Sunday, March 14, 2010

More Museum of Aviation

To start off, a F4 Phantom. Note that this one has a M61 Vulcan 20mm gun pod mounted under the right wing, as the F4 was the first US fighter to be manufactured without an on board gun.

Here we have one of the weirdest looking planes ever, the F-104 Starfighter. It certainly must have the smallest wings. They are extremely thin and unlike most fighters of its day, not in the swept or delta shape, but rather, a trapezoid. The F-104 was used in Vietnam as a air superiority fighter, but apparently was not very successful or well liked by its pilots.

Here we have a C-130 Hercules, which is pretty much the most useful transport aircraft ever designed. More than 2,262 have been produced and they are in the service of at least 40 or 50 nations. They first flew in 1954 and will likely be a major component of military airlift for at least another 25 or 30 years, perhaps many more. The C-130 is a very rugged aircraft and can land on very short and poorly maintained airstrips if there is a need. There are even versions with skis that they use to fly to scientific bases in Antarctica. It fulfills all sorts of roles, from general cargo airlift to paratrooper transport to electronic warfare (EC-130H Compass Call), to aerial refueling, to transporting light armor like the Marine Corps' LAV III and the Army's Stryker. Crazy folks in the Air Force even fly the C-130 into hurricanes to gather atmospheric data. If you are sitting there thinking he left out the AC-130 Gunship, scroll down.

This is an older version of the gunship, an AC-130A. The Gatling guns, both 7.62mm and 20mm, were removed, likely to be transferred to another aircraft, but the Bofors 40mm guns were still mounted.

This is the big one folks. The B-52 Stratofortress. Oddly enough, it did not seem as big as I had imagined it. But it is still seriously big.

And to end, another F4, this one has two Red Stars for two MiG kills over Vietnam.

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