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718 skv F-5s

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Hi There i have recently posted a thread on this excellant forum regarding ecm equipped F-5Bs for which i had some excellant replies , i am half way through my kit build of a F-5B in the above role but i am about to start my next subject which again is a F-5a and F-5b of 718 skv when based at Sola. These F-5s hold some very strong memories for me as i remember them been on a squadron exchange in August 1979 with our Lightnings of no 5 sqn at RAF Binbrook ,sadly Binbrook closed down some years ago but memories never go away i can even remember the detachment commanders name which was Major Knut Fossom and the only pictures i have are in a rather faded aircraft illustrated magazine.The aircraft that came to Binbrook i remember carried tip tanks and three under the fuselage i know that 718skv was the f-5 ocu so they must have carried wing tip rails and other differant stores so i was wondering if any one had any pictures of the F-5s in any differant store mode many thanks and kind regards..

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Thank You all for your replys gentlemen and my apologies for spelling the Majors name wrong :-[ kind regards craig


I just checked the Sola Air Station book from 2002 and there are a couple of pics but they're not time-frame-specific in all accounts.


Wing tanks should normally be Olive Drab over silver though.


My dad was a controller at Sola at the time (as I am now) and I actually was given the 5 Squadron Print signed by all the participants of some excercise back then. Unfortunately the print disappeared in one of my many moves.  >:(

They still have a similar print framed at work. I might nick it.  ::)


My dad also said they had regular fuel emergency diversions from Lighthtnings. Of course they'd always get a puncture when landing so they had a stack of new ones stored at Sola. For their return they'd tow the aircraft to the runway end before starting up, so they could just reach the British shores on the fuel supplies.

A Lightning with one engine out flies like a brick. Both engines out - two bricks.


Best fighter ever.



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Many Thanks for that reply Kyrre you where right about the lightnings and there fuel very short range how they managed QRA alerts is a miracle but what a plane the skys over Grimsby where i live are no longer sounding to the pair of avon engines all though we are begining to get the sound of the new Typhoons out of RAF Coningsby but there not the same give me a lightning and f-104 any day kind regards craig

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Good Afternoon to you Stein, my apologies for the way i write in the forum ,i just get carried away with my subject ,forgetting about proper grammar.My wife is always telling me about this she say,s check what you have written,and do it like your writting a letter, she is a teachers aid so please accept my apologies i did,nt mean to offend .Kind Regards Craig

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Heh,heh Craig! That's more like it. I'm a stickler for detail as most of us here on the forum. ;D


Nils M. is most likely to be the one to answer your queries.As for the 718 Sqn machines I believe only one a/c received the squadrons yellow and red checkerboard marking on the fin: F-5A DP-C,introduced on the T-33.



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  • 5 months later...



Firstpost on this forum....bitten by the MS Flightsim bug for a few years but what the heck  ;D

I remember the exchange with 5 sqn quite vividly, the Lightning is an impressive sight. My father worked with the munitions unit at Sola from about 1968-late 80s. Luckily enough I spent "a few days" wth him at work during the late 70s-early 80s.


The exchange consisted of Lightning F3s and 6s from both 5 sqn and 11 sqn. Watching the TEB starts was something that impressed me.


F-5 configs with 718. I'm lucky enough to own the complete list, not from the -1 but the LFTS-718 Skv. authorized ones, of allowed configs on the F-5A/B aircraft. I'll just mention the most common ones seen on a daily basis on 718 Skv. aircraft.



ALWAYS tip tanks on these (AIM-9 rails was introduced with 336 Skv. later on). The B model was wired for AIM-9s but they never originally flew with them.


1. Tip tanks, CL-tank

2. Tip tanks, CL-tank and outbd/inbd pylons.

3. Tip tanks, CL-tank and inbd pylons.

4. Tip tanks, CL-tank and inbd pylon-tanks (5-tanker).

5. Tip tanks, CL-tank, outbd pylons and inbd pylon-tanks (5-tanker).

6. Tip tanks, CL-mounted SUU-20 and inbd pylon-tanks. (Range training Revtangen Range)

7. Tip tanks, CL-mounted SUU-20, outbd pylons and inbd pylon-tanks. (Range training Revtangen Range)


These were the day to day configs used when flying from Sola. When doing range training (live with big stuff at Hjerkinn or Halkavarre) Mk.82HD/LD GP 500lbs, Mk. 20 Rockeye CBUs or LAU-3/10 rocket pods went on, one each on the outboard pylons. These configs were rarely seen at Sola. Mk.82s have also been seen on inboard pylons on aircraft flying from Banak (Halkavarre range work).



