The Black Knights name, dates back to 1957, when VF-154 were the first front line squadron to receive the F8U-1 Crusader (which can be found in the VF-154 section). The F8U-1 replaced by F-8D´s and then F-4Bs and F-4Js (all of which can be found in the VF-154 section). While awaiting the transition to the F-14 Tomcat, VF-154 traded their F-4Js for F-4Ns and on their very last deployment with the Phantom their N-models were painted in the Tactical Paint Scheme. This these last Phantoms to be operated by the Black Knights are depicted in the illustration above. If you want to inspect the rendition more closely, or want to see the rest of the VF-154 rendtions, click the image below. F-4N Phantom. VF-154 "Black Knights", 1983
As the Panthers were phased out of service VF-154 began operating the FJ-3 Fury. With the introduction of the Fury VF-154 changed name to the Grand Slammers, as their previous name did no long suit the squadron with their new inventory. The Fury was introduced into fleet service in 1955 and VF-154 became one of the first squadrons to operate it. Soon after the introduction US navy standard colors were changed to gull grey, which was a better option at high altitude, but for a short while the Midnight blue Furys were operated...and it does look pretty good I think ;) Click the image below to be taken to the VF-154 section FJ-3 Fury, VF-154 "Grand Slammers", 1955
...there were the "Flaming Panthers" ! During the Korean War VF-837 was called into action, and would soon become a frontline squadron, given the designated VF-154 (in 1954). In those early years the name of the squadron was the Flaming Panthers, but in 1957 their name changed to the Black Knights, which is still active to this very day. Below is a profile depicting the F9F-2Bs of VF-837 as their appeared when they were activated and flew missions over Korea. To view the VF-154 profiles on this page, click the image below. F9F-5 Panther, VF-154 "Flaming Panthers", 1954
This aircraft doesn´t look like much, but its service marked an important milestone in naval aviation: With Lt(jg) Leonard Plog behind the stick this aircraft shot down a Yak-9 over Pyongyang on Jul. 3rd, 1950, making it the first Jet aircraft from the US navy to shoot down another aircraft. With that aircraft now completed the VF-51 lineage have gotten even closer to completing, and I thought it was a good time to display the VF-51 aircraft i currently have depicted. Of the depicted aircraft three have an aerial victory under its belt. So left is only to ask: Do you have a favorite among them ? Click the link below to be taken to the VF-51 section.
I´m very happy to announce that the F9F Cougar series is now also available. This is the very first profile I´ve done of the sweep winged beauty, and it depicts a F9F-8B Cougars from VA-76 "Spirits" as it appeared in 1957 while deployed aboard USS Forrestal (CVA-59). That deployment was USS Forrestals maiden deployment (although there were two shakedown deployments prior to this one). 1957 marked the beginning of a new age of naval aviation, the aircraft would be painted gull grey instead of midnight blue, and the markings very very colorful, as this Cougar is a prime example of. Hope you like this first Cougar rendition. To be taken to the VA-76 section click the link below. F9F-8B Cougar, VA-76 "Spirits", 1957
This is an all new 3D piece from my hand ! This depicts F9F-5 Panthers from VF-111 "Sundowners" while deployed aboard USS Lake Champlain CV-39 during the winter of 1952/53, during the Korean war. For reasons unknown to me VF-111 operated both Midnight Blue and NM finished Panthers during that deployment, but I thought it makes for a cool subject for a winter scene, where the flight deck is closed during a blizzard. Snow is staring to cover the aircraft and the wooden deck, and the troops on the ground have to do without air support for the next few hours, or possibly days. The piece have yet to get a title, but as always: i´m looking for inspiration, so please let me know what would be a fitting title for this piece. Below you´ll find a series of detail shots of this piece, which soon will become available via aviationgraphic.com ..and here´s a sample of the print: