I have posted about the JetStars that were stored at Klamath Falls. There were three airframes that we got a chance to check out. We were given a great opportunity because they also opened up the jets so we could look around inside. It was fun poking around inside what was once the premier form of executive transport. It was also interesting to see the difference in the configurations with things like the throttle quadrants looking very different between the jets.
The US Navy continues to take deliveries of the P-8 Poseidon jets but they are getting close to the end of their production run. Meanwhile, export customers continue to be receiving their jets. The latest customer to have an aircraft show up on the flight line is the Republic of Korea’s navy. Their first jet flew from Renton to Boeing Field a while back and then went in to the fit out process for a while. It is now out on the flight line and undergoing test.
I have managed to get a few shots of it so far. It is marked up quite colorfully so it looks better than the average jet coming off the line. We shall see how long it stays around here before it gets delivered to Korea. There will be others following it down the line too. New Zealand is the next customer to get its first jet so we shall see how long it is before that jet makes to move to BFI and then is fitted out.
I was scanning through some photos from my travels to Oregon with Mark and came across some photos of a United Airlines 737-700 landing at PDX. It was braking and had the reversers deployed. Looking at the shots, there is a dark burn mark on the engine nacelle that is split either side of the join in the reverser. It looks like something has been cooked a little. Anyone with experience that can suggest what has been going on with this engine?
Erickson has a B-17 as part of its collection. However, while Ye Olde Pub was sitting outside during my visit, there was a second B-17 on site. This is Thunderbird and it is undergoing some major airframe work. The fuselage was sitting on stands directly in front of you when you entered the hangar. The wings and empennage were in racks around it.
I don’t know what the schedule is for sorting out this aircraft but people seemed to be busy working on it so I assume it will be back in the air before too long. I did enjoy sneaking around trying to find good views of all of the parts that were stored awaiting their return to their rightful place on the airframe. Madras is quite a hike for me but it might be good to go back when they get the plane back in the air. It sounds like the sort of thing that Matt Booty might get down to photograph. Maybe I can be his assistant!
We were standing out to the east of the runway at Klamath Falls when the Erickson team was practicing their display ahead of the show at Sentry Eagle. I was looking in the wrong direction when someone called out that the Bearcat was diving in on us. I swung around and pulled the camera up at the last minute. Needless to say, I did not get the greatest shots of the plane but it was coming right at me so I will go with the best I could get. It was pretty cool having a Bearcat buzz right over my head!
I have posted about a MiG 21 and an F-104 Starfighter that we found in Corvallis and, if you read both posts, you might recall that we were there because we had heard about a Taiwanese F-5E Tiger II that was supposed to be there. While I have focused on the other two, it was indeed true that the F-5 was there. It was also tucked up at the back of the hangar.
It was squeezed in amongst the other aircraft which made getting a clear shot of it a touch tricky. I was using my phone – why I didn’t go back to the car to get the main camera I don’t know – but I ended up taking shots to stitch together when I got home. The jet looked in good shape. It even had a data plate on the wing tip which is unlike most other jets I have seen. I grabbed a bunch of shots but we had a long drive ahead of us and we couldn’t stay forever.
On the morning after our arrival in Klamath Falls, we headed out to a location that was hopefully good for getting shots of jets departing to the north in the morning. What we hadn’t counted on was that the based aircraft would be practicing their display for the air show the following day just after we got there. This was a four ship display that involved some sporty departures and then beating up the airfield from various directions and in various combinations.
They launched four F-15s in stream. The first jet up was the specially painted aircraft that the unit has had for a while but which I had not seen previously. It was joined by two more single seaters in unit markings and the last of the four was an F-15D that wasn’t carrying any unit markings. They would keep it really low after getting airborne and then cross the fence at speed and with burner locked in.
Then they would each pull hard to the vertical and blast upwards. The first one caught me off guard a bit – not ideal since this was the special paint jet. It turned out I got some shots of it, even though I found myself, twisting awkwardly to try and keep it in view. The others I had a slightly better idea about and was ready to track them as they went.
If you don’t know I like JetStars, you have not been a regular reader of this blog. If that is the case, I have a real soft spot for this jet. The original business jet and a plane that looks so cool even decades after it first flew. If you did know, my apologies for being so repetitive. On the evening that Mark and I arrived in Klamath Falls, I saw a post on the JetStar Facebook group about some JetStars in the city. A Brit, Kev Perry, had posted some shots of them. I decided to contact him, and he gave me some good information about where they were and the team that looked after them.
The next morning found me and Mark at their front door asking if we might come in. The team couldn’t have been more accommodating. Two of the jets were parked up on the ramp in the morning sun looking fantastic. They let us take any shots we wanted. They also told us about a third jet that they had in their hangar so it would have been rude to not wander across and take a look. Photographing a jet in the hangar is not as cool as in the morning sun but three JetStars in a morning is not something to miss.
Erickson currently flies a bunch of MD-87s are firefighting jets. However, these are a relatively recent addition to the service and they have replaced Douglas DC-7s. The DC-7s were still in service when I first made a visit to Madras in 2015 but they have now been retired. However, three of the airframes are stored on the ramp at Madras and we took a look around to see how they were fairing.
They looked in great condition. The dry atmosphere at Madras is good for storing aircraft. Some engines have been removed but the three jets are in the most recent paint finish and parked in a line. They make for an interesting subject. I have no idea how far from airworthy they are should anyone want to get any of them flying again (aside from the engines that have been removed) but they look like they have been taken care of. I would have loved to have seen one airborne but sadly, that time has passed.
In a previous post, I mentioned coming across a MiG 21 in Corvallis Oregon. When we saw this jet through the door of the hangar, we were surprised. However, we are polite types so I went in to the office attached the hangar to ask if we could take a look at the MiG. When I said this to the person on the desk, she asked if I wanted to see their Starfighter. I was confused but wasn’t going to argue about the type since I wanted them to let me in. She pointed me through the door to hangar and said I was welcome to look around.
I went through the door and looked to my right and immediately realized what she was talking about. Tucked in a corner to one side of the MiG was an TF-104G Starfighter. It was in bare metal but there was a hint of previous paint on it. I found a panel with markings on it which suggested the jet had seen service with Turkey. Mark advised that they had received jets from other countries so it might have served elsewhere before.
While it was tucked in the back of the hangar, the hangar doors had plenty of clear panels which meant there was some nice light illuminating the jet as it sat there doing very little. The Starfighter is such a fantastic looking jet. It is so dynamic looking and, when in bare metal, it looks even more cool. I have no idea the story that brought it to Corvallis but was so happy to have found it as part of a short diversion from the long drive home.