Visiting a great lady

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Visiting a great lady

Joined: February 27th, 2005, 8:37 pm

May 4th, 2012, 8:48 pm #1

Hello:

I don't mean for the following to sound silly, but I thought fellow airplane enthusiasts and pilots might understand.

Mr. Jung's excellent 1/48 Hasegawa F-4B is one of my favorite jets. There's just something about VF-51's supersonic can opener paint scheme. It's one of the best "Hi-Viz" schemes. There is a famous painting at the Naval Air Museum of a VF-51 Phantom shooting a missile at a MiG viewed from a rear quarter of the F-4B. To this day, I get excited when I see that painting. I first saw it when I was 9.

As the years passed, I became more familiar with the Vietnam air war and realized this painting portrayed a MiG killer. Mr. Jung's F-4B model is a MiG killer too and might be the same jet portrayed in that painting. Profiles of #113 can be seen in Squadron books, and I am proud to have decals for this jet somewhere in my stash.

Try to imagine my excitement during my last visit to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola several years ago when, after checking on the Mariner's progress, I saw VF-51's F-4B #113 parked on the tarmac still looking eager to fly and shoot MiGs. She still had her supersonic can opener scheme. She looked very weathered and faded, but still looked intimidating and commanded respect - as only a Phantom can.

I couldn't help myself! Like the boy in "Empire of the Sun" I walked up to #113 and put my hand on her nose cone. I proceeded to preflight her sadly noting how much work she needed. Nevertheless, I imagined getting ready to fly her from Yankee Station. I want to think I felt "Phantom Power" for a moment, and I couldn't help thinking "if this jet could talk ..." I think this was Mr. McKeown's jet. I touched an actual part of history that afternoon.

My sentimental journey was worth the chiding I got when a museum employee yelled I wasn't authorized to be out there by myself. I was told to take the bus tour which had a supposedly former Navy pilot telling tourists how the F-14 fired Genie missiles. I felt very embarrassed for him.

That's my one moment with a great lady. I'll never forget her.








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Joined: February 21st, 2007, 3:57 am

May 4th, 2012, 10:04 pm #2

I was at the U.S. Air Force Museum a few years back and was marveling at the smooth finish on the X-15. I couldn't help running my hands across the fuselage when I was admonished by a docent to not touch the aircraft in order to "preserve them for future generations." I replied that if Mach 3+ airspeeds and altitudes in excess of 100,000 feet hadn't damaged it, my hands certainly won't.
Last edited by gingersdad on May 4th, 2012, 10:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: October 28th, 2010, 10:46 pm

May 5th, 2012, 1:21 am #3

Hello:

I don't mean for the following to sound silly, but I thought fellow airplane enthusiasts and pilots might understand.

Mr. Jung's excellent 1/48 Hasegawa F-4B is one of my favorite jets. There's just something about VF-51's supersonic can opener paint scheme. It's one of the best "Hi-Viz" schemes. There is a famous painting at the Naval Air Museum of a VF-51 Phantom shooting a missile at a MiG viewed from a rear quarter of the F-4B. To this day, I get excited when I see that painting. I first saw it when I was 9.

As the years passed, I became more familiar with the Vietnam air war and realized this painting portrayed a MiG killer. Mr. Jung's F-4B model is a MiG killer too and might be the same jet portrayed in that painting. Profiles of #113 can be seen in Squadron books, and I am proud to have decals for this jet somewhere in my stash.

Try to imagine my excitement during my last visit to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola several years ago when, after checking on the Mariner's progress, I saw VF-51's F-4B #113 parked on the tarmac still looking eager to fly and shoot MiGs. She still had her supersonic can opener scheme. She looked very weathered and faded, but still looked intimidating and commanded respect - as only a Phantom can.

I couldn't help myself! Like the boy in "Empire of the Sun" I walked up to #113 and put my hand on her nose cone. I proceeded to preflight her sadly noting how much work she needed. Nevertheless, I imagined getting ready to fly her from Yankee Station. I want to think I felt "Phantom Power" for a moment, and I couldn't help thinking "if this jet could talk ..." I think this was Mr. McKeown's jet. I touched an actual part of history that afternoon.

My sentimental journey was worth the chiding I got when a museum employee yelled I wasn't authorized to be out there by myself. I was told to take the bus tour which had a supposedly former Navy pilot telling tourists how the F-14 fired Genie missiles. I felt very embarrassed for him.

That's my one moment with a great lady. I'll never forget her.







Well stated and I fully understand.
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Joined: February 27th, 2005, 3:49 am

May 5th, 2012, 3:53 am #4

Hello:

I don't mean for the following to sound silly, but I thought fellow airplane enthusiasts and pilots might understand.

Mr. Jung's excellent 1/48 Hasegawa F-4B is one of my favorite jets. There's just something about VF-51's supersonic can opener paint scheme. It's one of the best "Hi-Viz" schemes. There is a famous painting at the Naval Air Museum of a VF-51 Phantom shooting a missile at a MiG viewed from a rear quarter of the F-4B. To this day, I get excited when I see that painting. I first saw it when I was 9.

As the years passed, I became more familiar with the Vietnam air war and realized this painting portrayed a MiG killer. Mr. Jung's F-4B model is a MiG killer too and might be the same jet portrayed in that painting. Profiles of #113 can be seen in Squadron books, and I am proud to have decals for this jet somewhere in my stash.

Try to imagine my excitement during my last visit to the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola several years ago when, after checking on the Mariner's progress, I saw VF-51's F-4B #113 parked on the tarmac still looking eager to fly and shoot MiGs. She still had her supersonic can opener scheme. She looked very weathered and faded, but still looked intimidating and commanded respect - as only a Phantom can.

I couldn't help myself! Like the boy in "Empire of the Sun" I walked up to #113 and put my hand on her nose cone. I proceeded to preflight her sadly noting how much work she needed. Nevertheless, I imagined getting ready to fly her from Yankee Station. I want to think I felt "Phantom Power" for a moment, and I couldn't help thinking "if this jet could talk ..." I think this was Mr. McKeown's jet. I touched an actual part of history that afternoon.

My sentimental journey was worth the chiding I got when a museum employee yelled I wasn't authorized to be out there by myself. I was told to take the bus tour which had a supposedly former Navy pilot telling tourists how the F-14 fired Genie missiles. I felt very embarrassed for him.

That's my one moment with a great lady. I'll never forget her.







I have experienced this several times. One of the most memorable times was at the USAF museum at Dayton a couple of years back now. I had looked forward to seeing the newly restored N1K2-J there, as it is a personal favourite plane of mine. I could not find it but certainly had lots of other things to keep me out of trouble. Just as I was leaving, I saw them opening the main doors to one of the hangar/display buildings and there in the parking lot was the George. They were putting it in the main display hangars and had to shuffle some displays to make it fit. I quickly went around the outside and there she was, no barriers, no guard, nothing. Newly restored and looking like she was ready for a delivery pre-flight.

At first I took some pictures. Then I thought about it and put my camera away. I have more pictures of Georges than Kawanishi did. Instead, I walked around it, laid under it, and just was, for want of a better word, intimate with the plane. It is so rare to see one in natural light, with no barriers and just be able to pretend it is not a museum piece. It was amazing to be able to experience it like that.

Of course, the museum did not help when they wheeled out a P38 and P51A to sit next to it, similarly unguarded!

Thanks,

Chris
Last edited by ccowx on May 5th, 2012, 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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