Monday, August 30, 2010

Starfire, More Sandys, Some Unusual T-28s, A Different Sort of B-29, Phantom Milestones, and Does Anybody Remember ABT?

That Other Lockheed Fighter

It's been twice now, at least I think it's been two times, that I've ranted about the fact that nobody seems to be interested in molding a state-of-the-art F-80 for us in 1/48th scale. Since I'm already doing that Quixote Thing and tilting at windmills, it's only fair to add yet another Lockheed bird to the mix; the F-94 Starfire.

Early F-94s saw limited (and largely unsuccessful) combat in Korea, but the type spent most of its career in an unemployed mode, with service aircraft frequently wearing ANG markings. Consider the facts, if you will. The airplane was essentially a modified T-33 with radar, a primitive fire control system, and largely inadequate armament. It also boasted a primordial afterburner, probably the best Lockheed could engineer when it was built but not especially good. The Starfire looked neat, and it was arguably better than the F-89 in some regards, but it was pretty much a dud as an interceptor.

It was, however, highly colorful, and its final variant, the F-94C, was Revell's very first model airplane kit, which has to be worth something. Mark Morgan's been prowling the AMC files again and has come up with these Starfire images for our enjoyment:

Here's the 2nd FIS taxiing out a four-ship of F-94As, date and location unknown. The F-94A was a gun ship and was pretty much a hot-rodded T-33A, but it was available and it worked. Check out the relative size of the aircrew in comparison to the airframe---this is a tiny airplane by modern standards.  AMC via M. Morgan

How about a four-ship from the 68th FIS in flight? The F-94B was still a guns-only bird, but was an improvement on the A-model. A lot of the F-94 units seemed to utilize some sort of fuselage stripe, making the type a natural for modeling. Heller did a B way back in the '80s, and HobbyCraft (I think it was HobbyCraft, anyways) did a sort-of B-model in 1/48th. The Heller kit has stood The Test of Time pretty well; not so the HobbyCraft offering. Phooey!  AMC via M. Morgan

Here's today's Highly Dramatic Official Photo of an F-94B (51-5346) from the 68th FIS. The nose-mounted Browning M2s are visible here, although the B could also be fitted with a pair of underwing gun pods. It was a neat airplane, and I want a decent 1/48th scale kit of it!  AMC via Mark Morgan

Think of the Starfire and you inevitably think of the C-model. The guns were gone by the time Lockheed got around to the F-94C, replaced by a battery of 2.75-in FFARs. There were some really colorful F-94Cs in squadron use, but this photo doesn't show any of them; I strongly suspect this is the Lockheed factory ramp. The photo's pretty neat, though, because it gives us a direct comparison of the C-model to the parent T-33. Note the F-94C's empennage and forward fuselage; both are completely changed from that of the "T-Bird".  Neat photo!  AMC via M. Morgan

Just Can't Get Enough of Those spADs!

So here are two more, taken by regular contributor Don Jay back in his Special Ops days. As for details, Don says: Both of these were taken at Udorn in Spring of 68 just before the 602 SOS moved to NKP. That's a lot of 'nape' ( BLU-1 & BLU-27) that they are carrying. More than likley, they are tasked for a sortie to the PDJ in North Central Laos.:

The overall quality of this image indicates a still frame from a movie, but it provides us with a pretty fair idea of what it was like to operate the A-1 in combat conditions. Chocks are being pulled and this Udorn-based A-1E is getting ready to rumble. Note the primitive operating conditions and the generally filthy finish on the airplane. Those A-1s were used!  Don Jay

Here's a 602nd SOS A-1H worth modeling! Duplicating that weathering would be a pretty tough chore, but would result in quite a model, and the name on the nose puts it over the top. It's time to go ruin somebody's day! Don Jay

Some Unexpected Trojans

Everybody knows that the T-28 was used by several nations (that means "mostly by us but in somebody else's markings") during the Southeast Asia War Games, but these examples of the type may raise a few eyebrows. Here's Don Jay's explanation: Keeping with the theme of exotic and PROPS, here are a couple of shots of the Cambodian AF in the 73/74 timeframe. Many folks don't realise that a small contingent of airmen worked with the Khmer AF almost up to the end in April of 75. The air to air photo was taken by Marc Marchesseault who at the time belonged to Det 1, 56SOW. This photo  (the ground shot. pf) was taken in 73, a flight of 3xAT-28Ds about 50NM N of PhnomPenh or as we called it 'PappaPappa".

