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PraetorH

F-100 in West German Service

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The F-100 in Luftwaffe colours is a not too unlikely what-if.

 

 

What happened in reality:

 

In 1955 West Germany re-armed and the Bundeswehr began active service, but it still lacked an air force. The new Luftwaffe however was about to be mustered. In October 1956 German officials planned 364 F-100 Super Sabres and 226 F-86K for the fighter wings, but were denied the F-100. Ironically just one year later the USAF realized the F-100 would rapidly age in the light of the coming Mach 2-generation of fighters and fighter-bombers. Large stocks of F-100 were given to the ANG, but also cleared for export. In 1957 the F-100D were offered to Germany. Unlike Denmark and France, Germany had no interest in the plane, since the Bundesministerium der Verteidigung (MoD) already wanted a Mach-2 jet. Erich Hartmann was one of the advocates for the F-100 as he felt the Luftwaffe, completely equipped with subsonic aircraft, was not yet ready for the Mach-2 age and should train on supersonic jets first.

 

 

What if...

the Luftwaffe had decided to buy some of the F-100D?

 

In late 1958 two wings were given the new Super Sabres: JBG 33 and JG 72. The Fighter Bomber Wing 33 was responsible for the German part of the nuclear sharing, thus it was decided it should get the newest hardware to ensure maximum performance in nuclear bombing. By the same logic JBG 33 would receive the new Starfighters from late 1960 on.

Fighter Wing 72 had just been activated and had a stronger focus on air to ground combat than other fighter wings. Therefore the fighter bomber F-100D was deemed well suited.

 

The pilots initially loved the thrust and advanced systems, but they also underestimated how difficult it was to fly. More problems arose because the Luftwaffe infrastructure and logistics were not prepared for supersonic jets. To make matters worse, personnel shortage meant that maintenance was often done by inexperienced conscripts. Accident rates were horrifying, even alerting the German tabloid press. These events spurred reforms in the Luftwaffe which would come in handy when the new Starfighters came into service.

 

With the arrival of the Starfighter in 1960, the Super Sabres of JBG 33 were gradually replaced until it operated exclusively with F-104 by 1963. The remaining F-100 were transferred to the Marinefliegergeschwader 2 (naval aviation wing), always last to receive new aircraft. MFG 2 would continue flying the Super Sabres until 1966.

 

JG 72 meanwhile was officially converted to a fighter bomber wing, now named JBG 43. It focused on close air support and it seemed as if the days of the Super Sabre came to an end, when MoD officials announced its replacement: the Fiat G.91R. This light subsonic bomber was build just for the role of close air support. However the good performance of the Super Sabres in Vietnam convinced the Luftwaffe to keep them service. Also the pilots flying supersonic jets were not exactly thrilled to ‘downgrade’ and had little love for the Fiat. After all they wanted to keep their fighter role.

 

In 1970 the F-100 was out-dated and updates were deemed too costly, and by 1971 JGB 43 was no more. It was reorganized to Light Bomber Wing LKG 43 flying G.91.

 

 

 

Colours and Markings:

 

 

1958-1960

 

 

JBG 33 featured a rather discreet paint scheme with the typical all-silver and decent squadron markings at the nose. The squadron badges were updated from the old F-84 silhouette to the current F-100. JBG 33 Super Sabres were not painted in camouflage colours, because they were already being transferred to the navy.

 

11jbg33.jpg

 

12jbg33.jpg

 

(The paintjob mirrors that of the F-84 of 1./JBG 33 before 1960)

 

 

 

JG 72 by contrast sported most flamboyant squadron markings on nose and tail. Only JG 71 rivaled it in extravagancy. Since camouflage was not an issue and as it marked a decided turn away from Nazi military costumes, the Luftwaffe was ok with it. In fact, it matched well with the new Nato-allies.

