EB-66 "Bat 21" @ 1/8th Scale - RC Groups
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May 23, 2015, 11:58 AM
EB-66C Team Member
J Morgan's Avatar
Build Log

EB-66 "Bat 21" @ 1/8th Scale


Well, here we go. I guess you should never say never. I was never going EDF. But here we are. Let's start at the beginning:
I met Tony(xplaneguy) and his daughter Evelyn at our yearly Vegas fly-in last Oct. What nice people. Tony is just a nice guy that happens to be an Air Force puke( I mean that lovingly, now retired from active service but still in the same type job and a great R/C pilot. Really enjoyed watching him and his friend Corsair Nut do their B-17 routines together. Evelyn is a chip off the old block that loves R/C and is aspiring to be as good as her Dad. How can you not love that????
So Tony calls me a few months ago and as we were talking he asked me if I had ever thought about building an EB-66? Are you kidding? That's not only EDF but TWIN EDF! I said not really and we talked a bit more about it. That was the end of it........ I thought. He had planted that damned seed. Now I knew that the B-66 Destroyer was the AF cousin of the A-3D Sky Warrior which was nicknamed "The Whale" and the largest plane ever deployed on a carrier. They used them primarily for tankers.
I did some research and reading on the EB-66 and the more I read, the more interested I became. Eventually I had one of those WTH moments( read that as weak) and decided I might as well jump in with both feet. I do love a challenge.
Contacted Tony and Evelyn and told them I was going to put my next scheduled build off and go straight to the EB-66. They sounded thrilled and were all in as well. We discussed size, schemes, etc. So if you're going to build a 66 you might as well do the most famous one that carried Lt. Col Iceal(Gene) E. Hambleton as the navigator and only survivor, was shot down by a SA-2, and resulted in the most intense rescue mission of the Vietnam War. This leads to another important aspect of this thread.
We want to dedicate the build to all the 66 crews and of course all Vietnam Vets and try to give back what little we can to thank them all for their service. Sadly, IMO this country has never really acknowledged the sacrifice that they made to their country. Tony and I think that if just one Vet gets some closure from this thread it will be worthwhile. I certainly hope so.
Although it wasn't planned, rolling it out on Memorial Day weekend seems perfect and I guess fate played a part in that because neither of us had even thought about it until yesterday.
We had discussed size and finally we decided a project like this needed to have an impact and it had to be big. 1/8th scale is huge, I didn't realize just how big until I got the 3 views enlarged. Tony has been sending me research info, books, a beautiful 3 view, tapes, and links for the build. So much that I haven't even had time to go through all of it.
I had to make a trip to IL this week so I took the 3 view along thinking maybe Stapes or Kinkos could enlarge them. They took one look and said sorry. But they did direct me to a large format print shop that could. I was lucky as the manager was at the counter when I arrived. When I told him what I needed and said that I would be coming back through in 3 days he said he wasn't sure if they could be done by then due to his scheduling. He asked what I needed them for and when I explained the object of the thread he said, no worry they will be done by Friday. Then he asked if I would send him a picture of the completed model to hang in their shop and put on their Facebook page. Goes to show you that there are people out there that due appreciate our military.
Now this will be a collaborative build as I have next to no experience with EDF. But I have a wonderful support group to lean on. And yes, it will have retracts but at least those are becoming easier with each set I complete.
Tony will be adding articles, pics, information as we go along to help people fully understand what these hard working crews did and how they performed their missions. If we are lucky maybe someone who served on 66s will find our thread and give us yet more insight and personal experiences. I've been reading Glory Days about the 66 development and missions and have to say it is a great read.
Anyway, the 1/8th scale gives a wingspan of about 108" and a fuse length of 112". I got the plans out and spread them on the only place I had room, the floor. My last build, the Brewster B-339E Park Flyer ( ws- 47") is in the pic to give you and idea of the massive size of this build.
Right now the plan is to power with JF 120s, I guess on 12s. As far as AUW, I have no clue or idea until I get further along but she will be heavy. I'm planning on starting with the nacelle/pylon assembly. Will make a mold for them. The fuse will be glass, my normal reverse method that doesn't require a mold since this will be a one-off project as most of mine are.
There are four+ months until we meet in Chino Valley AZ for our fall fly-in. I would like to be done but as Tony and I discussed, this needs to be done right and I am not planning on rushing it as I have some builds in the past. As I said earlier, it will be the Bat 21 paint scheme of the EB-66C. I love SEA camo birds as most of you know.
I hope you all enjoy the build and maybe even learn what these crews and their maintenance support people had to endure to help the common cause of freedom. And I extend a happy and enjoyable Memorial Day to everyone and especially all the Vets out there.