Air-to-air Khmer! This bird is sans gun pods and carrying 6 hard-points instead. Those sticky-outey things on the rudder are static wicks, not antennae. This is one of the very few real airplanes I've seen that has the panel lines delineated the way most modelers do them, which proves we should never say never! Don Jay

And another Khmer AT-28D. Note the difference in national insignias between the two aircraft. Both are pretty beat up, indicating the hard lives they led in Khmer service.  Don Jay

Before we leave the T-28, it's worth noting that we've covered yet another aircraft that's poorly represented by existing kits. There's a 1/72nd scale Fennec by Heller which can be modified into an AT-28D with a fairly heavy amount of work, and the old Monogram kit which is far enough out of scale (1/51st, or something equally silly) to be useless, even though there are some nice resin detail sets available for it. Maybe the guys that make the kits could hold off on modeling Messerschmitts and Mitsubishis for a while and give us a good Trojan.....

Doin' What You'd Least Expect

It's a little known fact that Randolph AFB was once home to a TB-29 unit, and even less known that the municipal airport in New Braunfels, Texas, was a bounce field for same. I'd never seen a photo of one of the Randolph birds prior to a couple of days ago, which makes this shot quite a treat:

Here's a Randolph-based Superfortress from the 3510th CCTW on a mission over South Texas. That ATC emblem really looks out of place on a B-29, doesn't it?  AMC via M. Morgan

Gettin' All Graduated

It's back-to-school time again, which brings us to our next entry in The Ongoing RIS Fun-Fest. Yep, you guessed it, it's time to go to the Phantom Certificates! Both the Air Force and the Navy have a tradition of issuing special patches and certificates to mark certain milestones in a pilot, crewmember, or even an aircraft's career. Mark Nankivil came by a few F-4 certificates and shared them with us---enjoy!

Your basic F-4 membership certificate, slanted towards air-to-air prowess.

300 missions. My son grew up calling the F-4 "the bent-winged bugsucker" after hearing it from a USAF maintenance officer friend of mine. Of such are the memories of a lifetime made...

And 400 missions. Quite an accomplishment. Darned near impossible in SEA.

And here's one for the Navy and Marine Corps guys. 1,000 traps would be quite an accomplishment.

Neat stuff!

Old French Stickies

So, how about some decals? Nowadays we never had it so good, in spite of all the lamenting and whining we read on the Internet about inaccurate decals, or unavailable decals, or we want 'em but we don't have 'em decals. The simple fact of the matter is that we've truly never had it so good, ever; there are decals in every scale and covering pretty much every subject. There's something for everybody, by golly, and it's all pretty much high quality stuff.

It wasn't, to steal a phrase, always so. Way way back in the 60s we had maybe a dozen companies catering to the plastic model airplane hobby, and a lot of their stuff wasn't all that great. One of the good ones was a French company named ABT and, back before MicroScale came on the scene in 1968, they were pretty much at the top of the food chain. Modern modelers would probably laugh at their stuff, but it was Great way back then. Here are a couple of sheets to show why:

Sheet #7 covered RAF Hurricanes in 1/72nd. Nobody else, and I mean nobody else, was doing this sort of thing when this sheet was new. The guys at ABT were truly pioneers.

Sheet #25 was for the JAAF and RTAF, pretty esoteric stuff back in the 60s!

ABT did mostly 1/72nd scale, but they did branch out into 1/32nd, doing one of Galland's Bf109Fs and Hartmann's "K". As far as I know they never did anything in 1/48th, but then again 72nd ruled the hobby back in the 60s!

Yep, they were thick, and they yellowed, and it took full-strength Solva-Set to get them to conform and stay put (and sometimes even that didn't help!), but they were as good as it got until those guys from California revolutionized the decal business in '68. All us old guys owe that little French company a huge vote of thanks for what they did. The hobby wouldn't have been the same without them.

And that's what I know. Be good to your neighbor and we'll talk again soon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What Came Before, Return of The Relief Tube, A Couple of Shooting Stars, Another V-Thing, A Connie, Yet Another Zipper, Yet Another Spad, and a Request

When We Were Kids

I've been working on a P-40 these days. It's a Big 'Un---the 1/32nd scale Hasegawa P-40N---and this morning (it's Sunday right now, although it won't be when this finally publishes) I was adding some of the larger pieces to it prior to painting when it struck me that some things never change. There's the obvious, of course; I'm pushing the age when I can begin drawing Social Security, and I'm still building plastic model airplanes. That probably means I've never really managed to grow up which is, in my world, A Very Good Thing.

