A-4 Skyhawk vs Mirage III

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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mixelflick

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Unread post20 Jan 2018, 16:57

I miss the scooter, and never got a chance to see one fly at any of the airshows I frequented. There is a nice one in our New England Air Museum (looks like an earlier model).

Designers did a magnificent job IMO. So small the wings needn't fold, but a zippy little jet with great range. One thing nobody talks about was its tremendous payload for its size. Even with wing tanks, could carry a half dozen 500lb bombs on the centerline, plus two bullpup guided missiles and of course, the twin cannons in the wing roots. It packed a lot of firepower into that little frame. Damn impressive..

WIth respect to it vs. Mirage III... really isn't fair :). But as others have pointed out here, with sidewinders and the tanks punched it was a worth opponent. One thing I keep hearing is the Mirage III wasn't really all that in terms of air to air. I guess the Israeli's gave it its fearsome reputation.
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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 05:39

mixelflick wrote:I miss the scooter, and never got a chance to see one fly at any of the airshows I frequented. There is a nice one in our New England Air Museum (looks like an earlier model).


I've seen it fly plenty, and glad that I have. First time I ever saw an airshow was Daytona Beach Airshow, 1984 or 85 and the Blue Angels were flying them (but about to make the switch to F-18's). TA-4's out of Pensacola transiting the area and stopping for fuel here weren't uncommon either. More recently we have a civilian owned A-4 on the airshow circuit and either last year or the year before at the TICO Warbird airshow near here in Titusville that A-4 did over an hour of low passes down the secondary runway flying just feet over Lambo's, Ferrari's, etc. I have some great shots that I will try and post in the next few days, but what a treat to see it flying around for an extended period of time.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 14:40

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Unread post02 Feb 2018, 15:20

Argentine Air Force working to get its Fightinghawks flying again
01 Feb 2018 Diego Gonzalez, Buenos Aires - Jane's Defence Weekly

"Commodore Fernando Rubio, head of Air Force Brigade V, said on 26 January that he would work towards recovering McDonnell Douglas A-4R Fightinghawk aircraft for service, although it is unclear if funding exists to return the type to service.

Two years ago Argentina’s Fightinghawks were grounded for lack of maintenance funding. Now, engineers at the Rio Cuarto Maintenance Area (where major work is done on the air force’s aircraft) are working alongside Brigade V personnel to recover some of the Fightinghawks, Cmdre Rubio said.

“The current mission is to recover all of the lost resources so as to be prepared if such situation should arise,” Major Oscar Charadia, the Air Force Training and Enlistment commander, said the same day...."

Source: http://www.janes.com/article/77548/arge ... ying-again
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Unread post26 Apr 2018, 16:59

Info about the A4G Radar which almost caused loss of the first A4G to catapult from HMAS Melbourne (bad install setup).
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RADAR Info & 1st CATAPULT Accident RAN FAA Skyhawk A4G 887 pp17.pdf
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f-16adf

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Unread post26 Apr 2018, 19:48

Spaz,

I have seen photos of RAN A-4's (red and white checkerboard tail) with 4 Aim-9 and one centerline tank. Was wondering just how often you guys flew with that load out; Was normal CAP usually with 2 Aim-9 and 3 external fuel tanks? Do you have the mission radius/time for that configuration?
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spazsinbad

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Unread post27 Apr 2018, 11:35

That was after my time. Era was mid-to late 1970s with the red/white chequered tail for VF-805. The centerline tank would have been a 150 gallon 1,000 lb of fuel variety. In early 1970s we had only ONE such tank because the Vietnam War took them all. After the war was over and whilst MELBOURNE was at CUBI POINT our personnel were allowed to take as many spare 150 gal tanks as they could fit onboard - and they did. The USN had no need for them as their A-4s were no longer frontline assets and they had a ZILLION such tanks stateside for use into the following decades.

So otherwise a 300 gallon 2,000 lb centerline tank was used but mostly the loadout was two such tanks - one under either wing so that restricted the Winders to one on each wing. But it could all change as you know within a few hours.

