[A-37 Dragonfly] DRAGONS over the CARIBBEAN

Cold war, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm - up to and including for example the A-10, F-15, Mirage 200, MiG-29, and F-18.
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spazsinbad

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Unread post07 May 2020, 10:45

DRAGONS over the CARIBBEAN [6 page PDF of article attached below]
Jun 2020 Erwan de Cherisey

"Combat Aircraft Journal meets Colombia’s A-37 ‘Dragons’, which have proven their worth on many occasions over an incredible 40-year history...."

Source: Combat Aircraft Journal June 2020 Volume 21 Number 6
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Dragonfly A-37 in Caribbean CombatAircraftJune2020 pp6.pdf
(1.55 MiB) Downloaded 453 times
DRAGONcaribbeanSquadronA-37dragonflyBadge.gif
DragonsOverCaribbeanTitle.jpg
A-37cockpitDragonflyCarib.jpg
A4G Skyhawk: www.faaaa.asn.au/spazsinbad-a4g/ & www.youtube.com/channel/UCwqC_s6gcCVvG7NOge3qfAQ/videos?view_as=subscriber
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mixelflick

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Unread post07 May 2020, 18:11

Gums will love :)
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Gums

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Unread post11 May 2020, 22:41

Salute!

Not sure if I "love" the article, but at least somebody still keeps those things flying and lookng like a showroom antique car.

Many pictures of our loadouts, war stories, reunion pics, and such are not available on the A-37.org site now. The original author and I turned over the domain and files a few years ago, and many things are not there today.

I do not unnerstan why folks keep showing the 4 x bag loadout verus some of the ones we carried for 5 years from Bien Hoa. Our normal loadout had 2 x 100 gal bags, 2 x 750 eggs inboard or BLU-1 nape( 100 gallons of nasty stuff and the thing looked just like the gas bags), 2 x 500 pounders, then 2 x 250 pounders or CBU or rx pods outboard.

With that loadout we could go out about 100 miles and hold for maybe 30 minutes. If we had a known tgt then figure 200 miles, drop and come back on one engine if you spent too much time in the tgt area.

Our normal load for night over the Trail was 2 x 500, 2 x fuel bags, 4 x CBU pods ( CBU-25, mostly). Sometimes we carried flare pods and CBU pods to round out the load. I do not recall one mission without all 8 stations loaded.

My feeling is the Colombians did not fly 75,000 combat sorties over a 5 year period, including surge ops like the '68 Tet when we flew 3 times a day and went to sleep to do it again next day.

Gums sends...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"
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Roscoe

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Unread post14 May 2020, 00:39

I probably told this story before, but we used A-37s at the Test Pilot School for spin test training. They tumbled nicely and predictably which made them perfectly suitable for the role. Only issue was to make sure the tip tanks were empty before starting a spin or they might not recover. [Well, technically having fuel in the tips wasn't the issue, but rather asymmetrical fuel.] Once at altitude and on condition we would dump the remaining fuel (to be sure of a symmetrical configuration) and chase would confirm when both tanks were empty (streams would stop). One time, the streams stopped, chase called empty, and the crew entered the first spin. They never recovered (both jumped out OK). They lost the jet because one tank wasn't empty...the fuel dump pump had failed and that's what made the stream stop. They were down for a few months pending the investigation.

Later, once they were back flying again, a crew came back from a spin hop and discovered during post-flight that the entire empennage was wobbling due to something "broken" on the inside. They were immediately impounded/grounded and never flown again. Sad. That was one of my most exhilarating hops at TPS.
Roscoe
F-16 Program Manager
USAF Test Pilot School 92A

"It's time to get medieval, I'm goin' in for guns" - Dos Gringos
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Gums

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Unread post14 May 2020, 03:54

Salute!

Thanks, Roscoe. Great to see you're still around.

My Zoomie roomie got to trouble shoot one of the beat up planes that came back from Bien Hoa to fly for a Reserve outfit, a Bee, not an "A". He was an FCF dude in the 604th, and then had the chance to do it again while going thru his advanced degree program up north.

The problem child had the rear end "cocked" a bit, so no wonder they couldn't trim it.

I will guarantee that we over gee'd those planes more than the law should allow, and prolly exceeded the rolling gee more than the symmetrical gee most missions.

Gums sends...
Gums
Viper pilot '79
"God in your guts, good men at your back, wings that stay on - and Tally Ho!"

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