J
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May 23, 2015, 12:06 PM
Renegade Fun Forever!!
rvincent's Avatar
Go John!
May 23, 2015, 12:11 PM
Registered User



Twin EDF... Retracts. I'm pretty sure someone has hacked into J's RCGroups account.
May 23, 2015, 12:19 PM
Registered User
All joking aside, this is going to be an amazing build and a superb tribute to our service men... and women.
May 23, 2015, 12:19 PM
EB-66C Team Member
xplaneguy's Avatar
Just to see J doing a build in this forum...has me chocked up already. Evelyn and I are sitting here humbled by this project and what it will mean to all veterans but especially for our Vietnam Veterans.

This was the movie that brought the BAT 21 story into my life as a young Air Force Airman at age 19 in 1988. The story has been with me for almost 27 years. I hope that this project will inspire more modelers to focus on honoring our Vietnam Veterans. This is all for them.

Bat*21 Theatrical Movie Trailer (1988) (2 min 23 sec)
May 23, 2015, 12:25 PM
Sponsored by Team de la Peņa
bdelapen's Avatar
WOW John, This one is going to be great!!! Welcome to the Dark Side

- Birger
May 23, 2015, 12:38 PM
EB-66C Team Member
J Morgan's Avatar
I wish Jeremy was right.

Thanks guys,
Pretty intimidating build for sure but should be a lot of fun too. And like Jeremy said, our small attempt at a tribute to servicemen and women and especially Vietnam vets.
I hope I can stat cutting some foam for the nacelle/pylon this weekend.

J
May 23, 2015, 12:54 PM
EB-66C Team Member
xplaneguy's Avatar
Some internet history:

Unarmed EB-66B, EB-66C and EB-66E aircraft flew numerous missions during the Vietnam War. They not only helped to gather electronic intelligence about the North Vietnamese defenses, but also provided protection for the daily bombing missions of the F-105s by jamming North Vietnamese radar systems. Early on, B-66s flew oval "racetrack" patterns over North Vietnam, but after one of the aircraft was shot down by a MiG, the vulnerable B-66 flights were ordered back, just outside of North Vietnam.
EB-66 aircraft formed a necessary complement to an F-105 strike force in the target area. Effective Electronic Countermeasures (ECM) and Electronic Intelligence (ELINT) were mandatory for force survival in the highly concentrated defense environment of North Vietnam. The North Vietnamese defenses consisted of small arms, automatic weapons (i.e. .30-and .50-cal. machine guns), antiaircraft artillery (AAA - 37/57/85 and 100mm), surface-to-air missiles and MiGs, so it was imperative to deny the enemy as much radar warning as possible.

EB-66B and EB-66E aircraft were used primarily for active ECM using high power barrage and tuneable electronic jamming of selected frequencies. In ELINT work, the C model could be used to "see" enemy electronic transmissions and then selectively jammed. The C model was also capable of identifying MiG IFF (identification friend or foe) and Fan Song (SAM search and tracking radar) signals, thus providing MiG and SAM warnings.

With the 1967 advent of the F-105 QRC-160 pod (a radar jamming device), the EB-66s were concentrated against early warning and ground controlled intercept radars. Flights of three aircraft were used and commonly composed of two EB-66Bs and one EB-66C. Up to three of these flights were used to cover a strike mission during target ingress and egress as well as during the actual strike. The EB-66 could not survive within the lethal SAM envelopes at the altitudes required for area jamming; therefore, orbits were established on the edges of the SAM envelopes. This provided as much jamming power as possible with an acceptable level of risk.

