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Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Got a hole in an old log? Empty lines in your notebook? Request that missing serial here, hopefully someone can help. Requests over 6 months old only please.
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timb
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Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by timb » Sun Jan 26, 2014 11:24 am

While looking through some old logs I came across the following "gaps" whilst on a visit to Mojave on 14.10.1997.
In the scrap/storage area there were 4 F.100,s. Two were fuselages only, both "olive drab" in colour, another was "complete", unmarked and all silver. The 4th was 53-1688 and in Tracor Flt.Systems livery.
In a hangar there were two F.104,s, one was all blue and the other was all white. In the same hangar was an all red MIG 15.
If anyone out there could help i/d any of these I would be very grateful. A long shot I know ! Thanks.

mustang5861
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by mustang5861 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:51 am

The ref. to the 'olive drab' F-100s suggests they were two of the four ex-Royal Danish Air Force TF-100Fs that were acquired by Flight Systems Inc; it's possible that the bare metal example was also one of these having been stripped down prior to modification and repainting in company colours. The four were N416FS (56-3916/GT-916); N417FS (56-3842/GT-842); N418FS (56-3996/GT-996) and N419FS (56-3971/GT-971) - but without any i/d for the airframes you saw, it's impossible to identify which three you saw.

The all-red MiG-15 was Al Hansen's MiG-15UTI N41125 (c/n 242266). I don't have any i/ds for the F-104s, but given the paint schemes described it's possible that one or both may have been acquired for use by The Starfighters Demonstration Team (blue/white colour scheme) - but I can't be absolutely certain of that; there have been several F-104s based there over the years.

Hope this is of some use.

timb
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by timb » Tue Jan 28, 2014 5:20 am

Thankyou very much for your reply. I thought the same as you about the 2 F.104,s. As for the Mig 15 N41125, that one was in another hangar. I,m afraid the F.100,s may always remain a mystery. I believe Tracor actually had 6 ex RDAF F.100F,s delivered in 1983. I saw 4 of them in full Tracor livery in the UK in the late 80,s, the other 2 were also converted prior to 1997. I often wondered if the 2 fuselages were ex Turkish ?? Thanks again, much appreciated.

mustang5861
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by mustang5861 » Wed Jan 29, 2014 11:29 pm

There are few things worse than an unsolved puzzle, so I've done some digging around regarding the aircraft you saw at Mojave in '97. I hope the following info, though it's not 100% gold-plated, will throw some more light on the subjects:

MiG-15
This remains the most problematic of the aircraft you mentioned. I can't find any photos of an all-red MiG-15 (most likely a LIM-2) at Mojave or elsewhere in the USA, and that includes the 65 images for the type on the Air-Britain website (abpic.co.uk), including one of N41125 in what looks like a gold/tan scheme. Those images include some of aircraft with extensive areas of red, e.g. N151MG, but not overall red.

The best I could find elsewhere on the internet were shots of N669MG/'69', a LIM-2 which was imported in the 1990s and operated by Red Star Aviation in a red (upper surfaces) and silver scheme. It is known that Red Star, which was California-based, sometimes operated its aircraft in support of the USAF and USN Test Pilots Schools, and the USAF school is at Edwards AFB, which is not that far from Mojave. That's the best I can offer. Google 'MiG-15 N669MG' and see what you think.

F-100s
Yes, you're right about there having been six ex-RDAF F-100s for TRACOR; the details I gave were for the four survivors, two having been lost. Having dug around, I think you may well be right that the three you saw were the ex-THK aircraft that transited via Stansted in August 1989. They were never converted as QF-100s, and by the time of your visit TRACOR was well into converting F-4s as drones. Furthermore, I have found that one of the three was acquired by Al Hansen (who owns/owned MiG-15 N41125 and other aircraft at Mojave), stripped to bare metal in the mid-1990s and subsequently repainted in USAF markings. I would put money on the bare metal example you saw being that aircraft. From what I could find, all three survive to this day, as follows:

F-100C 54-2091/ex-3-091/N2011M
Al Hansen's aircraft; remarked as 42091/FW-091 in USAF bare metal scheme.

F-100D 55-2888/ex-3-888/N2011U
Privately owned by someone in Lodi, CA; repainted in fresh Vietnam three-tone camo.

