Friday, October 21, 2011

Some Cold War Birds

Back in the summer we were up doing some fieldwork on a project in eastern Oregon. We drove past the airport in Ontario several times and I noticed a couple of Cold War-era military jets from the road. Later I got to stop by and saw there was a small collection of these around the hangers.

The aiplane above was totally new for me. It is a F5D Skylancer a fighter aircraft developed for the US Navy in the mid-1950s, that in this case was used as a test aircraft by NASA.

There was also this USAF A-7D. The markings showed that its last stop was with the South Dakota Air National Guard.

This is a very tired looking F-4 that had last been with the Michigan Air National Guard. I'm surprised this plane hadn't been converted to a target drone.

This is an F-86D with the distinctive black radome on its nose. You don't see very many of these though you do see plenty of the other F-86 variants this F-86F. Its engine had been removed.

Next to it was this MiG-21. It looked as though it had been flown recently and interestingly enough still had its gun sight installed.

This distinctive roundel showed that the MiG was Czech.

There were two of these T-33s. This is a two-seater jet trainer developed in the late 1940s from the F-80, the USAF's first operational jet fighter.

This J33 engine must be a spare for the T-33s. It's a member of the first generation of US engines based on the British Whittle design. With its centrifugal compressor, it looks oddly stubby contrasted with the axial flow engines we are used to seeing today.

Finally I was a little surprised to see this FB-111 Aardvark. A fair number of enthusiasts like to keep and fly fighter jets, but few seem to want to take on the expense of these larger multi-engine aircraft.

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