One would have to consult NATOPS to figure out a 'mission time' which would consist of what exactly? Our CAP was directed from ships in daylight hours (threat was a BADGER with KENNEL missiles) but that threat disappeared by the early 1970s so having four Winders and a centreline tank would have been for publicity most likely and obviously doable.

A CAP was climbing to altitude to loiter until directed to a target at maximum speed which with tanks was 0.9 M - without any tanks we could go to 1.1 M (BUSTER) but it always depends on where the target is at compared to your alitude and maybe fuel (we only did exercises). Against low flying RAAF F-111s (after my time) I'm told the director put the A4G overhead which then rolled inverted to pull through at max speed to attack the F-111 successfully - much to their surprise.

A 'shadower' was more likely a target which may have had KENNELs so it could be a slog out to that target with some distance to go back to the ship. Carrier pilots are always conserving fuel so the variables are many on any CAP mission. For example I have told the story a few times about 'missing CHARLIE time' because of a foul deck (wire being replaced). However I was lucky to be at altitude and remained there for another hour whilst problem solved with nowhere to go otherwise, being bounced by HAWAIIAN national guarders Convair Delta Daggers F-102As as I circled MELBOURNE a long way south of Hawaii. My CAP director had gone to lunch. :-) Go here for that story or part of it: viewtopic.php?f=56&t=25691&p=275385&hilit=Melbourne+Hawaii#p275385
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post27 Apr 2018, 14:43

Superb colors here, beautiful jet:


A-4G navy-.jpg
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RAN A-4 Skyhawk.jpg
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Unread post28 Apr 2018, 01:08

You see in the foreground a VF-805 red/white chequer tail A4G (for CHECKmates aerobatic team as well as squadron colours) with the VC-724 swoosh tail gold/royal blue A4Gs tanking in the background. Unusual to see any A4G clean so great photo. Taxiing A4G also has the VF-805 crest badge mid fuselage 'over sea & sand' (724 is 'learn & live' [you mofos!]).

Side Number 886 A4G was probably lost overboard (soon after that photo taken) during a storm off New Zealand when an attempt was made to move it with a tractor and brakeman (with others underneath with chocks) but the bridge crew were unsighted (a Tracker in the way) so they turned MELBOURNE, just as the aircraft moved, with it slipping over the side with the brakeman still onboard. Luckily he had a float coat, being picked up by the ship diver from nearby destroyer. Alls well that ends well but aircraft lost. The same storm brought down the carrier giant air detection radar which also luckily fell to starboard and no one injured.
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post29 Apr 2018, 23:35

I found this on the Mirage III aka "Miracle" in RAAF service. Written by a RAAF pilot, I believe. He said that many in the RAAF were sad to see it go vs getting new F/A-18A Hornets. That statement is more than a little puzzling to me. Then again, I've had a former Navy F-4J aviator tell me the same thing vs getting new Tomcats.


Here is an excerpt from his book:

RAAF mirage III.jpg
.


Maybe the Oz pilots would only accept a fight at higher speeds, and disengage if things started to get slow. Notice that the Mirage has its pipper on the Tomcat with wings seemingly at mid sweep (moderate/higher speeds). Unless the Tomcat was using that manual sweep trick, and it obviously didn't work. Most gun kills on Tomcats usually have their wings forward at 20/22 degrees.
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Unread post30 Apr 2018, 02:02

RAAF 'CRABS' as I call them can say a lot of things about a lot of other aircraft. As people know DACT can have rules with odd things happening when aircraft mix it up in 1v1 or 2v2. The one time I flew against a Miracle FCI [fighter combat instructor] out of Nowra - he never got behind me but all I could do was be in trail trying to catch up for an AIM-9B shot without too much G - it would have been impossible to get into gun range unless he did something really stupid and he didn't. I went supersonic in a very steep dive with two external empty 300 gallon drop tanks (a nono as 0.9M was A4G NATOPS limit with tanks). That was scary briefly because I was a new A4G sprog/newbie just out of OFS at the time. Anyway I understand the sentiment behind the statements about how good the RAAF Miracle was but I'm eating salt also.