F-100F 56-3948/ex-3-948/N2011VT
Three-tone camo replaced by USAF bare metal scheme as 63948/FW-948, with WingCo's three-colour (stripes) chevron on mid-fuselage and red/white tail colours (sqn/wing not known).

I highly recommend you Google each aircraft and its US registration, e.g. 'F-100C N2011M' and have a look at some of the many images that come up. Also, if you go to abpic.co.uk and enter 'Mojave' in the Search box, you'll get some 7 pages of photos of many different aircraft at Mojave, including the MiG-15 (as mentioned) and the F-100s.
Having looked at the Mojave photos on the aforementioned website, one thing I noticed about the the three F-100s is this: the photos of them in camouflage show the old (THK) and very scruffy camo colours, which includes areas of tan, and with their US civil registrations clearly visible on the fuselage sides. The fact that you're looking for confirmation of their identities suggests that they didn't have those registrations when you saw them! Is it possible that the two 'olive drab' aircraft had received a protective coat of said colour for sun protection while they languished on site, while N2011M had already been stripped?

F-104s
I referred to the wide selection of aircraft depicted in the photos within 'Mojave' on abpic.co.uk. One of those shown is CF-104D N104NL (ex-4632 RNorAF) in an overall greyish-blue scheme; I wonder if this is the one you saw after it had returned to Mojave from its time with Northern Lights Aircraft Inc (which did have two F-104s at Mojave at one time) and before it was repainted in the darker blue and white Starfighters Demonstration Team scheme?
The identity of the all-white F-104 remains a mystery. As I said in my previous email, it could be that the white was the base colour for the blue/white scheme (horizontal split) worn by the Starfighters team, but I can't confirm that - there were other F-104s at Mojave at various times, e.g. ex-Belgian AF F-104G FX-84 and ex-Royal Jordanian AF F-104A 56-0786, the latter another of the aircraft owned by Al Hansen.

All the best.

timb
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by timb » Fri Jan 31, 2014 2:44 pm

Thanks again, very much appreciated, I really didn,t expect you to go to so much trouble. I, ve been searching through [after being rained off again] As you said MIG N41125 was all sand when I saw it. N669MG "looks" like the one I saw and N104NL looks favourite for one of the F104,s. As for the F.100,s --- also seen when I was there was another complete F100, it was all dark blue,but unmarked and looked like a "flyer". I was reliably informed and never had reason to doubt it, that it was N2011M. As for the silver one, N2011U ??? maybe !!! But I believe N2206Z was also noted there at some time in the 90,s !!
Its been interesting looking through though. Thanks again.

mustang5861
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by mustang5861 » Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:49 pm

No problem - your original request spurred me on to start sorting out my own Mojave sightings (earlier years than yours), so it wasn't much work at all. It's one of those airfields where a lot of the interesting stuff is anonymous, e.g. the Meteor and a couple of F-104s I saw back in '89 - very frustrating!

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JAWS
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by JAWS » Fri Jan 31, 2014 10:27 pm

mustang5861 wrote:No problem - your original request spurred me on to start sorting out my own Mojave sightings (earlier years than yours), so it wasn't much work at all. It's one of those airfields where a lot of the interesting stuff is anonymous, e.g. the Meteor and a couple of F-104s I saw back in '89 - very frustrating!

Is this your Meteor , Mustang5861 ?

http://www.abpic.co.uk/search.php?page= ... a&limit=50
Regards Steve............

"If the Military had to make money, they'd be doomed !!"
Chuck Adams, Buffalo Airlines.

mustang5861
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by mustang5861 » Sat Feb 01, 2014 1:34 pm

N94749 - that's the baby! Saw it when it had just had the grey/green camo applied; it was really shining in the gloss paint.

Thanks for the upload, Steviejaws - hope you're managing OK in the drought over there.

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JAWS
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by JAWS » Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:29 pm

mustang5861 wrote:N94749 - that's the baby! Saw it when it had just had the grey/green camo applied; it was really shining in the gloss paint.

Thanks for the upload, Steviejaws - hope you're managing OK in the drought over there.
Glad to help , what did your Starfighters look like , color's , fuselage , any kind of markings etc ? We are managing but could certainly use the rain right now .
Regards Steve............

