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Patrick Martin

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About Patrick Martin

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    Military aircraft - anything without 'strings'

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  1. USAF and USN tail codes are un-related. SH In 1973 the 465 TFS recoded SH from the UC. Squadron F-105 carried a blue tail stripe outlined in white. Squadron F-105D assets reassigned to the 466 (HI at Hill AFB) and replaced by F-4D. On reequipping with F-16A/B markings changed to a black tail stripe with squadron crest centred. Patrick Martin
  2. To aid both aerial and surface identification a system of unit identification was developed based on two letters of the alphabet. There has been a long running debate on which wing within PACAF started placing tail codes on aircraft. The first theory concerns the 8 Tactical Fighter Wing based at Ubon RTAFB. In this system the wing adopted a common first letter F, followed by a second varying letter allocated to squadrons. While late in 1966 is generally accepted as the starting period of tail codes, the first documented 8 TFW sighting is in January 1967, on an F-4C of the 433 TFS. The initial 8 TFW coded units noted flying the F-4C were: FG 433 TFS F-4C (F-4D arrived 7/67; re 4 TFS 33 TFW) FP 497 TFS F-4C FY 555 TFS F-4C (F-4D arrived 5/67; re 40 TFS 33 TFW) The second claim is the 366 TFW based at Da Nang AB, RSVN with F-4C, by spring 1967. The first letter represented the squadron, and the second an individual aircraft. This system continued through conversion to F-4D in early 1968. Late in 1969 the 390 TFS recoded LF while the 480 and 389 TFS transferring to the 37 TFW at Phu Cat AB, RSVN and adopted HB and HK tail codes in June and April 1969, ending the system. This allowed for 26 different tail codes per squadron, or 78 within a three squadron wing. Thus possible tail codes: AA to AZ 389 TFS BA to BZ 390 TFS CA to CZ 480 TFS The third claim is the 12 TFW at Cam Ranh Bay AB, with the same system adopted as the 8 TFW. Codes were applied to at least some F-4C by December 1966. Initial coded within the 12 TFW units: XC 557 TFS F-4C XD 558 TFS F-4C XN 559 TFS F-4C XT 391 TFS F-4C Patrick Martin
  3. You could always spray an inch or so of the wing tip to see how it looks.... PM
  4. The former F-100 equipped 20 Tactical Fighter Wing transferred to RAF Upper Heyford from RAF Weathersfield during April 1970. The three components, 55, 77 and 79 TFS converted to the F-111E, transferred from Cannon AFB starting on 12/9/70. Tail coding of swing-wing fighters began in October 1970 with US, UT and UR tail codes. The US tail code was never applied before wing codes changed to JS, JT and JR, due to undesirability of the US tail code. A second oddity within the 20 TFW, is the non-numeric assignment of tail codes (ie R, S and T for 55, 77 and 79). Under AFM66-1 concept the 20 TFW adopted the UH tail code during July and August 1972. Patrick Martin
  5. I have heard first hand off a USAF strip that had been overrun by the 'northern' forces. PM
  6. Read the fourth posting on the topic on why TJ was an exception - lots has changed since 1991. With the April 1972 change - the reasons for the second letter changed. As a result, the single two-letter tail code now designated entire wing. This new common wing tail code, usually already used within the wing, applied during the later half of 1972. The initial wing code assignment noted as: AR 10 TRW 1, 30, 32 TRS RAF Alconbury BT 36 TFW 22, 53, 525 TFS Bitburg AB, Germany HR 50 TFW 10, 313, 496 TFS Hahn AB, Germany LK 48 TFW 492, 493, 493 TFS RAF Lakenheath RS 26 TRW 38 TRS, 526 TFS Ramstein AB, Germany SP 52 TFW 23, TFS, 39 TEWS Spangdahlem AB, Germany TJ 401 TFW 612, 613, 614 TFS Torrejon AB, Spain UH 20 TFW 55, 77, 79 TFS RAF Upper Heyford WR 81 TFW 78, 91, 92 TFS RAF Bentwaters ZR 86 TFW 17 TRS Zweibrucken AB, Germany The 48 TFW started with the LK tail code, before switching to LN during F-4D conversion. In January 1973 several inter wing changes occurred including the 26 TRW and 86 TFW switched bases and tail codes RS and ZR. The 32 TFS maintained the CR tail code after AFM66-1. Patrick Martin - Tail Code
  7. During 1970 the USAFE emulated the PACAF standard tail code system. The first letter of the tail code represented the wing, usually duplicating the parent base name. The second letter designated the squadron. The letters R, S, T, U and V designated within USAFE to avoid duplication of majority tail codes utilized by TAC and PACAF units. for example: A - AR, AS, AT 1, 30, 32 TRS 10 TFW RAF Alconbury L - LR, LS, LT 492, 493, 494 TFS 48 TFW RAF Lakenheath There were two exceptions to R, S, T, U and V system. First, the 401 TFW using J, K and L as second letters. This due to the TS and TT tail codes in prior usage by the 22 and 602 SOS. On the first of April 1972, the tail code system changed with USAFE with the implementation of AFM66-1, wing maintenance concept. As a result, the single two-letter tail code now designated entire wing. The 48 TFW started with the LK tail code, before switching to LN during F-4D conversion. There is a book on all of this.... Tail Code - United States Air Force - Distinctive Unit Aircraft Identification Markings there was also a USN/USMC book - Hook Code PM
  8. A little off topic ... but has anyone seen a photo of how the gun bays on the OV-10A Bronco open? Was thinking of opening one up to exposed the guns and ammo... PM
  9. Given that Telford is off, then maybe Airfix could tell us when they will announce 2021 releases? pm
  10. Just a bit off track, but I have looked around, but on the real thing, has anyone seen panels open on the port side front fuselage? I have the resin bits for the starboard - but what is under the panels on the starboard? PM
  11. Patrick Martin


    The real big modelling difference is the glass on the port side. PM
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