Airplane pr0n


Nice C-5 images!

As an aside, @ron_eisele tweets historical plane photos, a dozen or more a day, if anyone is interested.


Posted on reddit earlier today, 1945 Curtiss SB2C-5 Helldiver. The only one still able to fly. It was in for service.


I watched “Wings of the Luftwaffe” episodes last night when I couldn’t sleep thanks to this thread. Did you know practically all of History Channel’s plane series stuff is up there? HC doesn’t seem too bright. They could post them on their own to monetize them. But I guess all History Channel cares about now are reality shows.


By “up there” do you mean they’re on Netflix or something, or on History Channel’s site?


Haha oops, I meant to say YouTube.



This thread existed and I never found it. Shallow me only looking at the top of the forum lol. Alors mes amis, 50s france c’est where its at bitches!


Is that a Mirage of some sort? Pretty gorgeous.


It is a Mirage I, the forerunner of the ubiquitous Mirage III and todays’ Mirage 2000. Yes. It is very beautiful. It also is tiny (very short legs, hardly any weapons) and didn’t quite fly right IIRC.


Early French jets were sexy.



Thanks for the photos, those are great. Whenever we go up to Tacoma for the summer we always take the kid to McChord AFB to watch the C-130 & C-17s take off and land repeatedly. Father in law was in the air force so that gets us on base right next to the fence so you can literally feel them take off - I can’t imagine what it was like to actually be on one.

No photos allowed which is just heartbreaking.


No photos? Usually that’s only on the flight line. If you’re outside the fence generally you can take all the pictures you want.

I’ve never flow the C-17 but I loved flying the C-5. In the air it’s very easy to fly but it is a bitch to taxi. The sight lines are terrible and it’s really easy to get yourself stuck in a corner. I was far more nervous on the ground than in the air.


So right by the fence and viewing area is a sign that says no photos of the flightline. I am not sure what that means, it doesn’t say on the flight line, just of the flightline I think. Would love to be able to video/photo it but I erred on the side of caution. Especially since the AFB security likes to eat their lunch there.

I can absolutely believe that, it’s amazing how tiny the pilots look up there and you know you wouldn’t be able to see shit if it wasn’t directly in front of you.


Back in my paratrooper days, our barracks were on the flight path for the C-130s and C-141s (C-17s hadn’t deployed yet) heading to the training drop zones. They flew so low and loud, they would set off all the car alarms in the parking lots. Every night.


Next time you’re there flag down a SF guy/gal and ask them if you can take pictures, they’ll know and if you can’t I bet they’ll tell you where you can. There’s nothing special about the McChord ramp unless you’re near the PNAF tails, that might be why.

The cockpit on FRED is about 16 feet IN FRONT of the nose gear so you’re often hanging out over the grass having to estimate how to keep the wheels on the taxiway. Imagine driving an 18-wheeler but the cab is a full-sized pickup in front of the wheels, it’s kind of like that.


I have no idea what that means, but if you zoom in on Google maps of the base you can see the outdoor air museum and parking lot they have and that’s where we go to watch. You can walk right up to the fence, which is kinda hard to see on maps.

I don’t know how hard it is to get on base and whether you have to actually have a family member/friend part of the military, but the museum(s) are fun.


PNAF is the nuclear mission C-17 squadron, they probably don’t allow photos near where those jets are parked. Outside the fence near the museum should be just fine though. I’d say go ahead and take pictures, the worst they’ll do is make you delete them.

You’ll need a sponsor with a valid Federal ID to get you a pass on base so that’s usually a friend or family member. I’m guessing you don’t make it out to the Midwest if you’re visiting McChord but if you’re ever passing through Ohio definitely stop by the Air Force museum at Wright-Patterson, maybe the best aviation museum in the country, right up there with the smithsonian.


hey @agapepilot, you still haulin trash for uncle sam? Is it true they sometimes hire the russians to haul shit thats too big for even the C5 to gobble up? Speaking of which, where did it get the nickname fred? or is that an acronym?
I can imagine taxiing that big ol’ beast takes a whole lotta faith. Wouldn’t it be possible to mount a gopro in the nose wheel well to peek under it? Even garbage trucks have rear camera’s here in .NL so I don’t see why the USAF wouldn’t.
How is AA refuelling in that thing? Do you guys do tactical on the C-5? dropping para’s, flying low, short landings stuff like that?

(sorry for spamming questions like that but when it comes to aviation, i’m forever eleven years old :P)


Well i’m flying a desk right now but hopefully when I move again next summer i’ll get back in a cockpit. The USAF contracts out to a few Russian companies that fly AN-124’s and IL-76’s when the need arises, I’m not 100% sure if we’re currently using them but we have in the past. It actually doesn’t really have anything to do with the size of the cargo, there’s really nothing in the DoD inventory that can’t fit in a C-5 in some fashion, but more to do with cost. It’s often cheaper to use contract cargo companies that to fly the “grey tails”.

As for the name FRED, this article has the backstory: The BL is it means Fucking Ridiculous Economic Disaster and has a lot to do with how screwed up the acquisitions system is, the C-5 development was long and problematic. The C-5 is really and engineering marvel but it’s often over-engineered in many areas which is one of the causes of it’s maintenance issues.

Mounting a GoPro would really only solve the “where is my nose gear” question, the bigger problem is really “where are my wing tips and where is my tail” and we have decent references in the cockpit for those it just takes time to learn them and you never really feel 100% comfortable. We can also put a spotter in up in the tank turret (one of my pictures upthread is from that spot) to look out top or in an aft troop door to get a peek at the aft gear.

AR (air-refueling) is the hardest and coolest thing i’ve ever done in an aircraft. It takes a lot of practice to get proficient and even then things like weather or a crappy tanker pilot can make things much more difficult. This video: gives you a pretty good idea of the continual adjustments you have to make to keep your football sized plane 15 feet behind another one at 250mph.

The C-5 is definitely not tactical:) That’s for the C-17’s and C-130’s, I flew plenty into Iraq and Afghanistan but C-5 crew’s are more interested in per diem than fancy tactical flying. In reality the jet is not designed for it unlike the C-17. Everything you asked about is the sweet-spot for the C-17 which is a really impressive aircraft as well. You can find a lot of great C-17 tactical stuff on Youtube.

Don’t worry about the questions, i love talking airplanes anytime.


This reminds me that the taxiing visibility in some tail-dragging WWII fighters like the P-47 was so restricted that they’d put a ground crew member out on the wing to give hand signal directions to the pilot.


Before VR I always taxied taildraggers in external view. But in VR you can pop the hood an lean out far enough to peek past the nose. With a bit of snaking to and fro you get a pretty decent idea of where you’re going. Dunno If that’d work on a jug tho, that thing is humongous.

I bet the C5 is so freakin huge, regular depth perception just dont cut it when it comes to judging where the wingtips are does it? You said you have crewmembers peeking out of various holes (a side door, a turret), do you guys get a chaser like a U2 does or is that too much of a hassle?

I just put the kids to bed and had a look at that C-5 hookup. Man, that boom is vibrating like mad! Is that the FRED’s bowwake interacting with it? It looks like some truly hands-on pilot shit indeed. Sierra hotel man! Was this a training hookup or do planes do it that quickly for real? I mean, with a chick that size, you’d think you’d have to last longer than that… :P