Is this some ancient Lindberg kit? Saw this in the Historic Aviation
catalog...Curious plane that would be a good addition to the Blue
Angels kits I try to find...
Did they use a different color blue back then? this looks a lot more
toy like than today's darker blue.
thx - Craig
Monogram used to make a BA F-11F kit, but that ain't it. Yeah, it don't
look right as far as "Blue Angel Blue" goes.
FWIW - an old F-4 dude at the plant in STL once told me that the first
BA F-4s were just painted with blue Rustoleum from the local hardware
store when they were first converted.
Yes, that is indeed a ancient 1/48th scale Lindberg kit that I must have
at least four times as a kid.
The only difference between that and their stock F-11 Tiger was this one
has something that looks like a probe and drogue refueling probe on the
nose rather than the pitot tube and lacks the underwing rockets, it was
also molded in blue rather that the stock Tiger's white.
On Jan 10, 7:59 pm, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
That thing ( toy ? ) is so ' odd ' looking. Wrong shapes and sizes
for an F-11 Tiger. Landing gear is way out of scale. Wrong shape of
the vertical tail. Take a look for yourself at some Blue Angel Tiger
photo's. Keep in mind this is the ' long nose ' Tiger varient. Come
to think of it the F-11 has always been ' odd ' looking to me. Look
at the way the wing tips fold down.
I will never understand why the Blues didn't adopt the F-8 Crusader
for their mount. I think it would have been an awesome show bird. It
would have looked cool in Blue Angel livery too. These are some
reasons that I have come up with :
- The Blues were loyal to Grumman
- They had a bad experience with Vought and the Cutlass
- The Crusader may not have handled as well as the Tiger at low
- Crusaders were needed in the fleet and not available
- F-8 might have been more of a maintenance headache
- The F-11 had a short service life in the fleet ( the Crusader was
- The F-8 went on to become the " Mig Master " in Vietnam ( Last of
the Gunfighters )
- The Thunderbirds were using the latest and greatest at the time
( F-100 )
- The Thunderbirds even gave the F-105 a try for a bit.
...all you ever have to do is talk to anyone that ever actually flew
F-8s, and you'd understand. I ran into a former F-8 jock when I was at
NAS Kingville, and he described "surviving F-8s" vice "flying" them. He
also had time in F-4s an F-14s.
Ahh ... the Blue's Navy jet jocks were cream of the crop. Highly
skilled high time aviators. But yeah you are right, the F-8 was a
handfull. Skip Umstead who became a team leader in the F-4 in the
early 70's had a couple of combat tours in Vietnam in the F-8. Later
he was killed in an accident with the Blue's in an F-4. Go figure.
The BA F-4s were my all-time fav show jets. Nothing I've seen since
them comes close.
They actually considered moving to T-45s for a bit while I was working
Fleet intro on that platform. Obviously didn't happen, though.
That's putting it mildly - they hated that plane, like the rest of the
Navy pilots did also.
It didn't even make this desk model set:
I think the small size of the Tiger also argued in its favor, as small
aircraft tend to be more maneuverable and look like they are going
faster at air shows. I saw the Budweiser BD-5J flying at a air show, and
although it was only doing around 250 MPH, you were expecting a sonic
boom when it went by due to its diminutive size...you were also
expecting it to be wearing a two-tone green splinter scheme and
swastikas, because it sure looked like something the Luftwaffe would
have deployed in 1946, possibly the "Kleinevolksjager".
The Tiger was sort of the last of the breed of fairly straight-forward
postwar jets before all the complex avionics started to hit, with the
Crusader and Demon being the transition to the new generation.
(Speaking of the Demon, this is one odd way to fold a aircraft's wings:
sort of a
throwback to Grumman WW II designs. You don't want to leave it
unshackled to the deck in high winds, or it might be blown overboard.)
I was really amazed to find out the Super Tiger actually cracked Mach 2,
because the design didn't look right aerodynamically for those speeds.
I read that one of the Tiger's shortcoming was fairly short range. That
a problem for fleet service, but not for air shows.
Besides which they would have a ton of spares for it due to the short
Well, it would have been loud, that's for sure.
I suspect they like their F/A-18s a lot better than their old F-4s.
The Skyhawk probably worked quite well for them; again, a small
maneuverable aircraft with fairly low maintenance needs.
Although people love building models of it, a Blue Angels F-14 would
have been a disaster area from the maintenance point of view.
