Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Couple More USN "Name This Aircraft"




"Unifying" the aircraft designation system, which largely meant redesignating Navy and Marine aircraft, as the Air Farce was permitted to keep their old designations, was just another one of the minor crimes against history that was committed by McNamera's Whiz-Kids.


Murphy's Law said...

Ah, the R7D. I know that one. It's the Navy version of the C-121, aka the L1049 "Super Constellation".

Long may they fly!

Comrade Misfit said...

No, "D" was the code for Douglas.

The Connie was the R7O, later changed to R7V.

Murphy's Law said...


Comrade Misfit said...

Actually, Douglas was one of the D codes. During the war, McDonnell was also a D code. Then their code was shifted to H.

I suspect the main reason for the USN/USMC coding system was it was too difficult for the USAAC to figure out.


CenterPuke88 said...

OK... T is Torpedo, Trainer or Transport...the H is Hall-Aluminum, Howard, Huff-Daland, Snead, McDonnell or Stearman-Hammond.

R is Racer or Transport...the D is Douglas, Frankfort, McDonnell and Radioplane.

H is Hospital or Air-Sea-Rescue, but HS is Helicopter Anti-Submarine...K is Fairfield, Kaiser, Nash-Kelvinator, Kaman, Keystone and Kinner.

So, starting with that...

The Howard Instrument Trainer was the NH-1...I don't know. Maybe the T-45 Goshawk?

For the R7D, maybe the C-9A Nightingale or the C-9B Skytrain II? I lost count of the MD transports....

And the HSK might be the SH-2 Seasprite?

Comrade Misfit said...

Right for all three. The R6D was the DC-6.

I was pretty sure that the Navy didn't operate any DC-7s or -8s, but the Navy later did have one DC-8, designated the C-24. Which would make that the R8D, as it was procured after the C-9s.

LRod said...

Are these oficial, post 1962, aircraft designations, or just "might have been" fantasy listings?

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

Comrade Misfit said...

LRod, all are "should have been" designations.

LRod said...

Well, I disagree that they "should have been". That whole naval system was ridiculous. During WWII there were at least three manufacturers of B-17s. Didn't make a different airplane—they all made B-17s. There was ample capacity to document the provenance of all the Lockheed B-17s and the Douglas B-17s without the need for entirely unique nomenclature. Same story with B-24s, and, no doubt, other examples.

Hell, even in your favorite category, 1911s, it was done right. My 1911 happens to have been made by Remington. It still says Colt M1911A1 on the slide, but it was made by Remington. How do I know? Serial number.

The naval system was confusing on many levels. How many F4s were there? Two, at least (Wildcat, Corsair), distinguishable only by the manufacturer code. How many Wildcat manufacturers were there? At least two, yet there are F4F and FM2 both representing the same airplane. It's so confusing that "documentarians" (scare quotes because they mostly aren't very good in the historian category) have referred to the FM2 as a variant or improvement of the F4F.

I saw a documentary on the F4 Phantom (II) that progressed through the various models—F4A, F4B, F4C, etc.—displaying a chart with engine type, max speed, max altitude, weight, etc. For the A through C they listed the J-79 engine, a max speed in excess of 1,200 MPH, a max altitude on the order of 50,000', and appropriate weights. When they got to the F4D, they listed J-47 (I think), around 900 MPH, 45,000' or so, and a whole lot less than Phantom pounds. Then, for the F4E, the chart was back to normal.

I knew instantly what had happened. They had done their lookups for each of the variants, cataloging the important differences (the F4D, for example had a higher speed than the F4E), but obviously, when they got the result from the F4D look up, did not catch that they were no longer viewing Phantoms but had now cataloged the Skyray. Those were Skyray numbers. Ha, ha.

Despite McNamara being among the cheerleaders for the three service, one plane concept, the nomenclature changed before his time, I believe. They got it right on the nomenclature change. The notion of Aardvarks on carriers proved them wrong on the other.