In Slide Files we'll show old school hardware captured on old school media. We'll share interesting slides and the stories behind them.
Words: Roger Kemp
Photography: Various photographers | Header image by Alexander Andrews / Unsplash
Our first slide is a beautiful air to air photograph of a pair of US Air Force Europe RF-4C Phantom II's based at Zweibruggen Air Base, photographed by Stefan Petersen from Germany.
Stefan describes the story behind the photo: "I wrote the article about the Photo Phantoms of Zweibrücken for DEFENCE UPDATE INTERNATIONAL. The photos also were published in KOKU-FAN MAGAZINE. I shot the pic on 15 November 1985 during a photo flight with 38th TRS/26th TRW of USAFE from Zweibrücken AB with a CANON A-1 with the 50mm/f1.4 and a polarization filter on Kodachrome 25. Photo ship was RF-4C 69-361 of 38th TRS/26th TRW."
The second slide comes from Mark Munzel from Canada. Here's his story behind this capture;
"The Reno Air Races are most famous photographically for images of warbirds banking around the pylons and engine runs at the first light of day. But some of my favorite military shots are from three years I attended, in 1996, ’97, and ’98. Modern military participation included an opening flypast (by North Dakota ANG F-16s; I missed the Reno Guard RF-4Cs by a year) single-ship demos, and a large static display. I also saw my first USAF Heritage Flight there, in 1998.
That same year featured a role demo by the Navy Strike and Air Warfare Center at nearby NAS Fallon. NSAWC supplied a gaggle of F-18s, including one in desert camouflage to play bandit in a mock dogfight against a grey F-14. They also brought this beauty, an F-14A in Iranian camo, and stuck it in the static park. Having missed its arrival, I ran eagerly the static to shoot this unique example of my favorite aircraft ... to find that the planes surrounding it at odd angles and the people loitering in front made a clear photo impossible.
But on Sunday afternoon, shortly before the role demo’s time slot, there was a commotion of crew chiefs in the static area. The grey Tomcat, presumably broken, was pushed in, and the “Iranian” Tomcat was pulled out.
I don’t have pics of it taking off, landing, or doing anything in between – maybe it was too far away, maybe there was heat haze, maybe I cut off the nose. But I’m more than happy with my taxi shots of this distinctive cat, returning victorious from its single aerial performance."
Do you have some interesting slides in your archive? Please email us and we'll publish them here, with your story. We'd love to feature your work from back in the day.