Tag Archives: thunderchief

Take Your Pick When Refueling

The F-105 Thunderchief (or Thud) is a beast of a plane. Sadly I never got to seem them in action.  One is parked outside at Cavanaugh in Addison TX.  Its camo is a bit bleached by the Texas sun (it was just over 100 degrees the day I arrived and that was towards the end of the afternoon).  The thing that caught my eye, though, was the refueling receptacle or, more specifically, receptacles.  USAF aircraft have the flying boom refueling system.  This was not always the case and jets like the F-100 had flight refueling probes for the hose and drogue method.

I assume that the Air Force was in a transition mode when the F-105 was being designed so they had both.  On the upper side of the nose there is a ramp for boom refueling to take place.  Below that on the port side is a retractable refueling probe for hose and drogue use.  I didn’t realize that any jets had been built for both (aside from the UK and French E-3s which are a bit larger and more able to accommodate the extra kit.  I wonder which one was more regularly used since the techniques for each type differ.

DM’s Museum Jets

B11I4056.jpgMany airbases have a selection of historic aircraft on display to show something of what has gone before on the base.  Sadly, they are often unavailable to shoot when you visit.  Davis Monthan AFB has quite a few different planes on display and, fortunately, the location of the Fallen Hawg ceremony during Hawgsmoke was in front of the display A-10.  While everything was being set up, we had some time to kill and I was allowed to wander around the other planes.

B11I4070.jpgThe selection included some obvious DM aircraft like the A-10 and A-7 (even if it was actually a Navy A-7E that they had repainted).  A U-2 was a slightly more surprising one to see.  I’m not sure how that qualifies but I wasn’t complaining.  The F-105, F-100 and F-4 all looked good too.  Not only was it nice to be able to shoot them but it gave us something to do since we had got in place pretty early!