Air International 1979-02
Model enthusiast
TF- and F-104Gs do indeed wear the 'star and bar'. There are two squadrons of TF-/F-104G aircraft assigned to the 58th Tactical Training Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona. These aircraft belong to the West German government and are part of the very sizeable German training establishment in the US. The German F-104s operate in US markings to preclude any adverse publicity which might result in the event of an aircraft accident involving US citizens or their property. The German T-37 and T-38 aircraft operated by the 80th Flying Training Wing's 89th (T-37) and 90th (T-38) Flying Training Squadrons at Sheppard AFB. Texas, also wear US insignia. All of the German military aircraft operated in the US. with the exception of weekly Boeing 707 runs, operate without any markings which would identify them as obviously German, although personnel wear the appropriate uniforms. German personnel and equipment are assigned to several US installations, eg. Luke AFB (F-104G transition training); Sheppard AFB (Luftwaffe and Bundesmarine Undergraduate Pilot Training, T-37 and T-38); Shaw AFB (RF-4 transition training); George AFB (F-4 training); and Ft Bliss (anti-aircraft artillery training, MIM-14 Nike Hercules).
An early production example of the multi-role version of the initial production series Kfir with the simple Elta ranging radar. Note rudder striping presumably signifying unit.
An early production example of the initial production Kfir optimised for the air-air role. Note variations in camouflage pattern and the shape of the black-and-orange triangular "friend-foe" fin marking.
A standard dual-role Kfir-C2 (possibly a reworked initial production Kfir) as demonstrated at Hatzerim, in the Negev, in July 1976. Note that the camouflage pattern, although followed broadly by all examples of this aircraft type differs in detail between individual machines. The black-and-orange triangular markings do not appear to be applied to aircraft intended primarily for the air-air role.
A Kfir-C2 in the air superiority grey overall finish adopted for some Heyl Ha'Avir units in 1977. Note that this is a dual-role (ie. air-air and air-ground) aircraft and therefore has the now-standard dual-mode range-only Elta radar.
Examples of the Mirage IIIC in typical finishes used at various periods in Heyl Ha'Avir service: (top) mid-1964, (bottom) mid-1971, and (centre) immediately after 1973 "Yom Kippur" conflict.