The Last Vikings: World's Remaining Airworthy S-3Bs Assemble

In early 2009 the last S-3B Viking was officially retired from US Navy service. It was not long after that the humble aircraft’s 10 hour endurance and ample room for avionics, pods and test gear brought her back into limited service with VX-30 and NASA. Shown here, for the first time ever, are the world’s only flying Vikings gathered in one place at one time.

via The Last Vikings: World’s Remaining Airworthy S-3Bs Assemble.

A nifty little post on the mighty War Hoover.

But the real treat is in the comments, where one contributor has share a collection of beautiful pics of various NASA aircraft in their distinctive white with blue cheatline scheme. Go, enjoy.

15 thoughts on “The Last Vikings: World's Remaining Airworthy S-3Bs Assemble”

    1. Swing by 931 Cabrillo AVE and tell me: 1) if the house looks crappy, and, 2 ) if the cool yellow 67 Corvette is still across the street. (Hey, it’s only been 35 years or so. Anything is possible.) This car started my still unfulfilled dream of owning a 67 Corvette.

  1. The Hoover might not be dead yet. The impending end of the C-2 Greyhound COD bird has some looking at low-hour Hoovers in the boneyard and figuring a way to hang a fatter fuselage under those wings. Even better, the proposed mod would bring back the Hoover’s refueling capacity, which is sorely missed today.

    1. The Navy really, badly, needs to replace the Greyhound with something larger. The ability to carry an F-35 engine will be needed if the F-35 makes it to the fleet. A refueling bird would also be quite nice.

  2. @ Quatermaster:

    ISTR some tests with a C-130 at max weight on CVN-59 Forrestal. Methinks the modern C-130JJ could stop in much less distance with those 6-blade paddle props in reverse. Do that and engine hauling plus tanking is a doddle.

    1. It wasn’t the launching and landing that was a problem. It was that the beast took up too much flight deck. Respot to clear the entire aft end of the ship just for the COD? Wasn’t really workable.

    1. Given they stopped making them in 1970 (Wiki) their age might be an issue.

      The C-27 looks good, though. IF the Air Force doesn’t get crappy about the purchase. Again.

    2. CT:

      What the hay; C-47s/DC-3s are still being referbed and flown. If there are airframes in the boneyard perhaps some could be brought back to life. Just a thought.

      I don’t know much about C-27s; I’ll study up.


      1. You’d still have a wingspan issue. The plane itself will fit on the carrier. But it means you pretty much have to move every other aircraft aboard forward of the island.

        A cheaper solution to the problem of COD capacity would be to simply carry more spare engines for the F35.

    3. xbradtc:

      You are right; every two engine transport airframe I looked at came in at just under 100 feet of wingspan and almost 80 feet of length. Much too much aircraft for a carrier. Carry more spare engines.


    4. I think the Navy will be forced to carry more spare engines for the F-35. But, that will mean less of something else will be carried and if the ship sees combat ops, there will still be the need to occasionally deliver an engine via COD. I don’t see the need going away. What is truly sorry, however, is that Big Defense made some bad decisions forcing a much larger engine on the entire F-35 line. That’s OK for a land based service but not the Navy.

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