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Century Series

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I dont know about you guys, but I really like that series of aircrafts. It's the cream of the cream if you ask me. All very good aircraft with a long service life and most of them combat tested. All started their lives as A2A Fighters except the F-105 which is actually more a bomber than a Fighter. IMO the F-110A belongs to the bunch like some others think. :good::biggrin:

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I dont know about you guys, but I really like that series of aircrafts. It's the cream of the cream if you ask me. All very good aircraft with a long service life and most of them combat tested. All started their lives as A2A Fighters except the F-105 which is actually more a bomber than a Fighter. IMO the F-110A belongs to the bunch like some others think. :good::biggrin:

 

I agree. Still sorely missing the F-102 and the F-101 from this game.

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Yes the Century Series is my favorite too. However the F-110A just doesn't fit that mantra as it became its own legacy as the F-4. Never shall the 2 get confused.

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I would like to put a little bit water into your wine, but the Century Fighters were all not the top. I would favor the french Super Mystere instead of the F-100 or F-101, the Mirage III or the MiG-21 instead of the F-104, the british Lightning would i set over the F-102 or F-106 and as strike plane i would choose the F-4 instead of the F-105. And my favorite bird would be the F-5 Tiger.

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I always saw the century series as the stepping stone between prop planes/slow jets and the mach-2 fighters we have today. The USAF took so much pride in those planes. Let us not forget the CF-100 and CF-105, I believe those count as century fighters too (the CF-105 definetly).

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Let us not forget the CF-100 and CF-105, I believe those count as century fighters too (the CF-105 definetly).

 

No those are Canadian planes and are not lumped in with the US Century series.

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Cause we don't count. :)

 

Now you're catching on! :)

 

Throw the Canuck down the well,

so my country can be pure...

 

Haha, just kidding! :biggrin: Actually, I love the CF-100, and it's sister the CF-105. Too bad the CF-105 was killed, it would probably have made a better interceptor than the F-106 or anything else in our inventory.

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Not a Canadian yet. (looking at March 2009) But if they were in the Century series I would go with the CF-105.

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The century series were all showpieces of advanced design and engineering, but in reality few of them were actually very good aircraft. My rankings:

 

F-100 -- C, poor maneuverability, low payload, only fast in a straight line at altitude

F-101 -- D, awful design that only found use as recce platform, where straight-line performance at altitude is valuable, turn radius the size of Texas

F-102 -- C+, after false start became a credible interceptor but was underpowered and never had the intended fire control system

F-104 -- C+, the hardest to rate, very fast in a straight line, poor maneuverability, unbelievable that Lockheed has such export success while the USAF quickly dumped it

F-105 -- B, legendary fighter-bomber and the most historically significant of the bunch, but never optimal in its role, a credit more to pilots than the machine (IMO)

F-106 -- B+, I rate it the highest because of its technology and engineering, only weakness was its AIM-4 missiles

 

All my opinion of course, having flown none of them. ;)

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These were all designed for large scale unlimited air warfare WW3 style, before McNamara.

 

Since we are here to poast about it, these aircraft performed perfectly. The Soviets were especially impressed in the late 1950s with what the F-105 could do. Su-7B was their best response to the F-105.

 

F-101 also used as strategic interceptor.

 

Even in the Age Of McNamara, the F-104 was the most successful escort fighter in Vietnam as the MiGs stayed on the ground when F-104s flew. :ok::wink:

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Old Boss of mine flew the VooDoo...he would agree that it had a terrible turn radius...a true lead sled...but then, as you say, it was meant for a time few of us can fathom...to stop Russian Bombers from hitting cities...

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F-101 also used as strategic interceptor.

 

Actually it was designed as a long range escort fighter for SAC, not an interceptor. SAC had them on strength for perhaps 3 months before they were transferred to TAC to server as nuclear bombers. The idea of an F-101 tangling with MiGs was apparantly as preposterous to SAC as it is to us today.

 

Even in the Age Of McNamara, the F-104 was the most successful escort fighter in Vietnam as the MiGs stayed on the ground when F-104s flew. :ok::wink:

 

Except of course the one that was shot down by a MiG over Hainan Island. If it had been so succesful, it would have remained in Vietnam, but in reality it was completely unsuited for the job, just like the F-102s that were deployed there.

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The century series were all showpieces of advanced design and engineering, but in reality few of them were actually very good aircraft. My rankings:

 

F-100 -- C, poor maneuverability, low payload, only fast in a straight line at altitude

F-101 -- D, awful design that only found use as recce platform, where straight-line performance at altitude is valuable, turn radius the size of Texas

F-102 -- C+, after false start became a credible interceptor but was underpowered and never had the intended fire control system

F-104 -- C+, the hardest to rate, very fast in a straight line, poor maneuverability, unbelievable that Lockheed has such export success while the USAF quickly dumped it

F-105 -- B, legendary fighter-bomber and the most historically significant of the bunch, but never optimal in its role, a credit more to pilots than the machine (IMO)

F-106 -- B+, I rate it the highest because of its technology and engineering, only weakness was its AIM-4 missiles

 

All my opinion of course, having flown none of them. ;)

 

That is a fair assessment. However I am moving the Thud to A-. My reason is that is did its role perfect, it could carry the loads and haul ass back. What held it back was the pilots inability in the beginning to deliver iron bombs. Some never dropped one until they saw combat in SEA. All were trained to deliver a nuclear payload and get the hell out of dodge.