As above but also with AIM-9 launchers/rails for the AIM-9N for the later years (externally identical to the AIM-9J) or AIM-9B/E for earlier years. During the later years when giving up the role as an OCU (LFTS transferred to Rygge with 336 Skv. in '81 or so), the unit became a fully operational outfit and live AIM-9Ns were a common sight when the unit manned the Southern QRA (taking turns between Ørland and Rygge).


Common AD configs:


1. 2xAIM-9N on the tips and CL-tank.

2. 1 or 2 AIM-9N (captive/dummy/inert) and CL-tank. (AD training)



To sum up; the CL-station rarely was empty, either a tank, an SUU-20 pod or an empty pylon (rare).

12 of the unit's A-models should always be configured with outboard pylons, or at least, that's what was said.... ;)


Best regards

Dag Roger Stangeland

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thank you for the reply Dag,

That information regarding 718sqn f-5s is most helpful,i am half way through my kit build of my Sola machine, i am doing one of the aircraft that was on the sqn exchange at RAF Binbrook,but i am trying out differant natural metal paints to get the right effect to look right on my kit.On the subject of Suu-20 practice bomb dispensers i beleive the F-16s use to carry these .not seen on the f-16mlu these days. I have for a while wanted to do a kit of a 338sqn machine f-16b i saw a few years while taking part in the RDAF excercise (Tactical Fighter Weoponry),but i cannot find the picture anymore would anyone have any pictures of RnorAF F-16s carrying these.

                      Kind Regards


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Hi Craig,


I couldn't help noticing that you were saying "natural metal paint" - the F-5s were painted silver, not bare metal, though they were spot painted occasionally and the colour didn't match perfectly, creating a rather shabby appearance that may be mistaken for different dullness of bare metal.  The rear fuselage of the aircraft perserved at Gardermoen are all bare metal with a brownish tint - presumably titanium.



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I'm afread I don't have any pics but I used to work on 334th sqd in the mid 90's. A cupple of times a year we loaded SUU-20 pods on the jet's during live fire exersises. The hopps where short during live fire, so the jets was configured with centerline 300gallon droptanks, captive red or blue AIM-9L on the left wing tip, and AMA-pod on the rightwingtip.


The SUU-20 pod was either on stn 3 or 7 according to what the crewchief decided when mounting it.On my jet it was on the right wing (my side)..  I never did see any jet with more than one pod, we only had a few avaleble at any one time, and even less during live fire exersise as usually a cupple of them would crap out.. I have recoverd more than one jet with a SUU-20 that has not either fierd the FFAR/CRW's or dropped the training bombs when it was supposed to.. And safing that with a dud inside was not much fun, and always really scary.


remember arming the darn thing scared me shitless as I knew that one shortcurcuit or jumped off groundwire and the whole thing would go off in my face.


We loaded it with 2-4 CRW/FFAR's and/or a cupple of trainingbombs 25lbs (blue color) depending on the mission. For some missions we also loaded the canon with trainingrounds in addition to the SUU-20 pod.


After a a cupple of weeks of live fire with both canon and SUU-20's the jet would be really dirty. Most notebly arround the canon muzzle. From the muzzle front and covering the roundell on the left side of the jet was coverd in soot. And on jets that had been fiering alot of rockets you could see a slight buildup of soot under the wings and booth on the pylon/rack and the pod itself. 


The SUU pod is basicly gloss white, with aluminium fireing tubes for the rockets. However after many years use, it started to show.


Good luck on your build :)

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  • 1 month later...

SUU-20s were modified (strengthened) to take the CRV-7 rocket and called the SUU-5003 after the operational LAU-5003 "19 holed" pod. When this happened I don't know exactly but they've used the CRV-7 rockets (fast nasty things compared to the old 2,75¨FFAR) for at least the past 15 years. The RAF also used them on the Jags during Operation Granby/Destert Storm. Now they're not in use anymore and they shot the rest a few years ago at Halkavarre/Nordavind. It's not exactly the most accurate weapon for international ops. These days LGB training rounds are in fashion. Even more things are being introduced with the M5/6 software/hardware updates.




dag roger


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