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  Homestead Air Force Base Florida
  A "great" USAF Air Show?
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Text:

Andreas Herzog & Michael E. Fader

Pictures:

Michael E. Fader

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If you expect a great airshow of the USAF you are probably wrong! So happen to us when we were visiting Homestead Air Force Base in August 1991.
The USAF administration believes to show a few aircraft meets all the requirements of the spotters and aviation enthusiasts. I already knew this in advance and kept my expectations rather low.
Andy on the other hand was enthusiastic and dreamed of endless rows of F-16 and especially of the mighty B-52 bombers.

The ride from Miami, with a chartered bus of IPMS, was quite entertaining. A loose group of aviation enthusiasts and model makers took part in this tour.
The first stop was just past the gate. Here we could photograph the gate guard aircrafts, a McDonnell Douglas F-4D Phantom II and North American F-100D Super Sabre. Sadly, only able from distance.
Only thanks to a prepared telephoto lens we were able to get some pictures. Then we went by bus, from which we could detect between the trees, the many aircraft - mostly F-16. Homestead AFB was the home of the 31st Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW).
The second stop was at the Combat Information Center. Here we were able to observe a large screens air combat exercise in Key West, which has been contested by the U.S. Navy aircraft. F-16A of the 31 TFW in a air combat mission against the F-16N of the VF-45.

     

North American F-100D Super Sabre (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Mc Donnell Dougas F-4D PhantomII (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

(Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

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F-16ADF Fighting Falcon

F-102-144.png (63642 Byte)
Convair Delta Dagger F-102A
1960- 1974


Convair Delta Dart F-106A
1974 - 1987


General Dynamics F-16A Falcon
1987 - 1990


General Dynamics F-16ADF Falcon
1990 - 1995

 

The surprise was that the F-16A of the 31st TFW was actually one of the 159 FIS (125 FIG) from Jacksonville. The aircraft of the Air National Guard of Florida was present as the representative of all the F-16 at the base.
It was an F-16 ADF version with new avionics and a searchlight on the fuselage.

 

General Dynamics F-16ADF Fighting Falcon (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

General Dynamics F-16ADF Fighting Falcon (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

General Dynamics F-16ADF Fighting Falcon (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

   

General Dynamics F-16ADF Fighting Falcon (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

General Dynamics F-16ADF Fighting Falcon (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Enclosed you will find three pictures from our archives regarding the 31st TFW. From the seventies, are the two Mc Donnelll-Douglas F-4E Phantom II with the tail code ZF and from the 80's, a General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon with the tail code HS used later on.

   

Mc Donnelll-Douglas F-4E Phantom II of the 306 TFS 31 TFW (Picture courtesy Wings-Aviation)

Mc Donnelll-Douglas F-4E Phantom II of the 306 TFS 31 TFW (Picture courtesy Wings-Aviation)

General Dynamics F-16A Fighting Falcon of the 308 TFS 31 TFW (Picture courtesy Wings-Aviation)

 

Hoemstead AFB 1991

Typ

Unit

Wing

Tailcode

Base

F-16A

307 TFS (red)

31 TFW

HS

Homestead AFB

F-16A

308 TFS (green)

31 TFW

HS

Homestead AFB

F-16A

309 TFS (blue)

31 TFW

HS

Homestead AFB

F-16A

93 TFS

482 TFW

FM

Homestead AFB

 
 
 

307 TFS

308 TFS

309 TFS

US Customs

A Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk of the U.S. Customs was the second exhibit that we were allowed to photograph. Unfortunately, the helicopter was kept in the usual dark green color scheme and was not one of the black with gold stripes. Anyway; we took some pictures.
Andy looked the longer in consternation out of his sweaty shirt. He gained before a few B-52 between the trees - but the bombers were not shown to us, as well as more of a hundred F-16A units at the nearby flight line.
Rather an unplanned photo opportunity was the presence of two Gates Cessna Citation, running by the U.S. Customs; and we were allowed to photograph these helicopters.

 
Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
 
  Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader) Sikorsky UH-60A Black Hawk (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)
       

Cessna 550 Citation II (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Cessna 550 Citation II (Picture courtesy Michael E. Fader)

Six aircraft - two of them stack on piles - three from the U.S. Customs and the Air National Guard. What do you expect more from a visit to the U.S. Air Force?
The big disappointment was great to all the participants. Regarding the meager yield we would have prepared our self for a "Plan B", if we had previously imagined!
A year later, in August 1992, the base was devastated by Hurricane Andrew. Only in 1994, after a reconstruction, it was back into operation as an Air Force Reserve base for the 482nd Fighter Wing.


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last update 15. November 2012

Written 15. November 2012

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