Site hosted by Build your free website today!


A long time ago I was in the Civil Air Patrol, an auxiliary of the US Air Force. Everyone was surprised when I joined the navy to "See the world". I joined to fly and I did have several opportunities to do just that. Probably more so than if I was in the Air Force. I had the opportunity to be exposed to several different types of aircraft during my tour of duty with the US Navy. Last updated 5/28/2000

Fleet Logistics Support Squadron Fifty-Four operates 5 C130T Hercules. The C130 is preparing to take off from the main runway at NAS New Orleans, it's home base.

This is one of the coolest planes to hit the sky. They look great and sound just as fine. This E2C Hawkeye was photographed at the Dayton Airshow in Dayton, Ohio. It is assigned to squadron VAW120.

No your eyes are not getting blurred, it's a pair of "7's". I never noticed this before and was surprised to see them. Both planes are FA-18 Hornets, two seaters, used to fly the media and special guest.

An early morning visit caught "Fat Albert" and one of the F/A-18 Hornets of the Blue Angles resting up for the show that day.

A year or two later, "Fat Albert" is reduced to low visibility gray. It still looks sharp and clean, but I miss the beautiful blue and yellow scheme they used to have.

Sometimes even "Fat Albert" gets into the act at the Blue Angels air shows act. This is a "Jet Assisted Take Off", better known as a JATO launch. Eight rockets, four on each side of the aircraft, propel the massive C-130 upward at about a 45 degree angle. Once the rockets burnout the nose of the aircraft levels out and the aircraft is on its way. JATO's are normally used for short runway take-offs, but in this case it was just for show and what a show.

Airshow visitors don't have the opportunity to witness aircraft with their wings folded. This is normally done on carrier decks where parking spaces are limited. This S-3 Viking is assigned to VS-27 and is normally assigned to a carrier air group.

Here's the plane that starred in Top Gun, the F-14 Tomcat. The Tomcat and the F-18 Hornet are the most common aircraft in the fleet. VF-101, the "Grim Reapers" is the proud owner of this particular aircraft seen at NAS New Orleans.

The A-6 Intruder's primary mission was to bomb radar sites located by it's sister in the next image, the EA-6 Prowler. This beautiful example belongs to the "Thunderbirds" and I don't mean the Air Force version. This is another favorite aircraft of mine.

Although the A-6 is now retired from the fleet, the EA-6 Prowler lives on. I remember first seeing A-6's and EA-6's on the flight deck of the USS Ranger and remarked how ugly they were, but they grow on you and both versions of the A-6 are my favorites.

Both this F/A-18 Hornet and the TF/A-18 Hornet pictured below are assigned to squadron VFA-106. This particular aircraft is a single seater.

The TF/A-18 is a two seater trainer, note the longer canopy. Both planes were at NAS Meridian in Mississippi.

Many Navy pilots' first jet was the T2J Buckeye. It has been around for quite some time now. Next step up was the A-4 Skyhawk and now the T-45.

The latest and greatest navy (marine) trainer is the T-45. Assigned to TW-2, Training Wing 2, this new aircraft has not been assigned to a particular squadron at the time of the picture taken. Navy training squadrons are designated as "VT". This picture was taken at Barksdale AFB in Bossier City, LA. Barksdale puts on a "free" show in April and attracts a very interesting assortment of display aircraft.

The A-4 Skyhawk is know by Navy pilots as the hotrod of the fleet, a Ferreri with wings. During the Viet Nam war the Skyhawk was one of the primary fighter bombers used to deliver tons of bombs to the enemy. Normally a single seater, the version pictured is a two seater and classified as a TA-4J Skyhawk. A-4's are still used today to train junior Navy pilots as well as at the Navy's Top Gun school, painted as agressor aircraft. Before the Navy's Blue Angels flew the F-18's, they flew Skyhawks. Because they are so light and high off the ground, when they would land on a carrier deck during high winds the flight deck plane handlers use to have to hang on the wings to prevent the plane from tipping over, honest.

One of VP-94's P3C's taxis back to the flightline after performing at the "Free" New Orleans air show. I highlighted free, because it is just that. I have been to the over priced Wings Over Houston and the Dayton (Ohio) International air shows and neither even come close to comparing to the show put on every year (in November) at NAS New Orleans. New Orleans puts on one of the best free shows in the south, drawing planes from all over the world.

Here is a rare view of a RA5C Vigilante assigned to RVAH 3 (ReconHeavyAttack 3), the Dragons. I was assigned to RVAH 3 at NAS Sanford Florida. When the base was closed the squadron was reassigned to NAS Albany, Georgia, and moved again to NAS Key West. The Vigilante was eventually replaced by the F-14 Tomcat. First intended to deliver the "A" bomb, the Vigilante was later converted into a high speed recon jet used over Viet Nam. The vigilante had the same twin jet engines like the F-4 Phantom.

Back to Aircraft Menu | Home
E-mail Me |