Not growing up isn't what this is about, though, but more about how we all got here, or more specifically how us Boomers got here. That, of course, ties us to that Aurora P-40, although an Aurora P-40 wasn't my first kit and, truth be known, we aren't really going to talk about that particular assemblage of plastic. We are going to talk about models for a minute, though.

First thing in my very own plastic world was an un-named (although I strongly suspect it was a primordial Airfix kit) plastic-bagged Messerschmitt Bf109-more-or-less-F-or-G that my mom bought for me in Blair's Supermarket in Canton, Georgia back during the mid-50s. It was molded in black plastic and it was pretty small, perfectly suited for a 5-year-old. It also turned purple anyplace a small child might apply an overabundance of cement, which meant that mine was mostly purple---purple and black make for neat camouflage if you're of the right mind set, you know. It got built, got played with, and ultimately got destroyed by the aforementioned playing, but it was a start; a Beginning, as it were.

After that one of my teenage cousins (Jerry Smith) built a Revell F-94 for me and then, after his return from a remote tour at Chitose, my dad managed to successfully struggle through the viscitudes (I think that's a real word) of assembling a Revell H-19 that he let me have. That was it. I was hooked.

All the birthdays and Christmases to follow were filled with polystyrene, and I'll bet that I built almost everything that Revell, Aurora, Hawk, Comet, and Monogram had to offer during those years including---you guessed it---a bunch of Aurora P-40s. None of 'em looked like much by the time I was finished with them, but they got me firmly interested in plastic modeling and now, some 56 years later, I'm still hooked. Unfortunately, I'm pretty sure I still build to the same standard as I did way back then, but that's how it goes and, in all likelihood, constitutes a story for another day. The point is, I still get a kick out of the hobby.

That takes us (finally!) to the point of this ramble. I've loved plastic modeling from the time I saw my very first built kit at my cousin Jerry's house way back in the 50s, and I still love it. It's been a life-long hobby that's educated me every step of the way and taught me patience, motor skills, and a desire to learn everything I can about the stuff I'm interested in. It hasn't been a bad ride, all in all, and I'm figuring there are still quite a few years to go before age/creeping senility/whatever cause me to stop doing it. It's been a great little hobby for me, and I hope you've enjoyed your time with it as well. We could all do a whole lot worse.

Well, Why Not?

Way back when we first came together with this thing I mentioned that I needed to reinstate a section from the original Replica in Scale called "The Relief Tube" but that I wasn't going to because some other pub (electronic or print; I really can't remember) had cribbed it. A recent e-mail from friend and Replica co-founder Jim Wogstad went a long way towards changing my mind about that particular thing, so here, right now, on these very pages (or electrons, or whatever you want to call it), is a re-birth of sorts. Yep, you guessed it; it's the Return of the Relief Tube. As before, it's going to be a place for corrections, additions, and stuff that just doesn't fit anyplace else. For me it's a Welcome Back sort of deal. You'll find the kickoff edition appearing at some point real soon. It's the Right Thing to Do.

I Really Want a State-of-the-Art Kit!

We've got the Lockheed F-80 in two different scales now, and in quarter-scale too if you count the old Monogram kit. The Monogram offering is a good one, but is definitely showing its age and I'm thinking it's time for somebody to pony up and give us a decent 1/48th kit of same. Here are a couple of photos to show why:

Here's a teaser from the 49th TFW for you, probably from the 8th TFS and most likely taken at Taegu (K-2) during the Late Korean Unpleasantness. The C-47A (43-48003) is probably from the 21st TCS/374th TCD. USAF via AMC History Office via M. Morgan

The Navy operated the F-80 as the TO-1, although they used it as a trainer rather than a first-line fighter. Here's 33841 (AF 47-1388, actually an F-80C) to illustrate the type. Mark Morgan sent both of these photos and provided the information attached; this bird is probably from the Naval Reserve Component at Moffet Field, although it could also have been taken at NAS Whidbey or Sand Point as well.  USAF via AMC History Office via M. Morgan

So how about it, somebody! Please give us a kit!

