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The Drone Ramp by F16CrewChief The Drone Ramp by F16CrewChief
F-106A-100-CO, 58-0793 assigned to the 5th FIS, 25th AD, based at Minot AFB and seen being prepped for flyout to Mohave to become a QF-106A 'drone' in March 1993.

This was a couple of week long process to pull the jet out of storage and make it flight ready.

After it became a QF-106, the vertical tail and wingtips were painted red covering up the beautiful 'ADC' tail marks except for the rudder. Since they would have to pull the rudder and re-balance it if they painted it, they just masked it off when they painted the tail.

The drone ramp was always a beehive of activity on my trips to MASDC/ AMARC!
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:iconexecutioner-ed:
executioner-ed Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
i had a pic of this bird in the hangar at minot, but hurricane katrina got my photo album.
the crew did a fine job keeping those aircraft clean.

making drones out of them is a better ending than getting hacked to bits with the big knife
and the hydraulic rippers.

if you can't end up as a gate guard, or sleeping in a museum, or maybe even for the lucky few,
actually collected and flown (!), what better end than in a flash of aerial missile fire?
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The old ADC units kept these aircraft very clean! I saw several 5 FIS jets over the years I am happy to say.
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:iconswiftflyer:
SwiftFlyer Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Great flying aircraft. Too bad none fly now.
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Yeah... I wish they had invested into carriage of some better missiles when they did the system upgrades in the late 70's and early 1980s. The AIM-4s really sucked.
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:iconhun100d:
Hun100D Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I hate the fact that many of our one-time finest fighter aircraft ended/are ending their days as mere targets, and that the ranges are littered with their shattered remains. Ironic when you think that the aeronautical engineers had put a great deal of sweat and tears into their design to keep them from just that fate - getting shot down! :(
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
I disagree. I feel that the drone program is a valuable way to use the acft. It also 'extends' the service life of the acft. The F-4 was retired in the 1990s, but there are still USAF ops at Tyndall and Holloman as drones.
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:iconhun100d:
Hun100D Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
I suppose you're right. I reckon if they are to be "retired", what better way to be stricken from the inventory: Usefully, and not merely sitting in a boneyard only to be ignominiously scrapped for pennies on the dollar. Still, it does hurt somewhat :(
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:)
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:iconelor1:
Elor1 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013
When was this shot taken?
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
10 March 1993.
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:iconelor1:
Elor1 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2013
Thanks. I thought it was a more recent shot and was therefore very surprised to see this old bird being refitted to become a drone.
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
No, it was over 20 years ago....
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:icon2509-silverlink:
2509-Silverlink Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
I just love the shape of the canopy and the angled intakes :)

Plenty going on, but I can't figure out what the four engined prop aircraft in the background is
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
The F-106 was a beautiful jet, but I still like the F-102 better. The prop plane in the BG is a P-3 on the AMARC wash rack getting prepped for preservation.
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:icon2509-silverlink:
2509-Silverlink Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Sweet, where is she now?
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
As of 2002, this acft is at Castle AFB museum in Merced CA.
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:icon2509-silverlink:
2509-Silverlink Featured By Owner Jul 11, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks :)
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:iconhun100d:
Hun100D Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
From what I can tell, the four fan bird appears to be a Lockheed Electra/P-3 Orion...
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:icon2509-silverlink:
2509-Silverlink Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Ah yes, I was thrown off by the 707(?) in the background, thinking it had three tail fins
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:iconhun100d:
Hun100D Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2013  Professional Traditional Artist
:)
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:iconsentinel28a:
sentinel28a Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013
Spittin' Kittens. We used to see these guys quite a bit up here in Montana. They were actually less impressive in the F-15, as for some reason their Fifteens were always dirty.

I miss the Six, dammit! Great shots as always, Chief.
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
[link] and [link] are some Darts, [link] and [link] are some T-Birds and here are the Eagles [link] and [link] . Thanks for stoppin' by!
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:iconboeingboeing2:
boeingboeing2 Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013
theres a way to make a living
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
:) Thanks!
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:iconboeingboeing2:
boeingboeing2 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2013
No prob
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:icongary--t:
Gary--T Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
wow, very interesting how this is done. who would have thought about re-balance etc. you'd think the computer would just control everything.
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:iconf16crewchief:
F16CrewChief Featured By Owner Jul 7, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
No sir. The primary control surfaces need to be balanced after maintenance or painting. On the fly by wire controls of the F-16 we did not balance them after painting though
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