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 1930’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.
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-79’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 🙂 And yes, we routinely flew rather low… 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.