View Full Version : Mach 2 Run

06-16-2012, 09:15 AM
I did this painting to commerate my mach 2 run in the FB111. FB111 was SAC's version of the F111. It's wing was slightly longer than the F111 and it was designed to be a nuclear bomber to replace the B58. It's mission was to penetrate enemy air space at low level. However, since the aircraft was supersonic capable, SAC decided to fly a supersonic run now and then.

I had one supersonic run in the FB111 (I had many in the B58) but after a few flights one of the birds came home missing part of the vertical stabilizer so there were no more supersonic runs.

This painting commerates that one flight.

http://www.wetcanvas.com/Community/images/16-Jun-2012/140488-Mach_two_run_wc.jpg It is 16 by 20 inches, oil pastel on canvas panel.

06-16-2012, 04:20 PM
Hi Hal, there is certainly a real feeling of power in this, reminds of a painting of a Tomcat in a similar pose, called" into the throne room of the gods". Can't remember who done it though.
You'd a lucky man to have experienced this.
Thanks for posting.

06-16-2012, 04:55 PM
Thank you. I was fortunate. I was able to get into pilot training as a Aviation Cadet as long as I had two years of college.

Of course we Aviation Cadets were a dime a dozen and a couple bad training flights and you were out of the program.

When I first got into advanced pilot training, our class was large and the assistant squadron commander, who didn't normally train students, had to take on three student pilots. He cussed me out from the time I got to the aircraft, throught out the training flight, and until we got back to the briefing room. He had me totally rattled. Three flights, three pink slips, and I was put up for elimination. I was given three more training missions with a different pilot and given my elimination check ride with one of the check pilots. The check pilot gave me an "Excellent" the highest that could be given. My other two classmates, who had also received three pink slips, weren't as lucky and were eliminated.

Six months later, when I graduated from pilot training with excellent ratings, the Assistant Commander came up to me and apologized. He said it was just his way. I often wondered if my other two mates could have made it if they had caught a break and had those first three flights with a different pilot.:(

Just as an aside: The pilot who presented me with my first set of wings said "Break this first set of wings and you'll never crash and burn." I had never before nor since heard of this superstition but I broke the wings and I never crashed and burned, so I guess it worked. :thumbsup:

06-16-2012, 05:11 PM
The nose of the plane looks slightly weird but it just doesn't matter because the sky is so striking. It's brilliant! The colours going from the purples and blues up to the black are wonderful and the brushwork gives real energy to it.. The line of cloud ner the middle also feels like the sound barrier boundary too. Great stuff very impressionist. Reminds me if a painting I once saw of a blackbird taking off.. I'll see if I can find it.

06-16-2012, 05:41 PM

This was the reference used for my painting. The nose of the FB111 was a bit funky. This shows the wings swept back to 72 degrees. I never actually flew with them swept back this far. Of course it's been many years but I thing the wing sweep for the mach two run was about 54 degrees. We swept the wings to maintain a slightly positive angle of attack. An angle of attack of 25 degrees would block airflow from the vertical stabilizer and the aircraft could go uncontrolled. So one didn't pull high Gs in this bird because a high angle of attack and you lost control... Therefore the benefit of the twin tails where the fuselage didn't block out the air from the vertical stabilizers.

06-16-2012, 08:35 PM
This is the Blackbird painting I remembered... on reflection it is quite different but it does have that impressionistic feeling doesnt it!? Its called Blackbird Mirage and is by Charles Thompson


06-16-2012, 11:09 PM
AAAh yes the SR71 or it's predecessor the A11.

It is a lovely piece of work. I quite like it.

Prior to flying the B58 I flew the KC135 out of Beale AFB, California refueling those birds. We were a dedicated unit for them because they used PF1 rather than JP4 for fuel. PF1 had a higher flash point and tolerated the heat of their supersonic flight. We used PF1 in our KCs to avoid contamination when refueling those birds. PF1 messed with the fuel gauges of regular tankers and bombers but we had modified sensors in our fuel tanks.

Before the Air Force took over, we had great parties with the previous guys after their operational missions.