 

The F-106 gets an A. There are a few Eagle pilots that found out the hard way that getting into a knife fight ONE O SIX was a bad move. Despite its delta wing, it was a very maneuverable aircraft. It was THE interceptor until it was retired. Its William Tell record is a testament to that. In fact there are units that fly the F-15 now and think they were cheated when they switched to F-15's.

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Old Boss of mine flew the VooDoo...he would agree that it had a terrible turn radius...a true lead sled...but then, as you say, it was meant for a time few of us can fathom...to stop Russian Bombers from hitting cities...

 

Interestingly, it was really the fruit of a program to provide SAC with a long-range escort for B-36s and other bombers. IIRC it never carried an air-intercept radar. Can you imagine being in an F-101, with its known characterists, over Soviet territory on a one-way mission confronted by MiG-19s and MiG-21s? It would be unenviable to say the least.

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That is a fair assessment. However I am moving the Thud to A-. My reason is that is did its role perfect, it could carry the loads and haul ass back. What held it back was the pilots inability in the beginning to deliver iron bombs. Some never dropped one until they saw combat in SEA. All were trained to deliver a nuclear payload and get the hell out of dodge.

 

I hear you. No argument the Thud was a legend. My "rating" was influenced by its suscpetability to catastrophic battle damage. For example, the lack of redundant hydraulics early in Vietnam. I believe over 50% of the total production was lost in Vietnam?

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Except of course the one that was shot down by a MiG over Hainan Island. If it had been so succesful, it would have remained in Vietnam, but in reality it was completely unsuited for the job, just like the F-102s that were deployed there.

 

Well that incident, the pilot was caught with his pants down. But you can't dispute the fear factor. When they flew, the NVPAF stayed on the ground. The only fighter to come close to that was the F-8. There are cases that when F-8's in the air, Mig pilots, ejected, rather than fight them.

 

In the A2G role, yes I don't think it was the best choice. But even Andy Bush said that it did better than people give it credit for. But pulling it from Vietnam was the right choice just to it high accident rate. If there is ever a statement to hold true, it was the man more than the machine.

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I hear you. No argument the Thud was a legend. My "rating" was influenced by its suscpetability to catastrophic battle damage. For example, the lack of redundant hydraulics early in Vietnam. I believe over 50% of the total production was lost in Vietnam?

 

Very correct, 50% of them are splattered all over Thud Ridge. Talking to Col Broughton a few years ago at a convention he said he was surprised the Thuds that came home with the damage some of them took. He said it was an all or none thing. Some came home and it was like how did that come home, then some had very little damage to the casual eye but were total write offs.

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Well that incident, the pilot was caught with his pants down. But you can't dispute the fear factor. When they flew, the NVPAF stayed on the ground. The only fighter to come close to that was the F-8. There are cases that when F-8's in the air, Mig pilots, ejected, rather than fight them.

 

In the A2G role, yes I don't think it was the best choice. But even Andy Bush said that it did better than people give it credit for. But pulling it from Vietnam was the right choice just to it high accident rate. If there is ever a statement to hold true, it was the man more than the machine.

 

Agreed. Andy did say that he angered the brass by outflying an F-15 in a demonstration, IIRC. He was flying an F-104. LOL, similar to the Supa Hornet getting a gun kill on an F-22, but proof that the pilot is the most important factor.

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Well, regardless of how they rate, they are some purposeful and mean looking aircraft. In sharp contrast to planes like the F-22, which are infinitely more capable but have a strange, almost cartoonish and unrealistic appearance.

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Well, regardless of how they rate, they are some purposeful and mean looking aircraft. In sharp contrast to planes like the F-22, which are infinitely more capable but have a strange, almost cartoonish and unrealistic appearance.

 

You know what I have been trying to a description to that and I think you just nailed it on the head.

 

You are right about the F-22 incident, that pilot had 20 hours in the F-22 and the SH pilot has like 1000 hours in the C and 300 in the SH. But at Red Flag Alaska, the F-22 went 151 and 0 against SH, Eagles and Vipers. But then there is the Viper pilot who got a kill on an F-22 at the Nellis Red Flag. They used a new tactic. Got the 22's with their pants down, however the bad part for the Viper pilots was, that tactic worked on once. Just once, haven't gotten closed to a kill since.

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That is a fair assessment. However I am moving the Thud to A-. My reason is that is did its role perfect, it could carry the loads and haul ass back. What held it back was the pilots inability in the beginning to deliver iron bombs. Some never dropped one until they saw combat in SEA. All were trained to deliver a nuclear payload and get the hell out of dodge.

 

no, not in the beginning...

The Thud pilots in 1965/66 were the best, they all came from TAC squadrons....

the bombing got worse when the higher-ups decided that every USAF pilots has to make one 100 missions over the north tour in SEA ....or die trying...

then came all the transport and bomber pilots who got a quick, couple of weeks conversion course, + all the new pilots directly out of flying school...

the first team in 65/66 were all professionals ( well, ompared to what came later )

 

105 :ph34r:

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