 

21jg72s.jpg

 

22jg72s.jpg

 

(The paintjob is mirrors that of the Canadair Sabres of 1./JG 72 “Viking” before 1960)

 

 

 

 

1961-1970

 

 

JG 72 retained their characteristic markings for a while even after camouflage was iussed, defeating the very purpose of camouflage. Luftwaffe commanders tolerated this for a while, but with the conversion to JBG 43, the markings were gone. The squadron badges were replaced by the wing badge.

 

3jg72c.jpg

 

(The paintjob mirrors that of the Canadair Sabres of 1./JG 72 “Viking” after 1960)

 

 

41jbg43.jpg

 

42jbg43.jpg

 

(The paintjob mirrors that of the Canadair Sabres of 1./JG 72 “Viking” after 1964)

 

 

MFG 2 painted their F-100 in the standard naval aviation camouflage. Sadly, it was always very bland. Even wing badges were omitted before the mid-sixties.

 

51mfg2.jpg

 

52mfg2.jpg

 

 

(This paintjob is an intermediate solution sporting the old naval badge and the new Marine-lettering. I do not think this combination ever existed, but then the F-100 is an intermediate solution that never existed)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical notes

on JBG 33, JG 72, MFG 2, and the Luftwaffe jump to Mach-2:

 

 

JBG 33 was indeed always the first to receive new gear due to its nuclear mission, getting Starfighters as early 1960 while MFG 2 began to get them four years later. JG 72 was a pure fighter wing when it officially got the mission to perform daylight interceptions in 1962. However it was soon given the fighter bomber role in 1964 when it was reorganized as JBG 43, yet still equipped with their initial Canadair Sabres. Only in 1966 it got the Fiat G.91 and was soon redesignated LKG 43, for the G.91 could not perform as a fighter - much to the dismay of the pilots.

The Starfighter suffered an extraordinary high accident rate, including over a hundred fatalities. But it should not be forgotten that the Luftwaffe and its personnel were not in the least prepared for modern aircraft. The Hun would have created similar problems for the Luftwaffe.

 

 

 

Ugrades:

 

 

If someone can think of technical reasonable upgrades for the late 60ies and early 70ies, please tell me.

 

 

 

 

And finally:

 

THANKS to hgbn, whose excellent templates I am using!

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Hey Praetor

 

That Super Sabres are looking extremely awesome! :yikes:

 

Would be great if you could release them!

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that Euro camo looks GREAT!!!

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Thanks all! The Hun is a fond childhood memory because it was my first big model kit (the second being the F-106, and third the F-104 – Century Series all the way!). It was hard coming up with a halfway reasonable backstory, but I am glad you like it. :salute:

 

Btw, the Euro-camo is m my attempt on the Luftwaffe 1960-camo which had no special name and served as forerunner to the more famous Norm 72 with its straight lines and more angular appearance. The Hun in camouflage looks more like a plane for serious business, imo. That is why I tried it, although it took me some time. Therefore, your compliments are much appreciated! Thanks so much. :heart:

 

I will not have much time next weeks to tweak the plane but I will try to release it sooner or later (rather later; I must figure out what to include in the download as this Luftwaffe Hun probably makes some serious use of the NATO-fighters content).

 

Maybe I can think of a good update programme, but I do not know enough about the Hun… If someone knows about proposed upgrade programmes, I am eager to learn about it. Within the story it would make some sense for the JBG 43 to skip the Fiat G.91 altogether and go directly for the Alpha Jet in the late 70ies.

 

Furthermore, I am trying to complete two skins for the second squadron of JG 72, the Füchse (Foxes). Despite having a fox in their badge, they actually participated in the Tiger-Meets from 1962 on. Back then it was the only unit not to have a tiger in their badge – a fact to which they replied:

post-3782-0-12734900-1343595497.jpg

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Looks very cool, as usually! :good:

 

One thing, though:

 

I noticed that the Marine-badge was either placed on the air-intake (Starfighter and Tornado) or at the Nose (Sea Hawk):

shawk_kp.jpg

 

I guess, the F-100 would look even sharper with the Marine-badge at the intake (combining both locations - intake and nose).

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