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July 7, 2013
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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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