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Well, it was supposed to be a SLCM chase mission in 1992... that's a Submarine Launched Cruise Missile. We were going to chase a Tomahawk missile from an underwater launch position off the coast of California and chase it to impact on the Utah Test and Training Range. We were providing two NRF-4C chase aircraft and a "business effort" tanker to chase the Navy missile. The business effort tankers were temporarily at Edwards AFB for a week at a time to supplement the test center tanker.

 

On our way to the coast...

66-0384 6512ts ED R-2508 19920204 15cr

 

When we got to the designated launch position, we orbited waiting for a countdown from the Pacific Missile Test Range controller. Waiting... waiting... then we were notified that there was a delay and asked if we could hang around. We called the tanker in and began refueling...

 

66-0384 62-3524 PMTR 19920204cr

 

The tanker was from the 185th Aerial Refueling Squadron of the Oklahoma Air National Guard. On the boom and "in the green"...

66-0384 6512ts ED PMTR 19920204 27cr

 

'384 got a pressure disconnect trying to get as much fuel as he could...

66-0384 6512ts ED PMTR 19920204 25cr

 

Normally, the boom operator in the tanker would initiate the disconnect and stop the flow of fuel at the same time that the boom disconnected. That would result in just a little bit of fuel going into the air. With a pressure disconnect, the system detects an increase in fuel system pressure, indicating the receiving aircraft is full or that there is some kind of problem. The boom disconnects automatically, but there is still some excess fuel at the receiver, resulting in a spray of fuel as shown here. (How do I model that?)

 

In any event, the delay evolved into an aborted launch, so we headed home...

66-0384 6512ts 19920204 12cr

 

(Guess I should have flipped the image so that it looked like we were heading east.)

 

For USAF cruise missiles, we would normally have used the NF-4Es (ex-Thunderbirds). Those jets had missile flight termination equipment in case something went wrong with the missile flight profile. For the Navy missiles we only provided safety chase, presumable to watch for aerial traffic (which should have been cleared) and mark the position if it crashed en route to the range, so any pair of F-4s would do to provide observers and be able to take turns air refueling to cover the length of the flight profile.

 

Thanks for looking,

Sven

Edited by Old Viper Tester
added data, typos
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Many thanks Sven. An amazing bit of history. 

 

Now who does the decals? I am not a Phantom man per se, (I do humbly apologize :blush:), but that looks very tempting.

 

Christian, exiled to africa and lead astray again...

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10 hours ago, wyverns4 said:

Now who does the decals?

Don't know that any aftermarket decals are available. In 1/72 scale, this kit gets you the closest, but it is essentially an F-4E rather than an RF-4C:

00294

 All of the basic markings for any Edwards Albino Rhino are provided. The box top photo doesn't show them but the kit decal sheet provides the "ED" tail codes. They even have the red conspicuity panels. They don't provide the AF Systems Command shield, and since it's an F-4E kit, it doesn't have the warning triangles for the photoflash doors on the RF-4C aft fuselage. You'd still have to cobble up the serial numbers. Maybe a bit much if your not a Phantom Phanatic.

 

Cheers,

Sven

Edited by Old Viper Tester
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3 minutes ago, Old Viper Tester said:

Maybe a bit much if your not a Phantom Phanatic.

Is that legal? (not being a Phantom Phanatic, I mean) :D:D  :coat: 

 

Ciao

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Talk to Kursad at Caracal Decals or Jake Melampy at Speed Hunter Graphics. Those 2 guys are probably your best bet (I'd start with Jake as he does more F-4 sheets) in getting a set of Edward F-4's accurately produced.

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On 2/21/2018 at 9:32 PM, Old Viper Tester said:

but there is still some excess fuel at the receiver, resulting in a spray of fuel as shown here. (How do I model that?)

Just some thoughts but If i were going to model that I’d build a mini wind tunnel. Then i would pump in some form of smoke/misting material through the boom to simulate the fuel. Then just recirculate it using a duct of some kind. In the end its possible not cheap but possible.  

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10 hours ago, Corsairfoxfouruncle said:

I’d build a mini wind tunnel. Then i would pump in some form of smoke/misting material through the boom to simulate the fuel.

Yeah, that's not going to happen :) I'm still stuck on how to suspend a 1/72 F-4 from a refueling boom without a lot of bracing. Maybe the wind tunnel airflow would help support the Phantom if the whole thing enclosed the NKC-135E as well? Hmmmm...

 

If I ever get that far, some cotton wisps may have to do.

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Actually I was thinking the boom itself was doing both the suspension, and fuel flow. My original thought was to use a a thick piece of wire rod, say the same size as a coat hanger. You could run that up either inside the hollow tube or attached directly in front of it(underneath). You could then run the wire inside the phantom and suspend it from the boom. However now that i think about it you would still have a single contact point. Which could result in a swivel, I see your point. 😕

 

Dennis

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