"If the Military had to make money, they'd be doomed !!"
Chuck Adams, Buffalo Airlines.

timb
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by timb » Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:59 am

Hi "mustang 5861". Congratulations on finding out your Meteor, I managed to see it at Biggin in 1975 in R.N. mks. when I went to the 1975 Air Fare. Concerning YOUR F104,s, when I was at Mojave in '97 there was a dismantled one in the storage area, it was natural metal, the data block was mkd.d 56-0784A. It was ex RJAF 809]. A chap who visited about the same time said there should have been another there somewhere, 56-0786 , ex RJAF 909, neither of us saw it. Hope it may be of some use, but I expect these have already been ruled out. Thanks again.

mustang5861
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by mustang5861 » Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:12 pm

Well, I've spent part of Sunday tracking down my Mojave shots from two visits, one in '87 and one in '88. The 'Meatbox' is there, resplendent in its grey/green repaint, as is a Hunter (N72602) in 54 Sqn markings (yellow/blue checks; yellow fin with blue lightning flash). Others include two of the Lansens, a couple of F-100s in FS house colours and several QF-100 conversions in the standard camo with high-viz red tails, a Vampire and a Paris, an FJ-4 Fury and an anonymous Sabre (scrubbed=-up natural metal), various ex-RCAF CT-133s in natural metal with faded Dayglo tip-tanks and spraypainted US civil registrations, and a couple of CT-133s or T-33s in FS house colours. Oh, and the three DC-130As in full US Navy drone director colours, plus an F-4C/D (N403FS) still in camo, an ex-SAAF
F-86 (fuselage only) and an F-5 in Taiwanese AF markings. Those were the days!

All of these I have the serials and/or registrations for, but one of the F-104s remains an unresolved issue. There were three in a line next to the Hunter (this was on the '87 visit). One is a two-seater on stilts and is marked '0-71319' with 'U. S. AIR FORCE' titles; another is a single-seater with a large black patch on the fin - I think this one is 56-0826, which was later marked as JASDF 36-5019 for film purposes (it's in the Air-Britain photo selection for Mojave). The third, another single-seater, was completely anonymous. The finish was natural metal, but it looked as though it had been sprayed on - very smooth, uniform finish. The gun port on the forward port side had been faired over, and the nose radome was silver. It could have been one of the ex-RJAF F-104As - I've seen refs to at least two serials (56-0780 and 56-0786) - but I hadn't seen ref. to 56-0784A before. It wasn't 56-0786 (N66328) as the Air-Britain photo shows it still with RJAF insignia as late as 1992. Time will tell!

Thanks to both of you for the information, and spurring me on to sort out the photos I have. Once I've scanned them and worked out the joys of working with Flickr, I'll post a selection of shots from my visits - should bring back some good memories!

All the best.

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747woody
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Re: Mojave. Calif. Oct 1997

Post by 747woody » Sun Mar 14, 2021 5:22 pm

Just stumbled across this, whilst trying to identify the red Mig 15 UTI at Mojave. I saw it twice, Nov 94 and Jan 95 and have a photo so can confirm it's red all over.

Lots of good F-104 stuff here: https://www.i-f-s.nl/

I've identified four ex RJAF aircraft in the US: http://www.916-starfighter.de/F-104_RJAF_serials.htm but only references and photos of one at Mojave.

901 F-104B 57-1296 N65354 was at Deer Valley AZ in 4/95, now with Starfighters at Kennedy Space Centre FL, was up for sale.
907 F-104A 56-0778 N66305 preserved at Nampo ID
908 F-104A 56-0780 N66342 preserved at the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison TX
909 F-104A 56-0786 N66328 was preserved Olympia WA but sold to the Cavanaugh Flight Museum, Addison TX. Photo of it at Mojave here https://abpic.co.uk/pictures/search?reg ... lds=%5B%5D

I can't find any reference to 56-0784 being Jordanian, but I did find a photo of it at Mojave in USAF markings from 9/99 https://www.jetphotos.com/photo/5980038

Andy Marden in USMOOS 2010/11 suggests that the blue and white F-100 out on the airfield is probably F-100A 53-1688/N100X which was blue and white and unmarked, and on display until the F-4 arrived. There are photos of it on ABpic. He has the two camo F-100 fuselages with it as having come from Chino (so not the Turkish ones), but doesn't have any IDs for them.

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