group and asked for clarification of my recollection. Someone who was flying with the 12th at the time responded with this: "71-0250 crashed 16 April 1981 (Johnson/Gholson) and 68-0611 (Vaeth/Heidemann) the next day. Four fine men from 12th TRS died. Both aircraft had mechanical failures at low altitude. Ejections too low." I never did see the mishap board report, by that June I had been posted from Nellis to Edwards and was immediately immersed in the T-38 and A-37 with the Test Pilot School. Haven't been able to find anything authoritative on line. There are some sources on the net that say '611 was written off at Tyndall AFB on 17 April and I know that can't be right since '611 was on the other side of the country at the time. Sven
  5. 12th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron out of Bergstrom AFB at Nellis for Green Flag 81-3, April 1981. This was a tragic deployment for the 12th. 71-0250 crashed on the Nellis training ranges on 16 April with the loss of both crewmen. Two days later, 68-0611 also crashed on the range killing both crew. The squadron stood down and departed for Bergstrom in the following days. 68-0609 68-0611 69-0378 72-0147 71-0250 Thanks for looking, Sven
  6. Old Viper Tester

    Red Flag 83-2: 335th Tac Fighter Squadron

    I really have no idea. Maybe the two jets landed at Pt Mugu and got zapped by the Antarctic research support squadron, VXE-6??
  7. The "Chiefs" of the 335TFS at Nellis AFB for Red Flag Exercise, January 1983. 72-0128 72-0136 What's that marking on the intake ramp? See 73-1164 below... 72-0141 73-1163 73-1164 Zap on the right side intake ramp 73-1165 73-1176 73-1183 73-1189 73-1196 74-1644, squadron commander's bird. The crew: Chief Smoking Gun and Clueless 74-1645 74-1666 Thanks for looking, Sven
  8. Old Viper Tester

    Red Flag 81-4 - 118th Tac Fighter Squadron

    I have no doubt that the airbrakes (for a Hog I wouldn't call them speed brakes) could be left open when parked, but why would you? The two jets above are taxiing into their parking spots. In this case, whether or not they closed them once they were chocked and shutting down? Couldn't tell you (my memory is not that good!). Cheers
  9. Hogs of the 118TFS, Connecticut Air National Guard at Nellis AFB for Red Flag Exercise, June 1981. 78-0586 78-0619 78-0641 78-0643 Thanks for looking, Sven
  10. Old Viper Tester

    USAF F-5 Aggressors Part 6

    F-5E adversaries with the 527th Aggressor Squadron, RAF Alconbury, 1986-87. 74-1532 74-1534 74-1544 74-1545 74-1549 74-1553 A bit fuzzy, but a decent study of the camo scheme... 74-1554 74-1560 74-1566 Thanks for looking, Sven
  11. Old Viper Tester

    F-4E 73-1175 422FWS

    As far as I know, it was the only one that used two pylons. The newer Secapem TANAX version holds the target pod and the towline inside a larger pod - target deployment looks a little like the parent pod is giving birth. Yes, it started to show up on newer replacement radomes in the mid-70s. A variation is used on F-15 radomes, maybe that's where the idea came from. When the radome is first fitted the difference in color/texture is hardly noticeable. Weathering makes them more noticeable on both the F-4s and F-15s - some but not all, so maybe it depends on the prevalent weather conditions? On some of my photos I can see a demarcation line, but the color variation is slight or non-existent. On F-15s we sometimes referred to it as an erosion boot.
  12. Old Viper Tester

    F-4E 73-1175 422FWS

    My recollection is that it was 1,000 feet when packed. It stretched quite a bit when deployed. For reference, the cable for the TDU-10 dart was (is?) 1,200 to 1,500 feet. We tested the AGTS using Combat Dart and Butterfly Dart patterns, which result in relatively high-angle engagements; the tow aircraft establishing a turn and the shooter shooting from inside the tow aircraft arc. Poor form if you shoot from outside the arc and hit the tow aircraft!
  13. Old Viper Tester

    F-4E 73-1175 422FWS

    F-4E 73-1175, 422nd Fighter Weapons Squadron, 57FWW, Tactical Fighter Weapons Center, Nellis AFB, 1980-81. My test jet for the First Article Acceptance Test of the Aerial Gunnery Target System, a version of the SECAPEM target. Despite the checkout shown below, and my request to do a ground release test ("We don't do that in operational testing."), our first deployment of the target was an ignominious event with both the target and the tow pod dropping from the aircraft and impacting on Dog Bone Dry Lake on the Nellis Ranges! The A/A37U-33 AGTS consisted of two separate pods. One pod contained the nylon towline and served as the towline connection to the aircraft. The smaller target pod contained a fabric mesh "tetraplane" for visual augmentation, which would deploy when the towline was fully extended, and a microphone on the nose for scoring miss distance as the shockwaves of the bullets passed the target. A control panel for the target replaced the ECM pod control panel in the cockpit. The tetraplane had a radar reflector to aid tracking by the shooter. The image below is a screen shot from a SECAPEM marketing video for the TAXAN system, a current version of the AGTS, showing the tetraplane target (very similar to the 1980 target). Thanks for looking, Sven
  14. Old Viper Tester

    Gunsmoke 1981 - 93TFS

    I've never heard of a Best Aircraft competition at Gunsmoke. Many units used to tart up their jets just for the exercise: A-10s with chromed cannon shrouds, F-4s with chromed tips on their external fuel tanks, and F-16s with special team tail art being the most obvious.
  15. Old Viper Tester

    Gunsmoke 1981 - 93TFS

    Air Force Reserve 93rd Tac Fighter Squadron at the Gunsmoke air-to-ground competition September 1981, Nellis AFB. 63-7413 63-7500 63-7711 64-0655 64-0796 Thanks for looking, Sven