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Phantom FGR2 reconnaissance fit


Mr T
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I am building a Phantom FGR2 for the GB and intend doing an aircraft from 41 Sqn. I would like to fit the EMI recon pod, but does anyone have an idea of what else it would normally carry. The few non publicity photos seem to show Sparrows and drop tanks and not much else if carrying the pod, which I assume makes sense for recce sorties. Was the intention to   carry other ordnance to attack targets of opportunity? I know 41 was tasked for both reconnaissance and attack, but at the same time? 

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16 minutes ago, Mr T said:

I am building a Phantom FGR2 for the GB and intend doing an aircraft from 41 Sqn. I would like to fit the EMI recon pod, but does anyone have an idea of what else it would normally carry. The few

non publicity photos seem to show Sparrows and drop tanks and not much else if carrying the pod, which I assume makes sense for recce sorties. Was the intention to   carry other ordnance to attack targets of opportunity? I know 41 was tasked for both reconnaissance and attack, but at the same time? 

 

Oddly enough I posted a query about a mystery item (well, a mystery to me) on XV463 of 41 Sqn a couple of days ago:

 

and was referred to this thread:

Cheers

 

Simon

 

 

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In Richard Ward's book "Phantom Squadrons of the RAF and FAA" there are shots of F-4s with the pod as follows:

 

 XV407 41 squadron, EMI recon pod, 4 white sparrows, 8 BL755 cluster bombs (2 each on the inner and outer wing pylons. (probable publicity picture) (in flight)

 

XV495 (with sharkmouth) 41 squadron, EMI recon pod bare outer wing pylons, inner pylons each with 2x 500 pounders and blue ballast sparrows on the forward missile bays

 

XV437 54 squadron, EMI pod, outer wing tanks, 2 Sneb rockets pods on each inner pylon, white sparrows in the rear and blue ballast shapes in the front bays. (probable publicity shot) (in flight)

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Thanks for that, serves me right for not looking at other threads properly. From what is on those threads, it appears that there was a variety fits flown, including just pods tanks and Sparrows. Going to have to rob my Airfix kit for its recce pod by the looks of things. I might scratch build  the flash pod, I don't think it will be beyond me. Might have a look at my 'Skywatch' video to see what the 2 Sqn Phantoms were carrying in 1974.

Thanks for the answers, a bit of food for thought

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I find it hard to believe a jet tasked with getting valuable recon pictures would have a secondary bombing/ground attack mission. Risking such an aircraft would be unlikely especially based on the limited number of pods the RAF had available.

Here is a 111sqn machine I made in 2015 with a photo flash pod converted from a standard drop tank, just like the real thing. Note the cooling intake on the top rear.

 

IMG_9841 (2)

 

IMG_0288

 

Colin

 

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Hi Andre

It's a Hasegawa 1/48 FGR2.

The kit Recon pod is too small so didnt get close enough to the ground to be realistic, I added a sheet of 0.040' card into the horizontal join before assembling it. 

 

Colin

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21 hours ago, Colin W said:

I find it hard to believe a jet tasked with getting valuable recon pictures would have a secondary bombing/ground attack mission. Risking such an aircraft would be unlikely especially based on the limited number of pods the RAF had available.

Here is a 111sqn machine I made in 2015 with a photo flash pod converted from a standard drop tank, just like the real thing. Note the cooling intake on the top rear.

 

 

 

 

 

Colin

 

Colin, I think you are right in that it would be unlikely to carry out a joint strike/recon mission. Whether or not a recon mission would be carried out with sparrows (or sidewinders) for self defence is another question. On another note I'm not sure how many pods the RAF had - almost certainly not enough for every a/c in 2 and 41 squadrons - and I seem to remember a discussion about how many a/c were wired to carry them anyway.

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1 hour ago, iainpeden said:

Whether or not a recon mission would be carried out with sparrows (or sidewinders) for self defence is another question.

One explanation I've heard going around is that fitting AAM's to recce jets were considered by the top brass to be liable to tempt the average red blooded jet pilot to go for the air to air kill, forsaking bringing the photos back.

 

YMMV.

 

Cheers,

 

Andre

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A bit of further study came up with the information that 2 and 41 Squadrons had recce as their primary role and a secondary ground attack role, presumably for when the Warpac steamroller was near the end of the runway. The training film 'Oversight' that has a date of December 1976 on it but obviously filmed during that long, hot summer and centred on 41 practising air to ground stuff. The 'new' 41 Sqn was working up on Jaguars from August apparently. 

I think some self defence capability would have been kept as the Meteors, Swifts and Hunters were all armed and although not expected to look for trouble, were expected to look after themselves if no other option presented itself. 

I think just a recon fit, tanks and Sparrows for mine. I have a few more kits I can try different fits and colour schemes on. 

Thanks Colin for the pics of your model, the pod pictures are most useful. 

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As both squadrons had a primary recce role and secondary ground attack role, they weren't at war, and flying would have been training exercises, would it be possible that a training mission could have been dual role and had a load out to reflect this?

Take off, pop over to the range and drop some practice bombs/fire a few rockets, then low level nav exercise, find target and take some snaps to bring back home?

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As I posted earlier there are shots of them with pods, sparrows (live and ballast) and bombs (live and practice) fitted in flight  so there're a number of possibilities to add some additional variation in colour. I haven't found any pics with the recon pod fitted alongside sidewinders though.

As for the practice strike on the range - if it happened it would have been accompanied by very clear instructions to double check the switches and not send the, expensive, recon pod through the target.

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On the 19 March 1975, a small Evaluation exercise was held at RAF Wittering, by staff from JARIC at RAF Brampton, in order to test the ability of the base's small JARIC detachment to handle recce material from other Units apart from the based 1(F) Sqdn and 233 OCU.

The scenario was that RAF Laarbruch was under threat from the advancing Soviet forces and that the resident Units were to perform a Survival Scramble and deploy to pre-arranged FOB sites in the UK.  Two aircraft from 2 Sqdn, Phantom FGR.2's, were tasked to carry out last minute recce over the area before deploying.

The two aircraft involved were XV499/I and XV475/Y and for the sake of reality for both the aircrew and Wittering's ground crew, they were rolled in what would have been their configuration had hostilities broken out for real.

It was an interesting configuration and one that I had not seen on Phantoms before or for that matter, since.

Both aircraft carried the now well known "flash tanks" on the port outer pylons with a standard Fletcher tank on the opposite mainplane.  An empty LAU-17A missile pylon was carried on the Port inboard station on both aircraft but with no AIM-9 rails.  NO missile pylon was carried on the Starboard inboard station on either aircraft.  XV475/Y, however. carried a Srike camera in the port forward AIM-7 bay but with the lens blanked off and the rear AIM-7 bays were empty.

An EMI recce pod, the subject of the exercise, was carried by both aircraft. 

 

 

Attached are a few of the shots I got that day.  Apologies for the quality but the weather was much darker than shown, cold, windy and certainly not for a "hangar-rat" like me.

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HTH

Dennis

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Thanks, Dennis, those are fantastic photos and very useful for details of the flash pod. The background story is very interesting as well. There is just something so right about the RAF fighters and strike aircraft of the 70s and 80s in the Grey and green scheme. Partly because there were so many of them compared to today. Apparently the Sparrow improved the aerodynamics on the underside of the aircraft, and so I wonder if the big pod made a difference that made the missile shapes redundant, or was part of the exercise to get the aircraft away from the airfield as quickly as possible?

Good stuff and shows the best of Britmodeller and its members. thanks again.

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