In Portsmouth NH Air Show in the 1970s Pt.1 we looked at a few private warbirds that visited Pease AFB. Pease was a SAC base and the home team consisted of the 509th Bomb Wing and the 157th ARW. The 509th flew the sleek FB-111A bomber, a swing wing design like the Navy’s F-14.
Topping out at Mach 2.5, the “Aardvark” was one of the faster birds in the USAF. Earlier bombers, such as the B-58 Hustler, were was designed to go high and fast; the F-111 was designed to hug the ground to evade radar detection. It did that by using its unique, terrain following radar, coupled to the plane’s autopilot. The FB-111 was the nuclear bomb carrying variant, whereas the F-111 carried standard bombs of the day.
Another 1970s air show regular was the F-4 Phantom. Here we have one from the Happy Hooligans of the North Dakota Air Guard flying by “dirty.”
Think the USAF didn’t use the tail hook? Think again. Read this incredible story of Pardo’s push. Below, the same Happy Hooligan’s F-4 taxis by.
Another Phantom wearing a Vietnam era paint scheme.
This EB-57 looks great in black. The EB was a variant of the Martin B-57, itself a variant of the British made English Electric Canberra.
Next up is nice looking Convair F-106. The last of the Century series fighters, the F-106 was retired from service in 1988.
The Thunderbirds closed each show with a performance in their T-38s.
Like the planes that once visited, Pease AFB is now part if history. The Airshow tradition lives on though, stronger than ever, as the annual Boston-Portsmouth Airshow