The Beginning of the End

From the Usual USAF Source

Final F-4 Regenerated for Use as Aerial Target
The final F-4 regenerated from storage in the Air Force’s aircraft boneyard at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., earlier this month departed the base for Mojave, Calif., for conversion to a QF-4 target drone, announced base officials. This RF-4C airframe, dubbed “Last One,” left Davis-Monthan on April 17, states the base’s April 19 release. “It’s a great feeling to see such a magnificent aircraft fly again to serve the warfighter,” said Eddie Caro, the crew chief assigned to the aircraft since December 2012. BAE Systems will convert the platform into the QF-4 configuration in California and then deliver it to Tyndall AFB, Fla. This airframe arrived at Davis-Monthan for retirement in January 1989 and had been dormant until technicians with the base’s 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group last year began restoring it to flying status, according to the release. The Air Force is transitioning from the QF-4 to using QF-16s as its full-scale aerial targets. (Davis-Monthan report by Teresa Pittman) (See also Three-Hundredth QF-4 Delivered.)
I suppose goin’ down in flames is preferable to rusting away in The Boneyard… or, as Neil put it: “It’s better to burn out than to fade away…
Cross-posted at EIP.


Filed under Plane Pr0n, USAF

7 responses to “The Beginning of the End

  1. Ian

    F-16s as target drones; now I really feel OLD!

  2. Bill Brandt

    I was just going to say that Ian 😉 What’s next, F/A-18s?

  3. Old AF Sarge


    And yeah Ian, right there with you on the feeling old!

  4. Steve

    They should have to donate one in flying condition, with the funds to operate, to an air museum every time they lose one. 😥 Now that would have made a nice sink for the so-called stimulus package!

  5. LT Rusty

    Piss on Neil – that quote will forever be linked to The Kurgan.

    • Neil came first (The Wiki: “Rust Never Sleeps is an album by Neil Young and Crazy Horse released in 1979.”), Highlander came out in the mid-’80s.

      But I suppose it all has to do with how you view reality, don’t it? 😉

    • LT Rusty

      Perhaps. In my reality, Neil Young is simply annoying as hell and I can’t stand him. I know he was first – why else would The Kurgan quote him otherwise – but jesus, he’s preachy and whiny and I just. Can’t. Stand. Neil. Young.

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