Yesterday I talked about the four generations of airplanes, and here are a few pictures…

Gen 1-

This PBY (also know as the Catalina) was actually flown in to NAS Jax before it was put on display.  They were also painted flat black in the Western Pacific and known as the Black Cats. They did night bombing and search during WWII.

IMG_1122Gen 2-

The P-2V Neptune was actually designed in the 40’s, and was an ‘interesting’ airplane. It had two turning and two burning… The 2800 P&W radials were the ‘primary’ motive power, but the two small jets (outboard of the props) were used for takeoff at heavier weights, and bursts of speed (and one sea story is they were also used to screw with folks by shutting down both props, and then continuing to fly)… They were still being flown in the mid-70s by the Navy Reserve Squadrons.  Another rather interesting point is the wing actually goes all the way THROUGH the airplane, so to get from the front to the rear, you have to slide over the top of the wing…

IMG_1123Gen 3-

The venerable P-3 Orion (ex failed airliner Lockheed Electra).  Over powered to hell and gone (thankfully), we routinely shut down 2 engines onstation to maximize fuel savings.  First flown in the late 50’s came into the Navy in 1962.  STILL flying today and probably will for at least another 6-7 years. And yes that IS 51 years of service…

The weapon in the foreground is a MK-46 torpedo, the weapon behind it is a SLAM-ER.


Gen 4-

P-8 Poseidon (at least this one is NOT  a failed airliner), brand new and it can also handle the weapons in the above picture…

Not a lot of windows, lots of antennas, and finally a damn ladder that WORKS!!! 🙂  Oh yeah, it also has a working lavatory, unlike the previous three versions! It also has a much more modern suite of sensors and other equipment.


And a gratuitous picture of a Turkey for Murph… 😀

IMG_112420MM Cannon, AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-7 Sidewinder, AIM-54 Phoenix, AIM-120 AMRAAM, JDAM, Mk-82, MK-83, MK-84…  Making things go BOOM in a variety of ways, what’s not to like!!!  This one is actually painted as VF-84, the Jolly Rogers!


Airplanes… — 24 Comments

  1. We’re rewinging P3s @ Lockheed Marietta for service life extension – perhaps another 15-20 yrs….

  2. The P3-C Orion squadrons from Moffett Field which rotated out of Adak every six months were a part of our lives there. Wouldn’t have been the same without those crews sucking up everyone else’s coffee, either. 🙂

    • Yes. I worked on Adak for a few months and well remember the P3’s taking off in all weather. Ofttimes the water on the runway was deep enough that it sprayed over the top pf the aircraft during its takeoff run. Always wondered how much damage that spray did to the props. I am aware of the pitting on the aluminum props of float planes cause by water spray.

  3. Nice planes there sir . . . two have memories for me. The A7 in the backgrong of the PBY were the aircraft of the 132 TFW when I retired out in ’89. And, the F-14. My last project at rockwell was the design of a new control head for the ARC-182 for the F-14. Long ago – far away! 🙂 I suspect the Navy will see many more years of the P3 like the Air Force is with the C-130 and the B-52. When they are retired they will have truly earned their rest!

  4. Your pics come out huge in google reader…as in “does not fit in 24″ monitor” huge. Started happening after transferring to current site. Something in settings perhaps?

    Not related to this post, remove after reading.

  5. Woo-Hoo! Them’s all some fine planes, but damn–that Tomcat needs to be sitting fueled and pre-flighted out at my airport waiting on me to show up and take it up for a hop.

  6. “the wing actually goes all the way THROUGH”.
    I actually read that as wind, not wing and tried to figure it out for a while.
    I need sleep.
    I love it when you give some aviation history here. Thanks.

  7. I must admit, when I was in the Navy, part of me wanted to see if I could get out of Subs and go to a P-3 Squadron (Ground Crew of course!). The thought of doing my “Sea Duty” at places like Rota, Bermuda, was VERY Appealing.

    But I realized that I would probably be miserable since I don’t play Golf…. ; )

  8. That PBY is the 5A version with retractable landing gear. My father flew PBY’s during WWII in the gulf of Mexico. He said the 5A was the worst thing they ever did to the PBY. The gear was so heavy that the plane had no useful load. He told of 25 hour ‘hops’ without refueling in the seaplane version.

    He later flew the JRM Mars from Alameda to Hawaii and for a short time the R3Y. Then the Navy moved away from seaplanes.

  9. Good pictures. The P-2 recips were 3350s. The jets J-34s burned 115/145 AvGas same as the recips. Lots of hours in the nose.

  10. Back in my misspent youth I made numerous trips over the wing beam of a P2V-7. As NavyDavy above noted the jets burned Avgas and lots of it. If a plane was loaded too heavy for a particular mission you ran the jets for several minutes and dropped fuel weight in a hurry. You had to watch the tailpipe temperature closely because Avgas burned very hot in a jet.

    Also if you want to see a real flying boat take a look at a P5M. I had buddies that flew ASW patrols in those and I always prayed for them. I think they had a fully-loaded climb rate of 2000 feet per hour.

  11. I always found it somewhat humorous that the Tom is in J-ville when it never operated from there at all…not even at Cecil.

  12. Rev- Coffee, coffee, COFFEEEEEE!!! :-p

    Bill- Thanks and all true!

    Soupiru- Working on it, thanks for the notice.

    WSF- Yep, they’re tough old birds, and they are still flying… Indiana Air Museum is trying to put one back in Navy flying condition.

    Murph- LOL

    Opus- Thanks!

    Ed- Actually if you opened the right hatches in flight, the WIND did go all the way through too… 😀

    Les- We would have ‘taught’ you… LOL

    Brighid- you’re welcome!

    JIm22- Yep, sometimes the ‘fix’ was not helpful… 🙂

    ND- Yep, and it was a ‘thrill’ at low altitude if you ran the seat all the way forward!

    JR- You’re welcome!

    TA- Yep, but no P5M was available… Friends flew the P5M in VP-40 out of Sangley Point!

    1pcard- Actually the Turkeys were rebuilt by NARF Jax, and routinely test flown from there, prior to returning to the fleet!

  13. My brother was a crewmember on a PBY out of NAS Atlanta when it was located at Peachtree DeKalb Airport during Korea. It had the nose gun and the blister guns on the side.

  14. The “46” is what caught my eye! Did a two year stint on a DD2250 class can flying DASH drone helos. The 46 was the regular load but there was a Mk48 nuke or two in the magazine next door to the hangar! Twas a scary thing to bring a drone back aboard with a hot 46 still on board!