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One thing i always wanted to do in WOV/WOE was fly Recce birds.


To go into seriously hairy places relying on nothing more than speed, ECM, and guile takes some doing. While first checking out ODS i noticed that there was a RF4-C unit included. Well, it's the Nevada ANG and i've spent years in Vegas and lived close enough to Nellis to have seen the planes of the 192nd TRS on many occasions.


So i decided to give it a go.




Talk about a diffferent kind of intensity! :biggrin::biggrin::biggrin:


The tactics i've used so far is a variation of how i flew the F-111. After take off i climb way up to take advantage of high altitude performance. Nearing the IP, a dive down to the deck is done and the target is overflown with full burners hit at 10 miles out and continuing (usually) for at least another 10 miles before a climb back to altitude to get out of the area with a minimum of hassle.


So far my nemesis is the Mig21/Magic-550 combo. I got shot down the first time after hitting K-2 when i thought i was in the clear and home free. Luckily i was picked up and got off with nothing worse than a Purple Heart. The second time i knew my approach was somewhat of an error but i never thought i could get zapped by an A2A missle at the speed and height i was flying. That ended the campaign (MIA) but now i'm hooked!


Time to really get serious about this!

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You may like this. Operations and airplanes we never hear a peep about from the more pop media, nor from The Sims developers.

This about RF-100s overflying USSR in, shazam, 1955.


~> http://www.spyflight.co.uk/f100.htm

Thanks for the info.


I'm pretty familiar with Cold War recce flights but this is a new one to me. As the years go by things get declassified and we get more insight into the times and ops.

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I have a question for the community...


Would staying at altitude instead of doing a low level run be legit? I wonder because when i got shot down the first time, i figured it would have been safer had i stayed high instead of doing the usual.


Opinions anyone?

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Well, if you're flying something like the U-2 or SR-71, I would think high-altitude would be the way to go. However, smaller recce jets usually operate in mid to low altitudes. The F-14 TARPS crews used to make mid-altitude recce runs in the Persian Gulf over various countries. RF-8s used to make low-altitude runs over Cuba and Vietnam.


It's like this: flying low should shield you better from A/A threats because you'll be down in the weeds in among the ground clutter; however, if you're too low you open yourself up to all kinds of small arms fire, AAA, and SAMs. Flying high enough will keep you out of harms way from the small arms and AAA, some SAMs, and some kinds of enemy fighters, but, the bad guys can probably still launch some telephone poles up at you as well as the threat from high-alt/high-speed interceptors.


In reality, a lot depends on what kind of pictures you need to take, and what kind of camera equipment you have.


As to particular tactics, I don't know if I can help much. IIRC, 3000ft was the limit - any lower exposed you to small arms fire. Change altitude a lot to throw off the AAA - I think every 5-10secs in the threat area because the radar-guided AAA would take about that long to recompute the targeting solution on you and throw up more lead in your flight path. Don't fly directly below an overcast - the enemy knows how high the clouds are. Don't fly directly above an overcast - you can't see anything coming up to get you. Keep the speed up in the target area. One pass, haul ass.

Edited by gbnavy61

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Should depend on the plane, doctrine, equipment, needs...


For recce birds available in game I think the usual altitude over target are :

U-2A : Very High altitude

Yak-25RV : High to Very High altitude

Canberras : Medium to Very High altitude

RA-5C : Low to High altitude

RF-100A : Medium to High altitude

RB-66B/C : Medium to High altitude

RF-86F : Medium altitude

F9F-5P : Medium altitude

RF-101(A/C/G/H/B) : Low to Medium altitude

RF-4(C/E) : Low to Medium altitude

RF-104G : Low to Medium altitude

F-16A® : Low to Medium altitude

RF-8(C/G) : Low to Medium altitude

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I gotta say that since the release of the VooDoo's, Recce is what I been flying the most.

I added a Sqdn of them to the Rolling Thunder campain so I could take'em "DownTown"

Very Intense.


In SEA I always fly down in the weeds. Dont know if its the best tactic but it is certainly the most fun.

Nothing like going Full AB over Hanoi at 300'.


The only time I have been shot down was after clearing the target. After crossing the border I cut the AB's and started a lazy climb back up to alt for the flight home. I can just imagine what that MiG-21 driver was thinking when he saw me do that.

I never saw him. Fortunatly the PJ's got to me before the badguys did.

Never let your guard down and check 6 on egress.

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Thanks all for the replies.


Regarding my two shootdowns, in my opinion the MIG got lucky on the second one. I had them converting onto me as i was in a dive but knew they didn't have the angle so i kept going as the MIGs turned onto my six.. Once i was down in the sand i figured that all things considered, the RF4 would make a very difficult target. At 10 miles from the target, full burners and down to about 150 AGL and imagine my surprise to get blown up about a mile short of the target.


Didn't think the Magic-550 had that kind of envelope! :blink:


The first time was similar to Echarlies' but i was back at altitude going full bore for home and thought i had the Mig outrunned. As it turned out, with a pair of 21s firing they got me with the last 550 they had.

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