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The Prowler Flies off into the Sunset

Flash

SEVAL/ECMO
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
It appears the very last Prowler flight was made today, ending at Dulles Airport with a final destination at the Smithsonian center there.

Interesting, they told 209 they didn't want a Prowler when they offered on a few years ago becasue it wasn't distinctive enough for their inventory.

I hope there's a bunny somewhere on that jet.
I've seen 'Y' stylized several times into a particular shape on the planes and patches, a little disappointed but not surprised to not see it on this bird. On a related note, VX-9's 'Vandy One' had the bunny back on it's tail in '03 right before they retired their F-14's after not having it there for ~decade. I think that was right before some VX-9 guys got in trouble for visiting the Mansion in their flight suits, their mistake was letting the pics get into the wild.
 

jmcquate

Well-Known Member
Contributor
A&S looks for aircraft with a history. Both their F-4 and F-14 have MiG kills. It also is a plus it it can be flown to the museum.
 

cfam

A pilot is a pilot. An NFO is something else.
None
Contributor
It was a crew intensive jet. You truly needed good teamwork to get the job done, because one person couldn't handle everything themselves. This is coming from the perspective of someone who deployed with ICAP III, the newest iteration of the jet; it was worse in the earlier iterations. I don't mean that from a workload perspective (although the button pushing was a little more cumbersome), but instead from the way the switchology was set up. ECMO 1 (front right seat) was the only crew seat that could pass a HARM package to the missile, while ECMO 2 and 3 were the only ones that had access to the Master Radiate and Mini Rad switches (the way to radiate the jamming pods). An inexperienced crew or a weak crew member could lead to endless frustration, as coordination between the seats was paramount.

I definitely felt like more of a copilot in the Prowler than I do now. With the way the front cockpit was set up (no HUD, mostly non glass cockpit), a good ECMO 1 could really help out the pilot behind the boat. Also, the way the canopy was constructed prevented the pilot from seeing most of the right side, so ECMO 1 was a huge contributor to overall situational awareness. To that point, a good outside scan from the entire crew was important, as air to air situational awareness (outside of LINK 16 tracks) was almost non existent.

All that being said, I loved the Prowler. The side by side seating setup was great, and having four (or mostly three on our last deployment) people in the cockpit always made for good conversation. It may have taken longer to execute certain mission tasks, but the last iteration of the jamming and receiver suite was at least as capable as early iterations of the Growler, if not more so.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
A friend who flew the family model in the Marines (pilot, not NFO/ECMO) said it was a lot of work behind the boat. The big nose with the two extra seats hurt stability, and the forward visibility wasn't the greatest on final.
 

wink

VS NFO. Blue and Gold Officer
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
All those years, and I never saw a verticle stab fold on the Prowler. Who knew? Must not have ever struck any below.
 

jmcquate

Well-Known Member
Contributor
Don't think so. The camera angle with the wing fold makes it hard to see. Check out the shadow on the ramp.
 
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