The 1983 HMS Invincible? cruise to Australia included some ex-A4G pilots (who did not go to the Falklands - before their time in transition from RAN to RN FAA). These guys would have been very familiar with the Miracle from their A4G experience, one SHAR pilot was an AWI in the RAN FAA so he would have been quite fierce in the SHAR. He punched out of a TA4G in the Nowra circuit after engine failure and then got out of a SHAR over water off UK - ran out of fuel due NAV failure IIRC. The SHAR II was a BVR aircraft which a lot of people did not understand at that time. I guess the 1983 SHARs (Sea Harriers) were Mk.1. I don't keep these details in my noggin but there are pages about this in the 4.4Gb PDF online.

Gun Camera MIRACLE photo of an A4G south of Nowra 20 Aug 1970 - this was the time but not me in the A4G. 2nd photo is from March 1971 with VF-805 & RAAF 77 Sqdn Miracle Mirage IIIO detachment over Shoalhaven River east of Nowra Town.

SANDGROPER became an exercise in WA at RAAF Pearce with A4Gs and Aggressors from SEA but 3 TFW I dunno - F-5s?

Last JPG is from a SHAR near Jervis Bay (on a visit) gunning the Hapless A4G during DACT - don't know details otherwise.
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RAAFmirageGunCameraA4G20aug1970gry.jpg
VF-805A4Gs&RAAFmiraclesNowra1971.jpg
MiracleMirrageIIOraafGunsightOnA4G.jpg
VF-805A4Ggunsight3TFW1978.jpg
SHARoverJB.jpg
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spazsinbad

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Unread post01 Jun 2018, 17:25

f-16adf wrote:Superb colors here, beautiful jet:
The attachment A-4G navy-.jpg is no longer available

Just so happens there is a slide auction (which I'm not promoting) with nice sized JPGs of the A4Gs (with S2Es and even a Sea Venom) here (three pages of ADF aircraft slides - mostly RAAF):
http://www.aircraftslides.com/Auction/A ... r=1&aid=77

BEST example (some are obviously 'pinkish in colour tone' due age - that can be corrected by any image programme.

http://www.aircraftslides.com/auction/i ... o805Sqn_(()_HMAS-Melbourne-at-Rotterdam-Harbour_10-1977).jpg
&
http://www.aircraftslides.com/auction/i ... o805Sqn_(()_at-_10-1977).jpg

BROKEN URLS <sigh> so TINY URLS it are!
https://tinyurl.com/ybcaw7ha & https://tinyurl.com/ybczurej

The second pic is likely of LEUT Dave Ramsay at RIAT that year doing the A4G MaxWt demo configured as a buddy tanker.
Attachments
77350cfaRAAF103_N13-886_A-4G_154907_No805Sqn_(()_HMAS-Melbourne-at-Rotterdam-Harbour_10-1977).jpg
7758f0faRAAF102_N13-886_A-4G_154907_No805Sqn_(()_at-_10-1977).jpg
A4G886brokenURLs.gif
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post05 Jun 2018, 21:01

DRAKEN keeps on chooglin': http://www.janes.com/images/assets/585/ ... 5_main.jpg ex-A4G buddy tanker.

Trainer is ex-RNZAF TA-4K Kahu (both now Kahu): http://www.janes.com/article/80585/drak ... ir-support
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DRAKENtrainer&exA4Gtanker.jpg
886dirtyRIAT Oct1977tankerRamsay.jpg
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post26 Jun 2018, 01:21

Info on Latest Version of the 4.4Gb PDF about A4G Skyhawks and all the other stuff for Naval Aviation and F-35B/C etc.

viewtopic.php?f=58&t=23043&p=396665&hilit=skewed#p396665
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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Unread post29 Jun 2018, 16:06

The VERY LATEST version of the 4.4Gb PDF above dated 29 Jun 2018 is now available for free on Microsoft OneDrive. The folder is named after the PDF but will appear empty if one is not signed in to see the files. Sign in is free. Just do it. :mrgreen:

29jun2018A4GskyhawkRANFAApp13883.PDF (4.4Gb)

FOLDER URL wot contains the above PDF:
https://onedrive.live.com/?id=CBCD63D63 ... D6340707E6
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23jun2018Cover4-4GbPDFsmall.jpg
Last edited by spazsinbad on 30 Jun 2018, 02:20, edited 1 time in total.
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