During the afternoon of Easter Sunday on April 2, 1972, two EB-66's (BAT-21 & BAT-22) operating with the 42nd Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron (TEWS) of the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing (TFW) from Korat Royal Thai Air Force Base, were airborne near Cam Lo, South Vietnam, escorting a B-52 strike, when BAT-21 took a direct hit by an SA-2 Surface to Air Missile (SAM), possibly in the mid-fuselage Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO) compartment. This was during the North Vietnamese Easter offensive across the DMZ and it was not initially known by Intelligence at the time that the front-line NVA troops had "dragged" SA-2's south of the DMZ with them. When EWO 1st Lieutenant Robin Gatwood detected the SAM launch, he alerted the pilot, Major Wayne Bolte, who initiated an appropriate missile break maneuver to the South as he believed the SAM was coming from NORTH of the DMZ, not knowing that he was turning into the in-coming SAM. The navigator (53-year-old Lieutenant Colonel Iceal Eugene Hambleton - flying on his 63rd mission in Vietnam) was the only one of the six-man crew known to have safely ejected from the aircraft after the initial hit and he believed that another SAM struck the aircraft just moments after his ejection and just a few hundred feet below him. Hambleton landed nearly right in the middle of the North Vietnamese offensive, so extricating him would be tricky!
It should be noted that the crew of BAT-21 (due to rank) was no ordinary crew and in a controversial rescue operation (Which was the most extensive in USAF history), all aerial combat operations in-country were suspended and switched to support for search and rescue (SAR) operations for Hambleton (who was one of the highest ranked service members to be shot-down during the Vietnam war) and the rest of the crew, who were very valuable to both sides involved due to the knowledge they possessed... specifically Hambleton, due to a previous highly classified air staff duty posting before going to Southeast Asia. This lead to Hambleton evading capture by the NVA for the next 12 days... over 800 sorties flown in support of the SAR... 6 more aircraft shot down (many others damaged)... 26 aircrew lost... 4 rescued, 2 repatriated as POW's after the war and 20 either KIA or MIA (9 of those have since been returned to the U.S. and the other 11 are still MIA). There were personnel from the Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and South Vietnamese forces involved... the awarding of a Medal of Honor to Navy SEAL Lieutenant Tom Norris for his involvement in the rescue... and 234 additional medals awarded to other individuals involved in the rescue operation (Hambleton himself would earn a Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal and a Purple Heart).

The story of Lieutenant Colonel Hambleton's rescue as "BAT-21" is fairly well known now, thanks in part to the 1988 movie of the same name that starred Gene Hackman as Hambleton with Danny Glover playing a Forward Air Control pilot helping to coordinate the rescue. Not exactly the most accurate portrayal of the actual event since it did not encompass the full scope of the actual rescue, but it gives the general idea. The most notable part of the movie and the actual rescue, was how Hambleton (an avid golfer) used his knowledge of the distances of various holes at different golf courses on USAF bases around the world to help guide his rescuers in his locations on the maps covering the jungles of Vietnam. In this way, the North Vietnamese were unable to figure out exactly where Hambleton was located at, or where he was headed to next. Very ingenious move on the part of Hambleton.

An interesting side note about another crew-member of BAT-21 was the possible survival of EWO Henry Serex, who may have been alive in a POW camp as of June 1992 according to this article: http://www.pownetwork.org/bios/s/s188.htm
Also, in an ironic twist-of-fate, Charles Levis (an EWO on the BAT-21 mission) had previously been assigned as an EWO to the ill-fated Lisa Ann/Rivet Amber RC-135E program that came to an end with the mysterious loss of the RC-135E on June 5, 1969, but Levis was not a part of that fateful flight.
May 23, 2015, 01:03 PM
EDF Jet Jam 2017, June 15-18th
eatond's Avatar
Hi John,
Excellent choice. Looking forward to seeing this come together and I and many other EDF nuts are standing by if you need any help with the EDF portion.

Dan Eaton

PS: Now you have something to bring to next year's EDF Jet Jam
May 23, 2015, 01:28 PM
EDF rules... :)
AirX's Avatar
Go John, another adventure from another master!
Cheers,
Eric B.
May 23, 2015, 01:29 PM
Registered User
coptercptn's Avatar
What a great project John!!! I will be following (as always) and as a Vietnam Vet a do really appreciate the thoughts involved here!!
Looking forward to seeing it in Chino!!!! 😎😎😎
May 23, 2015, 01:35 PM
Pro Hoarder
turbonut's Avatar
Super cool!
May 23, 2015, 01:48 PM
Registered User
Low Show's Avatar
J this is so weird, about 3 weeks ago I started compiling pics and 3 views for a EB-66. Everything about the airframe so doable so there might be another one. I was thinking of a Korat Based Bird, just like the Sharks Mouth. Outstanding Buddy this is going to be a really neat project and thanks for doing it...Don
May 23, 2015, 02:15 PM
No Hangar Queens!
Willsonman's Avatar
Fascinating subject. Along for the ride. Do you plan on having a drag chute for landings as well? That would be a neat gimmick that is not often seen.


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