My favorite Airplanes

Since everybody ELSE is playing… NRAhab posted an interesting twist on Kim’s meme about beautiful cars. Since I’m off early, I’ll jump in too- Mine are a little different, in that I have personal connections to each of my selections…

5. DC-3 easy to fly and very forgiving, I flew one for the first time in 1967 as a 16 year old. Morphed into a damn good weapons platform (Puff the Magic Dragon). Callsign in Nam was Spooky. My Uncle flew them 1964-66 at England AFB and later in Nam.

4. P-47 Butt ugly, airborne tank, but brought a lot of folks home, including a close family friend. Callsign was usually Jug, since they resembled milk jugs from the 1930โ€™s. Our friend had a picture of himself sitting on the wing of his bird, dangling his feet THROUGH a hole in the wing after he landed. He said he was jokingly called Lead Ass, because he almost always returned with holes in the airplanes from a variety of things including at least one tree limb.

3. AD-1 Built as a one way nuclear bomber, performed superbly as CAS in Nam. One of my co-workers calls this the best airplane he ever flew in combat. The Navy called them Spads or Sandyโ€™s depending on the mission. This one is loaded for a CAS alert 5 on the Connie sometime in 1964. Centerline is 1000lb bomb, outboard are 300 gal. drop tanks, 2-500lb and 4-250lb bombs per wing. Callsign in Nam was normally Sandy.

2. F-4 Phantom II, a refrigerator with wings, negative glide ratio, did it all- interception, CAS, pinpoint bombing, and ugly as hell too! Came aboard the boat at 157 kts (180 mph) in a clean configuration. I have about 20 hours in the back seat, including a couple of supersonic passes. Known as Big Smokey, because you could see the smoke trails for 4-5 miles from the J-79โ€™s when not in burner.

1. And my number one favorite- P-3 Orion, I had 7700 hours in them on active duty and another 1000 or so as a Special Missions crewman; and they always got me home ๐Ÿ™‚ And yes, we routinely flew rather lowโ€ฆ This pic is from 1974, inbound to start a TORPEX off Kauai. The P-3 entered service in 1962 and is still flying today, doing a multitude of jobs. Overland supporting the troops in the sandbox, ASW around the world, SAR around the world, and comms, EW and Customs support worldwide.


My favorite Airplanes — 4 Comments

  1. I will agree with you about the R-4D, and the Spad bing nice planes, got lots of hours in both as a crewman. But the absolute most ‘Beautiful’ airplane ever designed so far is the stretched Super Connie with the tip tanks! I have a solid mahogany one with a three foot span sitting beside my chair, and it never fails to draw my eye, and my memory, back to hundreds of hours in the air, and just as many in the wheel wells wiping up oil!!
    I think I read in one of your posts that you were an AM at one time. Tin knocker or bubble chaser? I was a ‘nose picker back then ‘R’ type. Happy Vets day and thanks to you too whippersnapper! Regards, Elittle ADCM (NAC)

  2. My six-year old loves the Phantom II. I heartily agree with him, although I am also partial to the F-14 Tomcat.

  3. I was going to be a complete smart-arse. I know nothing about planes and I am quite a plane-phobe.

    So, my favorite planes are…

    5. A plane that takes off safely.
    4. A plane that avoids all turburlance.
    3. A plane that serves mass quantities of peanuts.
    2. A plane that lands safely.
    1. A plane that doesn’t have me in it.

  4. Everett, I have a few hours (1000) in the Connies flying out of GLYNCO back in the early 70’s. You know who we trained ๐Ÿ™‚ I was a tinbender… Thats for all your service.

    Wyatt, you know why the call it the Tomcat? Well, it had two tails and three balls… ๐Ÿ™‚

    RT, carrier landings are perfectly safe (more or less) but no peanuts, too damn hard to pick ’em up when you take the 9g landing… ๐Ÿ™‚