ID Request

Osprey1163

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Hi everyone.
If this isn't the right forum for my question, I'll apologize in advance....but I thought I'd start here.
I took this picture on 8/14 just outside Grand Junction, Colorado. I saw a random plane that sounded "different", so I took a picture despite the long range. It's a military plane, but I'm not sure what model. The red symbol on the tail confuses me too....Red Star? Maple Leaf? Squadron markings? I was hoping someone here could help me ID it, or point me to the right forum or website.

Thanks,
Chris
 

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Osprey1163

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It's a Cold War era Czechoslovak jet trainer called the Aero L-39 Albatross. They're often found over the U.S. skies flown by civilians, they found their way into the civilian market after the Cold War. It's a popular jet for wealthy owner-operators who want an aerobic jet.
That makes sense. I'm not far by air from lots of money in Vegas & Aspen, etc where I am. I'll check the link you sent. It does look like an F5 from certain angles.......
Thanks!
 

andy51edge

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That makes sense. I'm not far by air from lots of money in Vegas & Aspen, etc where I am. I'll check the link you sent. It does look like an F5 from certain angles.......
Thanks!
The main (aesthetic) differences between the F-5 (the T-38 is a nearly identical airframe to the F-5) and L-39 are:
F-5 (T-38)L-39
Air intake on lower fuselageAir intake on upper fuselage
Later F-5s have large inboard leading edge extensions
2 afterburning engines1 non-afterburning engine
The horizontal surface on the tail is a stabilizer. Mounted on top of fuselage.The horizontal surface on the tail is a conventional horizontal stabilizer/elevator combination. Mounted on the bottom of the fuselage.
Wingtip has a missile rail. (absent on the T-38)Wingtip has a tip fuel tank. (absent on some models)

There is no shortage of obscure aircraft to find in the sky!
If you're in Aspen, CO, I'm sure I've flown over your house a few times in my CRJ.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
 

Osprey1163

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Messages
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That makes sense. I'm not far by air from lots of money in Vegas & Aspen, etc where I am. I'll check the link you sent.
Thanks!
The main (aesthetic) differences between the F-5 (the T-38 is a nearly identical airframe to the F-5) and L-39 are:
F-5 (T-38)L-39
Air intake on lower fuselageAir intake on upper fuselage
Later F-5s have large inboard leading edge extensions
2 afterburning engines1 non-afterburning engine
The horizontal surface on the tail is a stabilizer. Mounted on top of fuselage.The horizontal surface on the tail is a conventional horizontal stabilizer/elevator combination. Mounted on the bottom of the fuselage.
Wingtip has a missile rail. (absent on the T-38)Wingtip has a tip fuel tank. (absent on some models)

There is no shortage of obscure aircraft to find in the sky!
If you're in Aspen, CO, I'm sure I've flown over your house a few times in my CRJ.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask!
That's a great comparison of the two planes. I lived near the Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center in Southern Maryland for 40 years, so got pretty good at identifying naval aircraft. Andrews AFB was about 40 miles away by air, so I'd occasionally see Air Force craft, mainly the C17 & KC135's. I got a few good shots of Air Force and Marine One too.

When I was 10 years old, I'm 57 now, my friend and I discovered if you wrote a nice letter to Northrop, McDonnell Douglas etc they'd send you some really nice 8x10 glossies of their planes. I've still got old ones of F-15, F16, F111, Viet-Nam era F4 shots etc. Pretty cool when you're 10!

If you've flown into Grand Junction Regional Airport you landed about 5 miles from me.

Chris
kb3scn
 

bharvey2

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Mar 12, 2014
Messages
1,492
That makes sense. I'm not far by air from lots of money in Vegas & Aspen, etc where I am. I'll check the link you sent. It does look like an F5 from certain angles.......
Thanks!


The L39 Albatros was just what I was thinking too.
 
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