@bman76 Yeah, that's why I love doing these still; even now I pick up something I hadn't known before. The Whale being a stealth test bed I knew, but the connection to JSTARS was something I had not known until now.
@ttyymmnn Yeah, planes are, in general, larger than you'd expect, and getting the size of even fighters across is hard sometimes. I also try to limit myself to royalty/copyright-free images, so that makes it challenging. Here's a shot off Flickr that kinda does a better job:
I've never read his work. The reviewer does call him out for a few things, and it sounds like you might agree with him. The educated reader, though, will be able to see through the hyperbole to find the meat inside. Hopefully he is at least an engaging writer.
@ttyymmnn Yeah, the flaps I understand, more lift at low speed, the landing gear I'm a little fuzzier on, but IIRC, those 1st and 2nd gen engines were slow to respond to throttle movements and prone to flame- out if you did goose 'em , so using the gear as a speed brake makes some sense.
@skyfire77 Thuds were used in Vietnam in a way that was not what they were designed for, that's what caused their massive loss rate, not the plane itself. It's likely that the F107 would have had the same fate.
@skyfire77 poor F9F, couldn't get any respect in 1961, can't get any love in 2021. Somehow it's the least favorite of the Grumman fleet, along with the underpowered Panther it replaced. Still, a bad Grumman plane day is still a Grumman plane day! Thanks
Over the weekend I learned more about wingtip tanks. In the Bonanza, the tip tanks have to be manually pumped into the main tanks. I guess that makes sense for auxiliary tanks, but it was unexpected. I also learned that the return lines on a Bonanza always feed to the left wing tank and that the pumps return about 3 gph. So, when you're flying on the right wing tank or the aux tank, the excess is going to the left wing tank. When selecting which tank to run from, the left tank is always the last except on takeoff and landing.
My old college roommate has some photos of a recon Cougar that was on display in a park near his house in rural VA for many years. It was finally taken apart and shipped away to be restored. I've been meaning to do a write up about it.