The Return of the V-Thing

Just when you thought it was safe to come out, John Kerr sent us another V-prefixed NAVRES bird from the late 1940s:

A "Beast" by any other name. Here's a NAVRES Curtiss SBW-4E of an unknown New York unit and yep, it's carrying a V-prefixed BuNo (V60166). Note the weathering on the national insignia; the rest of the airplane appears to be pristine! Naval Aviation Museum via Kerr.

That Douglas Tulsa Shot Revisited.

If you're following this thing with any degree of regularity, you probably remember that ramp shot from Douglas Tulsa that I ran a few installments ago. You remember, it was the one with the "Connie" in it. Mark Morgan checked his archives and came up with a far better shot of the airplane, so let's have a look:

(Re) the Douglas/Tulsa ramp shot, I'm 99.99% sure that Connie in the background was one of the three JC-121Cs: 51-3841 (ex-RC-121C/TC-121C), 54-0160 or 54-0178. See the attached; amazingly enough, I pulled this photo out of the AMC archives. Didn't have a date or location listed but I'd say it's an airshow at a reserve base, what with the C-119s in the background; the only marking on the back was "US Army." Apparently the Army and Air Force used the three birds for airborne electronics test. AMC via M. Morgan

You May Well Be Sick of Them, But I Can Never Get Enough of the Zipper

That said, here are two more photos of same, taken by Stephen Miller and forwarded by Don Jay. Enjoy!

Stephen Miller's caption pretty much says it all. I like this shot because it shows the F-104's leading edge covers in place, something you rarely see on photographs. Miller via Jay

And a JF-104A for your consideration. Note the "Snoopy" cartoon above the "U.S. Air Force" legend, and the striped pitot boom. There appears to be a yaw van attached to that boom---the Devil's in the details! Miller via Jay

Sometimes Something Reminds You of a Time and a Place

That's how it was for Don Jay after we ran those VNAF spAD photos last time. He sent a shot along for us to look and, and provided a better caption than I could've to boot:

Phil, Enjoyed the last article and liked seeing the VNAF A-1. Here is one that I took flying out of NKP-it belongs to the 602SOS. Our friend Jim Sullivan made a model of this. I like this photo especially as it shows the wear and tear of the a/c. Note the pilot has the sliding hatch moved back-only thing missing is his scarf in the breeze! dj Note the application of the aircraft name on the nose, and the weapons load of Mk 82s and rocket pods. The centerline fuel tank is overall 34079 with a black tip. Don Gay

The Relief Tube, The Very First One

By now it must be abundantly clear that I get by with a little help from my friends, which results in some really cool photography to grace these electronic pages. You'll notice the same names appearing beneath the photos I've been running, and you need to know I'm always looking for more material. That leads us to a crass request for you to share any photos you might have if they fit into what passes for a format around here. If you're interested, please scan the material and e-mail it to . I'm a lot more interested in original photography than anything else, and will give an appropriate credit line for any photo published. (And no; I don't buy photography. This blog is 100% a labor of love and there's no money involved. I don't make any so you don't get to either! Seems fair to me...

Friend and author Frank Emmett is looking for photographs of 58th FG aircraft during WW2 and Korea for use in a book he's preparing. I've seen the manuscript and can attest that it's going to be the history on the group when it's done. Frank's asked me for pictures, but I really don't have anything. If you do, and if you'd like to help The Cause, please forward them to me at the usual address and I'll send 'em on to Frank. All photos will be properly credited, etc., etc.

And a Final Word on that "Nate" piece. David Aiken sent this along, and it helps clarify the undersurface color of the model to a great extent:

Aloha Y'All,

According to the Japanese maintenance/erection manual via JACAR (shown below) the "official color" of the Nakajima Type 97 Fighter was:

「機体の外面は灰緑色塗料を塗施す」 or

"Fuselage exterior paint coating is gray-green"

灰緑色 = Hairyokushoku = ash-green color, hence "gray-green."

The second attachment is the Hess-Ives paint mix document found by K. Owaki a few years back showing the Japanese Army aircraft colors. Using the original numbers given these RGB values were posted in 2006 at:

AFTER posting, we began the comparison to other "knowns". Nick Millman and Ken Glass determined that some of the colors were flawed...due that the Hess-Ives Color System RGB notation used by the Japanese Army/Navy had changed since World War II. Cheers,

David Aiken, a Director: Pearl Harbor History Associates, Inc.

