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rea59
01-31-2007, 06:49 PM
Unlimited Vertical

Back in the day, when I was with the F4 community we took our planes to Patrick AFB in Florida. We were there to do Air to Ground training with the Air Force FAO’s (Forward Area Observers) and also to give our pilots FAO training. We had been there about three weeks when it came time to leave and head back north to our home base.

Patrick’s main runway points out to the ocean. If you were looking straight down it you would see it stops at the A1A highway and just across the highway (sitting on the beach) is the Officers Club.

We lined up our planes nose to tail on the taxiway at the far end of the runway. Ten planes in all. For those not familiar with the McDonald Douglas F4 Phantom II; it is a twin engine fighter jet with each engine producing 38,000lbs of thrust w/ After Burner.

Each plane did its take off roll less than a minute apart. As each one achieved enough airspeed it would climb to approximately 50 feet off the runway raise its gear and continue down the runway.

As each plane passed the six lane A1A highway and got over the Officers club the pilot would pull the plane into a “Max Performance Climb”. The result of this was 50 feet to 40,000 feet in less than a minute. At the top the pilot would level off and head north.

10 planes in 10 minutes. We brought the A1A highway to a complete stand still and I’m sure the noise in the club was deafening. :p

Talk about UNLIMITED VERTICAL. :D

Funny we were never invited back to that base for more training. :confused:

WRX Dave
01-31-2007, 11:37 PM
Sounds like a blast. My real regret about not going into the service is not being able to play with that kind of thrust/weight ratio.

Oh well, I guess I'll be patrolling the friendly skies in an aluminum tube instead...

Rabbitcreekok
01-31-2007, 11:39 PM
Wish I could have seen that. I am an airplane noise junkie.

rea59
02-01-2007, 12:13 AM
Sounds like a blast. My real regret about not going into the service is not being able to play with that kind of thrust/weight ratio.

Oh well, I guess I'll be patrolling the friendly skies in an aluminum tube instead...


Enough thrust to be able to accelerate in a 90 degree vertical climb but had a glide slope of 25 feet down for every 1 foot forward. Talk about sitting on a guided rocket.:D

Don Sims
02-01-2007, 01:02 AM
Great story!

Tireshred
02-01-2007, 01:21 AM
One of my best friends was an ex Captain in the Texas Air National Guard, he flew F4's until they were retired the early 90's, his squad would fly from Ellington AFB and get 50'-100' over Hwy 3, go vertical, it was the weapons officers job to count how many cars stopped, the record was over 50. I have to admit I was there a couple of times...

I could never get a ride, dammit.

TLyttle
02-01-2007, 02:44 AM
Try noise in WW11...

My aunt lived just off the end of the main runway at Montreal during the war. They were ferrying 17s, 24s, etc from there to Europe, and every one of these aircraft were carrying full fuel load plus parts. 200' up, one every 70 seconds, mostly 24hrs a day...

Airhead
02-01-2007, 04:24 AM
I love that kind of stuff!!!!:D

rea59
02-01-2007, 01:26 PM
It was a lot of fun! The best Unlimited Vertical I got to see was at a base in southern Japan. SR71 full after burner straight up off the runway. This was long before the SR71 was publicly known about.

firemanbill
02-01-2007, 01:37 PM
One of my favorite memories was being a young wet behind the ears airman newly assigned to Eglin AFB in Florida.

I was at the Fire station just kind of getting a feel for the place kind of still half scared to death and the I hear the rumble... Next thing I know hear comes this F-15 A model assigned to the 33rd TFW come screaming down the runway and just about midfield he pulls straight up, full afterburners, and does his best Apollo imitation!:eek: Straight up outta sight... then there were 3 more right behind him...

From that moment on all the crappy memories of basic training and the sub zero temps of the Fire acadamy in Illinois in the winter vanished, and I thought to myself... I'm really going to enjoy this AF stuff...

rea59
02-01-2007, 02:03 PM
One of my favorite memories was being a young wet behind the ears airman newly assigned to Eglin AFB in Florida.

I was at the Fire station just kind of getting a feel for the place kind of still half scared to death and the I hear the rumble... Next thing I know hear comes this F-15 A model assigned to the 33rd TFW come screaming down the runway and just about midfield he pulls straight up, full afterburners, and does his best Apollo imitation!:eek: Straight up outta sight... then there were 3 more right behind him...

From that moment on all the crappy memories of basic training and the sub zero temps of the Fire acadamy in Illinois in the winter vanished, and I thought to myself... I'm really going to enjoy this AF stuff...


Good Morning Bill, You should have dried off first.:D

Squadrons I've been with:

VMFA 115 Silver Eagles - Beaufort SC F4J Phantoms
VMFA 232 Red Devils (First to Fight) - Hawaii F4S Phantoms (2 far east tours)
VMFA 451 Warlords - F/A18D/E Beaufort SC

I've seen som truly amazing things done with jet airplanes!:eek:

firemanbill
02-01-2007, 02:21 PM
33 TFW Eglin F-15 and all sorts of various fighters form the Test wing there.

51 TFW Osan AB Korea F-4
36 TFW Bitburg AB GE F-15
Eglin again and again and again :rolleyes:
646th Provisional, Gulf war, (the first one) F-15, British Tornado's, F-16's
1 FW Langley F-15's and now the F-22 Raptor

I've seen some really neat stuff too!:D

Recently realy cool was to see the first F-22 do the new ACC demo team routine!

I'm pretty dry now!:rolleyes: either that or just old and crusty!

Rabbitcreekok
02-01-2007, 05:31 PM
It was a lot of fun! The best Unlimited Vertical I got to see was at a base in southern Japan. SR71 full after burner straight up off the runway. This was long before the SR71 was publicly known about.

Until I saw your entry, I had forgotten about an air show I attended at Carswell AFB in Fort Worth in the mid 60's. They had the XB-70 Valkyrie parked there. Of course no one could get near it and we did not get to see if fly.

But during the show a U-2 did a low flyby down the main runway and at midfield pulled back on the stick to vertical and very quietly flew straight up and out of sight. No thunder and cracking noise, just a quiet whoosh. That proves the old adage that they fly better if you build em light.