Friday, February 11, 2011

Navy Colors Part VI - Centennial Celebration II

EA-6B Prowler of VAQ-129, based at NAS Whidbey Island. -129 trains crew for the EA-6B and EA-18G. This Prowler carries the scheme used by most Navy tactical aircraft at the outbreak of WWII.
The VAQ-129 Anniversary birds at NAS North Island in San Diego, recently.
TH-57C 160064, of Helicopter Training Squadron 28, based at NAS Whiting Field. This paint honors US Navy aircraft in the pre-1917 era.
TC-12B 161197 of VT-35, normally based at NAS Corpus Christi. VT-35 trains perspective aircrew for multi-engine, non-carrier based aircraft. This scheme represents Naval Aviation markings at the time of the Battle of the Coral Sea.
T-45C 165598 of Training Wing 1, based at NAS Meridian, MS. This is one variation of markings carried in the 1930s.

T-45A 163656, of Training Wing 2, based at NAS Kingsville, TX. Another variation of the 'yellow wings' schemes of the 1930s.
T-44A 160984, VT-31, based at NAS Corpus Christi. This paint honors the 1919 NC-4 flying boat that traversed the Atlantic.
T-39N 165523, VT-86, NAS Pensacola. This aircraft is used to train navigators. This blue tail scheme honors the USS Enterprise Air Wing, circa 1938.
T-34C 164169 of VT-6, based at NAS Whiting Field. It is painted to represent US Coast Guard aircraft in the 1935 era.
T-34C 161481 of VT-27, Training Wing 4, based at NAS Corpus Christi. Markings mimic those of VAW-4 in the 1930s.
T-6B 166064, of VT-3, based at NAS Whting Field. This all yellow paint job harkens back tot he days of the 'yellow peril', biplane basic training aircraft used byt he Navy.
MH-60S 166323 of HSC-3. The dark blue paint represents Navy helicopters of the 1950s.
MH-60S 166294 of HCS-2. This scheme represents Navy Helos during the Korean War.
MH-60R 166524 of HSM-41.

HH-60H 163787 of HSC-84. The dark green represents Vietnam era helicopter squadron HAL-3.

Photo Credits - Most of these are official US Navy. Others were uncredited where they were originally posted.

Navy Colors Part V - Centennial Celebration

The 100th Annivesary of Naval Aviation is being celebrated this year. In honor of the occasion, the Navy has authorized a number of current aircraft to be painted in historic paint schemes, representing different eras in Naval Aviation.

To fans of military aviation, this is an incredible event. The Navy celebrated its 75th Anniversary back in 1986 with several paint schemes, but nothing approaching this. The nation's Bi-Centennial back in 1976 also saw quite a few commemorative paint schemes with patirotic themes. However, this may be the best of all time ...

All of these schemes represent actual Navy paint patterns from over the years.

S-3B 160581, VX-30, based at NAS Pt. Mugu. The scheme honors SBD Dauntless dive bombers during the Battle Of Midway.

P-3C 161591, representing Patrol Wing 11. This scheme represents Navy Patrolplanes in the Pacific during the later half of WWII.

P-3C 160770, representing Patrol Wing 2. The white over black paint brings back the scheme worn by Navy patrolplanes in the late 50s and early to mid 60s. When P-3s first entered the fleet, they carried this type of markings.

F-18F 165677 of VFA-122, based at NAS Lemoore. Color scheme represents the new Navy blue digital camo uniform.

F-18E 165666 of VFA-106, NAS Oceana. The paint scheme represents that carried by Navy attack aircraft in the Vietnam era.

An F-18C of VX-31, based at NAS China Lake.

F-18E 165210, based at NAS China Lake, representing test aircraft schemes of the late 50s and 60s.

F-18C 163745, of VFA-106, NAS Oceana. This scheme honors squadron VBF-17, based on the USS Shangri-La in 1945.

F-18C 163733 of VFA-122, based at NAS Lemoore, CA. The three tone blue/grey scheme is representative of schemes carried by carrier based aircraft in 1943-1944.

F-18A+ 162866 of VFA-204. The River Rattlers are a Reserve Squadron based at NAS New Orleans. This scheme represents NAVAIR Reserve units based in New Orleans, circa 1951.

EA-18G of VAQ-129, based at NAS Whidbey Island.

Photo Credits - Most of these are official US Navy photographs. Others were uncreditited where they were originally posted.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Fire And Ice - Combat Art

Michael Fay runs a blog called Fire and Ice.

Michael is a very talented artist. He is also a former Marine who experienced combat firsthand in Afghanistan. His postings contain a fascinating look at life on the ground in that war. It would be well worth your time to take a look.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

37th Anniversary of F-16 First Flight

February 2nd marks the 37th anniversary of the first official flight of the F-16.

YF-16 72-1567 lifted off from Edwards AFB on Feb. 2, 1974, signifying the beginning step of one of the most successful fighter aircraft ever built.

(In actuality, the first 'unofficial' flight took place on January 20, 1974, when the aircraft accidently took off during a high speed taxi run.)

Happy Birthday to the Viper!