Meanwhile, Hubert Pieitzmeier, of F-104 web sight fame, has provided the following correction to one of the myriad "Zipper" photo captions we've run lately: Regarding "This Zipper's a Tub", The 69th TFTS operated the TF-104G while training German pilots to fly the "Zipper". This one's AF61-3076 in all her BiCi glory. Of interest are the white-painted upper wings and the similarly-painted underwing tanks. Don Jay  Hubert's correction is as follows:  It is SUU-21 practice bomb dispenser. The TF-104G had to carry it on a pylon (as on the centerline for the F-104G) because of the wiring.

And that's what I know. Be good to your neighbor and I'll try real hard to publish again in a week or so!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Round of Memories, Tailhook Tommy, A Nautical Mishap, A Nautical Clanger, White Talons, Asian Skyraiders, Prowler Humor, A Jump Jet, and an Old Boat

Talkin' 'Bout a Schedule, or Maybe Not Exactly That

Here we are again, with another missed week in-between, or at least it's a missed week if you're expecting this missive to be weekly. In my world it's a weekly thing, no doubt about it, so we've just had a Missed Week. It's official. (That didn't make much sense, did it?)

There's precedent, of course. When we birthed the original Replica in Scale all those years ago we knew there was no way we could ever support a monthly magazine since the two of us (we started out as a foursome, but that fell apart pretty quickly) had Real Jobs to contend with in addition to the production of our Brand Spanking New Model Airplane Magazine. With Monthly gone by the wayside there were still options, of course: Bi-monthly, Quarterly, and Annually, to be specific. Annually was discounted right off the bat since nobody would want to wait for it to come out, while Bi-monthly wasn't much better than Monthly from a Real Job perspective. (I'll bet it makes some folks nuts when I capitalize stuff like that, but I enjoy doing it. It's a Small Price to Pay, right?) That left Quarterly as the only viable option, so we launched as same.

Things began to unravel from the very beginning when our lead article was delayed two or three times while the author waited for That Last Piece of Information to make the work complete, which resulted in our first issue coming out a couple of months later than we'd scheduled that particular event to occur. That first article set the stage for our schedule, and we never really caught up. We were consistent, though, because we never published anything early; Late was our claim to fame and Late is what we did. That wasn't what we wanted, but after we slimmed down to just the two of us Late was what we had, forced on us by that aforementioned necessity to earn a living and an earnest desire on our part to put out the best, highest quality publication we possibly could in spite of the circumstances. Jim and I used to joke about that "schedule" from time to time, to the point of calling ourselves an Occasionodical rather than a Periodical. We had to grin about it. It was the best we could do.

Jump ahead to Right Now, and to the fact that we sometimes miss a week, or at least a couple of days, in what I'm considering to be the publishing schedule. My typical work week involves days that are 12 to 14 hours long, including one weekend day, and it doesn't look like there's going to be relief any time soon so, once again, Replica in Scale finds itself in a situation where schedules are blown and things happen later than I'd like for them to. It's not my first choice and, in certain respects it's deja vu all over again, as that great American philosopher Yogi Berra once said, but at the end of the day it's what we've got. I have to grin about it. It's the best I can do.

That said, I hope you'll be understanding and patient with the schedule, and keep checking in. There's some Neat Stuff ahead, ya'll, and there's a small chance that it just might happen weekly. Maybe.

Another Shameless Plug for a Friend

I've already mentioned Rick Morgan's Tip of the Spear and recommended it to you without reservation. It's time, my friends, for yet another recommendation. You've seen correspondence and the occasional photograph from Tommy Thomason in these pages, and you'll see even more as we go along. I've known Tommy since 1984 or so, and have always been impressed with the quality of his work. He's written a couple of books on naval aviation too, and has been doing some exceptional work that I think you'll enjoy.

Here's a partial scan of the cover of Tommy's book on US naval fighter aviation aviation, U.S. Naval Air Superiority, Development of Shipborne Jet Fighters 1943-1962, Specialty Press, 2007. You're going to have to forgive the chopped-off cover of the book since its format exceeds the dimensions of my scanner bed, but the photo will give you an excellent idea of what to expect. This one's a must-have, folks. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Bad Day on the Boat

There's no need to remind anybody that naval aviation is about the most dangerous thing happening in the world of military airplanes. Here's a photo to prove the point:

Jim Sullivan got me seriously interested in Chance Vought's immortal Corsair, and I've been trying to collect images of that aircraft (which means I'd be tickled to death if you had any such photos and were willing to scan them and e-mail them to  ) for the past few months now. I know absolutely nothing about this particular photo except that it looks like it's been in a fire, probably as the result of a flight deck mishap of some sort. The "Hog" is a good-looking bird even when it's been beat up like this one has. Tailhook Association via Doug Siegfried

Somebody Needs to Look Closely 'Cause I Sure Didn't!

