Jump to content

CF-104 434 Squadron


Jennings Heilig
 Share

Recommended Posts

On 12/22/2021 at 7:30 AM, Oldbaldguy said:

I understand we are talking exclusively about Canadian 104s here, but I was curious if the USAF painted the surfaces on their 104s much the same way back in the day.   Or anybody else for that matter.

 

Yes.  All USAF natural metal F-104s had white upper wings and grey lower wings.  Not sure about the horizontal stabs on USAF machines.  It's usually very difficult to see in photos.  

 

 

Edited by Jennings Heilig
Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Jennings Heilig said:

 

Yes.  All USAF natural metal F-104s had white upper wings and grey lower wings.  Not sure about the horizontal stabs on USAF machines.  It's usually very difficult to see in photos.  

 

 


By the mid 1960s, USAF Zippers in TAC service had FS16473 gray painted horizontal (and vertical) stabs as shown in this 1965 photo taken at Da Nang AB. A year later these C models received the SEA camouflage.


The Air Defense Command squadrons still flying F-104A/B aircraft during the mid to late 1960s sported a mostly FS16473 gray scheme to include the top and bottom surfaces of the horizontal stab. 
 

Early in their careers (late 50’s/early 60’s), it’s possible that USAF Starfighters flew with unpainted stabs.

 

tqMpOFE.jpg

Edited by allthumbs
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a better photograph, also from the 1965 Da Nang deployment, that highlights several external features of the C model, in what turned out to be its penultimate guise (just months later it would receive warpaint, which it wore for the short remainder of its active duty career): a bare metal fuselage; all gray tail surfaces; white upper wings; an abundance of airframe data markings, not stencil applied but comprised of individual appliqués with closely cropped silver backgrounds; and, finally, external fuel tanks finished in aluminum lacquer paint that do appear to have stenciled on markings.

 

Not visible here, but verifiable from other period photos, are gray lower wing surfaces and nose radome, plus a black anti-glare panel in front of the windscreen (they were green earlier on).

 

To me, all of this makes for an intriguing large scale modeling project. It's on my list. Maybe someday.

 

And sorry for the thread drift.

 

FsjB8qE.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by allthumbs
text edited for grammar, clarity and additional info.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe I missed it in one of the other posts but what exactly was the purpose of the white on the upper wings?  To enhance visibility?  It can't be to keep temps down because I don't believe that skinny wing stored any fuel.

Edited by John1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, John1 said:

Maybe I missed it in one of the other posts but what exactly was the purpose of the white on the upper wings?  To enhance visibility.  It can't be to keep temps down because I don't believe that skinny wing stored any fuel.


It’s an oft-debated topic on Internet forums. A wide range of explanations are offered, some quite fanciful and, from what I’ve seen, all conjecture based, as finding anything official has proved elusive.

 

This is one of the more plausible interpretation I’ve come across, but even it reads a bit speciously in places. Others here, I’m sure, will know more:

 

yPcrFWb.jpg

 

 

 

 

Edited by allthumbs
Edited to reflect more uncertainty
Link to comment
Share on other sites

But doesn’t the heat dissipation argument fly out the window with the arrival of camo’d Zippers?  And if ambient heat was an airframe issue, why did the USAF send these things to notoriously hot places like Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and the south and southwestern US?   Does anyone know if Lockheed painted the wings top and bottom to begin with to improve laminar flow adhesion like NAA did with the P-51?  If they did, that could explain why the top eventually evolved to white while the bottoms remained gray.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, allthumbs said:

Different forum, different poster, same explanation, but better illuminated…

…from this discussion board 

 

 

OMG - rec.scale.model!!!  Talk about a blast from the past, from way back in the wild west days of the interweb.    Had some great times on that board and rec.pc.flightsim.   

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 1/15/2022 at 11:25 AM, Oldbaldguy said:

But doesn’t the heat dissipation argument fly out the window with the arrival of camo’d Zippers?  And if ambient heat was an airframe issue, why did the USAF send these things to notoriously hot places like Vietnam, Puerto Rico, and the south and southwestern US?   Does anyone know if Lockheed painted the wings top and bottom to begin with to improve laminar flow adhesion like NAA did with the P-51?  If they did, that could explain why the top eventually evolved to white while the bottoms remained gray.


As the story goes, the white wings were an interim measure to help avoid heat soak, which could trick the skin heat detection system into “thinking” the aircraft was exceeding its max Mach number, triggering an automatic throttle cut-back. As the system was inhibited with the landing gear down, false activation could (and apparently did) occur shortly after takeoff when “wheels up” was sensed - a serious emergency in any single engine aircraft, especially one with a downward firing ejection seat.
 

A better solution was eventually worked out, obviating the need for the white paint, but the specification stuck, at least for a while. As you point out OBG, by the mid to late 1960s Starfighter wing colors varied widely.

 

Remember: it’s anecdotal or, at best, third hand information…offered without any official proof.

 

 

Rich

 

 

Edited by allthumbs
More details added
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...