I'm in the mood for love . . . the KA3D Skywarrior by Hasegawa

October 6, 2013 · in Aviation · · 11 · 1.5K

It seems everyone likes the Whale, so I present another of my models, this time the KA3D.

Not much to say, except that this is the carrier borne refueling tanker version out of the box by . The diagonal stripes are a visual indicator that this is indeed a winged gas station!

Note the Navy preferred the probe and drogue method of transferring fuel. Thus the extra bump under the fuselage behind the wing. The hose would extend and the pilot of the receiver aircraft would fly his probe into the drogue. In contrast, the Airforce would use a rigid refueling boom which the operator would "fly" into the receiver aircraft's receptacle.

(My Dad used to man this boom on the KC-97, and had many colorful stories of his stint as a boom operator. But that's another story . . . .)

Again, a nice kit with few foibles to contend with, which I recommend to all.

Reader reactions:
1  Awesome

3 additional images. Click to enlarge.

11 responses

  1. I think probably the best KA-3D story is what happened to LCDR Don Alberg from the Enterprisein May, 1967. Heand three others were flying KA-3D in support of an Alpha Strike into the Hanoi area. The CO of the A-4 squadron took a missile and ejected. The four F-8s on escort took up Rescap, and two of the KA-3s - including Don - had to keep refueling them because the first helicopter had engine trouble and had to abort, then a second one sent in from TF 77. Then the second helo aborted. When the helo finally arrived, Don had 10 minutes' fuel left and his wingman had six, and four F-8s were lower than that. Just when it looked like everyone was going in the drink, an AF KC-135 showed up - completely against orders. The Navy was at 1,500 feet 5 miles off the coast and the 135 wasn't supposed to go lower than 20,000. The 135 came down. It took Don 3 times to connect, and he was sweating flameout when he finally made it, then the 135 tanked the other KA-3 - then the F-8s came out after the unsuccessful rescue (NVAs caught the guy at the last minute), and they hooked up to the KA-3s with under 5 minutes fuel each, and then they all flew back to the task force with the KA-3s feeding the F-8s. The 135 burned so much fuel it had to recover at DaNang. A few weeks later, the Navy guys heard the AF crew was up on court-martial charges for abandoning their station. The Navy guys let the air force know the 135 had saved six airplanes and 10 guys. So instead of court-martials, the AF guys all got the DFC. Don got a pat on the back from the Task Force commander. It was probably the most spectacular tanker save of the war other than taking the A-4 on that was leaking like a sieve from AAA hits and flying him into the pattern over the Oriskany in 1966.

    Nice model, BTW.

    • Just realized looking over my article that Don rescued the A-4, and tanked him all the way down to DaNang, cutting loose on final approach because the A-4 couldn't fly on its own for 30 seconds. The guy flamed out and landed dead-stick. Don finally got the DFC for that one, it was a couple months after the KC-135 event.

      • Michael,
        I'm like you, I just like this airplane. I know some don't like it and of course I have never flown one so I'm no expert. I just like it. Your model proves what good looking airplane it is. Great job.

    • Tom,
      Good story. Lets hear it for guys that think on their own and have the welfare of their comrades in arms paramount over orders.
      Semper Fi

    • I'm researching this event of the tri-level refueling. I'm definitely looking to model that "daisy chain" event of the KC-135 refueling the KA-3D refueling the F-8 aircraft. The National Museum of the United States Air Force just now received a retiring KC-135 aircraft (it's now a KC-135R) from the 203rd Air Refueling Squadron of Hawaii ANG. That Stratotanker that refueled in the tri-refueling event is aircraft 60-0329 (see National Museum of the United States Air Force on Facebook for it's arrival). I have an old KC-135A in 1:72 scale (that's what 0329 was when she refueled in the Vietnam War) and now I just need to find a 1:72 KA-3D (I guess a B would do), and an F-8.

  2. did the stripes come with the decal sheet or did u have to paint them on?

  3. They came with the kit and were surprisingly ell engineered.

  4. Another beautiful Skywarrior, Michael!

  5. Another beautiful job, Mr. Knowles. Keep them coming !

  6. fine job on one of my favorite aircraft

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