Check out the Douglas Skywarrior photo re-published below. I said the photo was taken while the aircraft was in the process of being launched. Sharp-eyed Tommy Thomason points out that we're actually looking at a bolter, which is painfully obvious when you look closely at the photo. Thanks, Tommy!

And here she is; a bolter for sure. Arghh!  Frank Garcia

Up in the Air, Junior Birdmen

Northrop's T-38 family has spent the past 45+ years training pilots for the Air Force. Here's a reminder of what used to be...

There was a time when all USAF trainers were painted glossy white. Here's a four-ship from the 12th FTW at Randolph AFB, taken during the mid-1970s. The 12th trained instructors, among other duties---these guys fly pretty good form, don't they?  RAFB History PAO

It's easy to forget that the T-38 is a thoroughly supersonic aircraft. During the 1980s the type started showing up in the Air Force's Aggressor program with a vengeance. Here's a blue on blue example from the 479th TFW; AT-38B 71-3203. I shot this one at Laughlin AFB on 28 March, 1987.  Friddell

Look Out, Dad, You've Been Had By a (Vietnamese) Spad

It's a well-known fact that some Vietnamese units did poorly during that particular war, but I've never heard a bad word spoken about the VNAF. I was going through some archives looking for something that had nothing whatsoever to do with the A-1 when I rediscovered these shots. I have little or no information on them, but I thought you'd enjoy seeing them.

An unknown VNAF A-1 taxis out at DaNang in March of 1968. The bomb load appears to be 4 Mk82s and a pair of M117s.  I. Gandara

Gettin' ready for the boogie. This SpAD is armed with a load of Mk82s and is getting ready to launch. This airplane's just been cleaned, and displays little of the staining so common to the A-1. That'll change as soon as the engine cranks!  I. Gandara

Pride. This VNAF A-1 driver poses for a Happy Snap before a mission. In contrast to the airplane in the previous photo, this airplane looks like the Skyraider normally appeared when in operational use. Anything that could leak did leak, and that slick under the wing is oil from the A-1's engine. This airplane is filthy; modelers take note! I. Gandara

Humor is a Good Thing

Contributor and friend Rick Morgan spent a fair part of his career as a naval aviator in the Prowler community. His brother Mark (another contributor to these pages) did the following cartoon for Rick to commemorate the fact. I'm not sure how I managed to get a copy of it but I think it's pretty cool and am offering it for your consideration today:

Pretty neat, huh? Kindof makes me wish Mark had had the time to do a comic book to go with that cover!
Mark Morgan

Jumping Jack Flash, or Maybe Just a Harrier

It was radical when it was new. It was a seriously neat, if sometimes flawed, airplane. Here's a quick tribute to the Alpha model of same:

A pair of AV-8As are operating off the FDR in the Med as captured by this November, 1976 photo. The IFR probes were generally removed for ops, but the Alpha model of the Harrier never went to war. The bird was dangerous to fly in certain flight regimes but was quite an airplane nontheless.  US Navy 1168917

Mystery Meat. I know absolutely nothing about this shot, but it gives a neat perspective on deck operations with the AV-8A, so here you are. Note that the IFR probe has been removed in this photo.  US Navy

It's a soft, fuzzy shot, and I don't know the unit or the boat, but this photo gives a pretty good idea of the sort of space the Harrier was capable of operating from when at sea. It was a force multiplier par excellence.  US Navy

And Now for Something Completely Different

We're always showing pictures of carrier aircraft on this site, so it's somehow fitting that we're going to end this installment with a photo of an aircraft carrier:

Here's something you just don't see every day; a photo of CV-4 USS Ranger negotiating the Pedro Miguel Locks of the Panama Canal. It was a simpler time...   Friddell Collection

That's All, Folks!

For today, anyway. We'll try to get back on schedule for next week. In the meantime, be good to your neighbor!