From the above website:
"...apparently the Skyhawk was not the first choice or even the second
choice of the Blue Angels team, however in 1974 they had first requested
for F-14 and A-7 but both requests were denied. The F/A-18A Hornet is
the present fleet in the Blue Angels team; the Hornet first flew in
1978. The Hornet F/A-18 was perfect for demonstration team work and
allowed the Angels to include new maneuvers in their routine. The F/A-18
Hornet has the longest service record with the Blue Angels team and one
of the best safety records."
The A-7 would have probably done quite well also.
I suspect they will be flying some variant of the F/A-18 for many years
Now the Thunderbirds in F-117s...the Air Force could say they'd already
flown the air show, and the crowd just hadn't seen them. ;-)
The low powered engines and high AOA on landing meant the pilot couldn't
see where he was going on final approach nor wave off if things weren't
going as planned, due to too much drag...and that meant it really could
be his final approach in every sense of the word.
There's another view of that Cutlass crash on this YouTube video:
You can see large stills of it here:
Funny, the F7U's engines turned out a lot of flame, if not power:
Looks like it had rockets back there.
The Tiger was too underpowered. Even Blue Angel pilots admit that the
F11 excelled in the dive. They had to climb back up to altitude after
maneuvers to get up enough speed to do the next one. That J-65 in
afterburner only put out about the same amount of thrust as an F-8's
J-57 dry thrust.
That's where the F-8 in my opinion would have excelled. If the Blue's
had adopted the early models ( F-8 A,B,C or D ) before the design
gained too much weight ( F-8E ) a stripped down F-8 with fuel burned
down ... and in afterburner would have had close to a one-to-one
thrust weight ratio.
Yeah I bet the Blues would have loved to get their hands on the '
Super-Tigers ' but the Tiger design was a loser.
Interesting that Vought had the upper hand in beating out Grumman with
a better aircraft. It was due to the J-57. Vought was a close
partner with United who built the J-57.
I can't believe the Blue's actually considered using the A-7 Corsair.
Boy talk about underpowered. Yeah ... sure ... would have been
neat ... but what a pig.
Let's face it, the Canadair Tutor isn't exactly a rocketship, but the
Snowbirds do some very nice flying in them, although I imagine they
could have gone with F-101s if they had wanted to.
Now the Blue Angels in Vigilantes... ;-)
From what Tomcat drives have told me the F-14 would make a terrible
choice for a BA show jet because it's tricky to hold station in
formation because of the swing wing just for admin type flying - you end
up using the stab for your sight picture. Big, heavy, expensive, a
maintenance nightmare on top of that, yeah.
Personally, I haven't really been impressed by the BA or T-Birds shows
since the F-4 days. Glad I got the chances to see both of those shows.
The BA scored a one-up on the T-Birds here in Jamestown on two
successive year's airshows.
The first year, the BA brought their F-4s in and gave a great show.
The next year, the T-Birds showed up, but had to fly their F-4s in from
Fargo, 100 miles away, because Jamestown's runways were "too short" for
F-4s to operate from.
Score one for the Navy.
It really was something to see those F-4s roaring all over the place. ;-)
I believe the first season for the Blues using the F-18 was around
1986. Currently it's a record for both the Thunderbirds and the Blue
Angels for length of use with current aircraft. I think the T-birds
switched to the F-16 in 1983. Previously I think the record with the
Blue's was the F-11. ( 1957 - 1969 ). For the Thunderbirds it was the
F-100. ( 1956 - 1969 with a brief period of using the F-105 before
switching back to the F-100 )
So now it's around 24 years for the T-birds ( F-16 ) and 21 years for
the Blues ( F-18 ). Definitely some of the best years of
demonstration teams for both services IMHO.
What's next and when will they switch ? Good question.
The Israelis want it also; Lockheed is trying to make the F-35 the new
F-16 as far as overseas sales go; and it had better work, or there are
going to be a lot of PO'd military services worldwide as many are
counting on it to replace existing and deployed aircraft types. The
Royal Navy in particular is counting on the V/STOL version working as
advertised to arm their new Queen Elizabeth class carriers, and if it
doesn't do what its supposed to, it will be the Skybolt missile fiasco
all over again.
Yup - but the problem is the long lead time to get the aircraft to
production. I was at an industry gathering a couple years back where a
speaker commented on just that...nations can't afford strategically to
have such long lead times to bring hardware to the Fleet and then expect
it to be in step with developing countermeasures.
Super Hornet, Typhoon, and Grippen (and even the venerable F-16 and/or
F-15E) are here NOW, and now is when the need is. If dollars are spent
to meet today's need, they may not be there for tomorrow's
airplane...particularly in the international market. That's what I'm
That, and that it's an "X" development and not a "Y"..."X" programs are
far easier to cancel...
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