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Thread: German F-104 & F-4F

  1. #1
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    German F-104 & F-4F

    Here is an interview with former GAF F-104 and F-4F pilot, Arnulf Hartl. It was filmed in his "tradition room" and also at Wittmund AFB. He chats about his time flying the two types from training, DACT and to being an instructor.

    http://www.aircrewinterview.tv/#/arn...4-starfighter/

    Enjoy!






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    A very interesting interview for those who haven't watched it yet. The biggest thing I took away from it was that the F-104 certainly had many accidents but it wasn't the disaster that many people seem to think and there were tons of contributing factors to cause the losses that weren't necessarily the fault of the jet itself. It was a good aircraft in many ways.

  5. #5
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    There was a pilot on SimHQ, Andy Bush from memory, who has flown it, and he used to remind it as well: when used properly, the F-104 was a fabulous aircraft...

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    A very interesting interview for those who haven't watched it yet. The biggest thing I took away from it was that the F-104 certainly had many accidents but it wasn't the disaster that many people seem to think and there were tons of contributing factors to cause the losses that weren't necessarily the fault of the jet itself. It was a good aircraft in many ways.
    Good interview indeed. I don't think the F-104 had anymore accidents than other combat aircraft of era and generation. An aircraft I like a lot, along with many other Century series aircraft.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Levsha View Post
    Good interview indeed. I don't think the F-104 had anymore accidents than other combat aircraft of era and generation. An aircraft I like a lot, along with many other Century series aircraft.
    It would seem there were a combination of factors given for the F-104's attrition rate in German service:

    Lack of high performance lead in trainers, many pilots converted from F-84 to F-104.
    Training was situated at Luke AFB, a far cry from flying in Europe.
    Poorly trained Conscripts ground crew
    The mission itself- Luftwaffe pilots were renowned/notorious for aggressive low level flying.

    Could be a "pick any, all, or none", German F-104 attrition rates weren't outrageous compared to other first time operators of high performance late '50's era fighters as you and others have pointed out.

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    Could be a "pick any, all, or none", German F-104 attrition rates weren't outrageous compared to other first time operators of high performance late '50's era fighters as you and others have pointed out.
    A good example would the RAAF Mirage III - 36% losses.

    http://www.adf-gallery.com.au/3a3%20losses.htm

    http://www.pprune.org/military-aviat...-3-losses.html
    Last edited by Levsha; 30th July 2017 at 18:24.

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    You have to factor the different weather conditions b/w central Eu and Australia.

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    You have to factor the different weather conditions b/w central Eu and Australia.
    What is the difference between the 2 country's climates - is it even relevant?

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    the difference?

    in western/central Europe, you have frequent low clouds, rain, low visibility while the land itself is rather hilly/mountainous more often than not. Something that isn't exactly the best weather for low level flying, which is the main mission of F-104 in GAF (very low and very fast to deliver a tactical nuke wherever and whener ordered to) while, at the time, there was nothing around as automatic terrain following. In Australia, you have a tempered climate at the southern extremity, but otherwise, most of the country is rather dry and hot (more or less desert climate)

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    I have a memory of German F104s appearing in Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising to Fuel Air bomb a bridge at low level?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by TooCool_12f View Post
    the difference?

    In Australia, you have a tempered climate at the southern extremity, but otherwise, most of the country is rather dry and hot (more or less desert climate)
    Australia's north is actually a tropical monsoonal climate. During the monsoon season the number and severity of storm activity is pretty severe. There are also frequent cyclones.
    Last edited by Tribes; 31st July 2017 at 03:11.

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    storm is one thing, in Europe the poor visibility and flying weather are much more frequent that storms.

    When I played in Belgium, we had a young russian player that was recruited by mid season, he arrived from Moscow (nice continental climate with lots of very cold but sunny days in winter) for the new year... for the first 5 weeks the guy did not see the sun once... he was going crazy.. without him going nuts, I wouldn't even remember that year as the rest of us didn't even bother, being, finally, quite used to have grey skies, especially in winter.. the major difference between Belgium and Germany is that Belgium being closer to the North Sea, there isn't much cold and snow in winter.. it's rather about 10°C and wet.. in Germany, you have lower temperatures and more snow, but the clouds passing over us over here go east, to Germany...

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    I remember a story where an entire flight of Invader was wiped out over England due to weather conditions. Hell, you won't say seriously that the A26 was a fighter trap!
    Last edited by TomcatViP; 31st July 2017 at 18:03.

  16. #16
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    Great info. Thanks FBW

  17. #17
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    Likewise, I was surprised to hear that Arnulf never had an incident.

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