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Do you have any interesting details or stories of this particular aircraft or aircraft type? Did you fly or maintain it during its active service? We are trying to build a database of information on all the aircraft that have passed through AMARC to provide our visitors with another perspective of these fine aircraft. If you can help please fill the boxes below with your details and any information you can provide us with.




#2 Lance Grace  2007-10-10 00:00
This was my personal aircraft for a number of years from about 1997 until 2003 when it was sent to the boneyard. I flew it as a civlian in support of a variety of test and training missions. It was leased by Tracor / Marconni / BAE Systems for about 10 years until it ran out of PDM time. It's name was "The Blue Barron" even though it was painted white with blue stripes. It was named for Duke Fredriks who was a Tracor pilot who got killed in Nevada in the early 90's flying an F-4G that was being used for the initial F-4 drone test program. But I first knew this plane as "Moby Dick" when it was the Pacer aircraft at Edwards AFB for many years. It had a huge pitot tube on its nose that was about 10 feet long and about 4 inches wide used to fly along aircraft to calibrate their pitot static systems. Need any more explanation for its name? I have hundreds of stories and photos from my years of flying this wonderful aircraft. Although I was an IP in the F-4 three times in my USAF career, I never really got to know the F-4 as well as during the years I flew it as a civlian. I have many hours of supersonic flight in the aircraft from 50,000 feet and Mach 1.5 preparing to launch AQM-37s to 100 feet and Mach 1.3 flying across the bow of DDG-51s checking out their gun tracking systems. It was some of the most fun flying I ever had in many years of flying fighters in the operational and test worlds.
#1 Lance Grace  2007-10-10 00:00
OK, had to add one story since I mentioned hauling ass at various altitudes. Had a launch of an AQM-37 one day (5 Nov 2000) near San Juan where I had to get out of the area real quick because I was actually inside the kill zone for the Standard missiles about to be fired from the Navy ship. This was the first launch of a target drone where I actually fired the AQM-37 over the ship from about 50 nm instead of at it from about 250 nm. On the way out, I was letting my backseater (my crewchief) fly the aircraft when I asked him "Ever been over Mach 2?" "Want to?" Obviously, you can guess his answers to both questions. Stopped descending and climbed back up achieving Mach 2.05 in the process. Although I have lots of time in F-15s and F-16s, the only times I've ever been over Mach 2 have been in F-4s, specifically C and D models. You gotta love it!

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