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.
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.
Possibly it represents one of the early prototypes that started as F9Fs.
Eventually the changes made to the airframe made a designation change
necessary, one of the few times something like that happened. ;)
Bill Banaszak, MFE Sr.
...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.
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. ;-)
Lindberg tended to bring out model jets as soon as they could after they
were revealed, so a lot of their models were of the prototypes of the plane.
Their F-104 for instance lacked the ventral fin, and the Skyray,
Crusader, Cutlass and Skyhawk all sported nose pitot tubes in their
original issue and other features only found on the prototypes and very
early versions of the aircraft
(note original low
In the case of their XF-88 and Pogo, the aircraft never made it past
Although a pain for anyone wanting to do a operational version of the
aircraft, it's actually kind of nice to have the prototype form. as it
brings back memories of just how fast aircraft technology was advancing
in the 1950's.
(BTW, for the F7U Cutlass fans out there, nifty wallpaper:
Anyone ever have this Crusader kit?:
's way better than the original one.
The original one had a rubber band powered ejection seat in it IIRC.
And it would be fun to know if they souped up the old mold or pretty
much started from scratch.
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:
can see large stills of it here:
the F7U's engines turned out a lot of flame, if not power:
p://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:F3H_F11F_CVA-19_1960.jpg=A0sort of a
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.
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.
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 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.
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... ;-)
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.