by Tommy H. Thomason

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Things Under Wings: VA-195 Kitchen Sink

I provided the configuration of the A-1 Skyraider of the Toilet Bomb caper during the Vietnam War here:

Here are details and clarification behind the Kitchen Sink equivalent during the Korean War. For movie coverage, see

There is some confusion about the size of the bomb and the rest of the ordnance carried. It was a 500-lb bomb according to my go-to guy for ordnance, Jim Rotramel, not 1,000-lb as in some reports. Based on the referenced movie footage, it was loaded with two other 500-lb bombs on the wing pylons and on the most outboard pylon on the right wing, a strike camera pod.

Note that the side number is 507. One mention of this mission has it also carrying Mk 54 "depth bombs", probably because the bomb was also pictured under 502, which was loaded with Mk 54s at the time.
The bomb was almost certainly painted a nonstandard gloss black although it appears in some photos to possibly be dark blue like the airplane. However, this very contrasty picture of yet another AD, 511, loaded with it strongly suggests that gloss black was the color.
Note that sink was asymmetric, with a big back-splash on its back side (to the right on the airplane) and a working surface on its right side (to the rear of the airplane).

A view from the right side when displayed on 502 (no fuse fitted in the nose).
A view from the left side of 507 with pilot LTJG Carl B. Austin.

The airplane was an AD-4 with the armor kit installed. These Skyraiders had a flush center-line rack/shackle (see so the bomb was snugged up against the belly with separate sway braces. The sink was strapped to the bomb (see the movie footage).

Unfortunately, I don't know the BuNo for 507.

The strike was from Princeton (CV-37) on 25 August 1952. The kitchen sink was reportedly dropped on Pyongyang.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Grumman F9F-2 Panther Length

2 April 2018: I've added some additional illustrations to explain the length change.

Well, there's your problem.
The F9F-2 Panther length is frequently (including on the National Naval Aviation Museum website) as 37' 6" (sometimes 37' 5 3/8"). That's almost certainly based on the original XF9F-2 SAC (Standard Aircraft Characteristics) chart as shown above.

However, the actual length was 37' 11 5/16" as shown, rounded down to 37' 11", on an F9F-2 SAC chart.
Note that this is exactly the same drawing. Only the overall length dimension with the nose cone closed has changed.

If it had been redrawn, the outline would have looked more like this Grumman dimensioned drawing.
The length change appears to have been limited to the vertical fin and extreme aft fuselage. I wouldn't spend too much time worrying about the slightly different wheel locations; in any event, I don't have enough data to establish which is correct. The original SAC drawing may be incorrect with respect to the location of aft end of the fuselage surrounding the tailpipe. It appears that on the XF9F-2 prototypes, it is farther aft, consistent with the production F9F-2's.
Close examination of XF9F-2s indicates that most if not all of the length change was the result of substituting a rudder of increased chord.
Note that the bottom of the production fin and rudder was different from BuNo 122477's , mainly by eliminating the narrow extension downward of the rudder and a triangular bit of the bottom of the fin immediately ahead of it.

Another view of the bottom of the production fin: