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rec.aviation.military Frequently Asked Questions (part 3 of 5)
Section - D.1. Is aircraft X still in service?

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* Blackburn Buccaneer:  NO -- The last squadron of Buccaneers in RAF
service was disbanded in early 1994.  South Africa, the only other
Buccaneer user, had already disposed of its aircraft by then.

* Boeing B-29 Superfortress:  SORT OF -- China still has 15 Russian-built
B-29 copies (Tu-4) on its inventory; these are now used entirely for
training and research.  One was fitted with a pylon-mounted disk for AEW
radar experiments.

* Convair F-106 Delta Dart:  SORT OF -- The last aircraft in US service
were retired in 1988.  About 180 were converted to QF-106 target drones;
most have been destroyed by now, of course, but some are still flying (July

* Dassault Ouragan:  YES -- El Salvador still has eight Ouragans in

* De Havilland Vampire:  NO -- There are no Vampires in military service;
several are still flying in private hands.

* De Havilland Venom:  NO -- There are no Venoms in military service;
several are still flying in private hands.

* English Electric Canberra:  YES -- The Canberra is still in service with
Argentina, Chile, India (largest user, with 46), Peru, and the UK.  The 20
aircraft on the British inventory are used for training and photographic
reconnaissance, not in the bomber role.

* Grumman S-2 Tracker:  YES -- Eight countries still have S-2s in service.
Many retired examples have been converted to civilian firebombers.

* Handley Page Victor:  NO -- The RAF retired its last Victor K.2 tanker on
30 November 1993.

* Hawker Hunter:  YES -- The Hunter is still in service with Chile, India,
Oman, and Switzerland (largest user, with 87).  Lebanon and Somalia still
have a handful of Hunters listed, but these are almost certainly
unserviceable.  The handful of Hunters still flying in the UK are operated
by civilian organisations.  Switzerland plans to dispose of its Hunters by
the end of 1995.

* Ilyushin Il-28 ("Beagle"):  YES -- The Chinese-built Hong-5 is in service
in large numbers (about 650) with China, as well as North Korea and
Romania, but only Egypt still operates five Russian-built Il-28s.

* Lockheed F-104 Starfighter:  YES -- Remains in service with Greece,
Italy, Taiwan, and Turkey (largest user, with 220).

* Lockheed P-2 Neptune:  YES -- Japan still flies 14 of its locally-built
P-2J version.

* Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird:  SORT OF -- These were retired from USAF
service in 1990.  Three aircraft were transferred to NASA, and are used for
atmospheric research.  Currently (June '94) there seems to be serious talk
of reactivating some USAF SR-71s for reconnaissance, probably in connection
with the Korean situation.

* Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star:  YES -- 14 countries still use T-33s for
training; the largest user is Japan, with 113.

* Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-15 ("Fagot/Midget"):  YES -- About 20 countries
operate the MiG-15UTI trainer; three (Albania, Cuba, and Romania) still
operate the single-seat fighter.  All Chinese MiG-15s have been retired
(see also section H.11).

* Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17 ("Fresco"):  YES -- About 25 countries still use
the MiG-17, or the Chinese-built J-5.  The Chinese PLA Air Force only
operates the JJ-5 trainer version.

* Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19 ("Farmer"):  YES -- The Chinese J-6 is still in
service with 14 countries, but only Cuba still flies the genuine article
(about 30).  Production of the J-6 stopped about 1981.

* Myasishchyev M-3/4 ("Bison"):  YES -- The last M-3M and M-4 "Bison-A"
bombers and M-3MD "Bison-C" maritime patrol aircraft were retired or
converted in 1987.  A small number of M-3MS-2 "Bison-B" tankers remain in
service with the Russian AF, but are being replaced by the Il-78T "Midas",
and will probably be gone by the end of 1994.  A few aircraft (possibly
only one) have been converted to M-3VM-T Atlant heavy transports; these
remain in use, mainly for transporting space hardware, pending the
manufacture of more An-225 transports.

* North American F-86 Sabre:  YES -- The Bolivian Air Force still operates
four F-86F interceptors.

* North American F-100 Super Sabre:  NO -- Turkey, the last operator of the
F-100, disposed of its aircraft in 1989.

* Sukhoi Su-7 ("Fitter/Moujik"):  YES -- Only Algeria, Iraq, and North
Korea (largest user, with 30) still fly the Su-7.

* Sukhoi Su-15 ("Flagon"):  NO -- This was withdrawn from Russian service
about 1992.

* Tupolev Tu-128 ("Fiddler"):  NO -- This was withdrawn from Russian
service about 1992.

* Vought A-7 Corsair II:  YES -- In service with Greece (largest user, with
85) and Portugal.  The last A-7s in US service were withdrawn at the end of

* Vought F-8 Crusader:  YES -- 19 F-8E(FN) Crusaders serve with the French
Navy, and are expected to remain in service until the Rafale M is available
in 1999.

* Yakovlev Yak-28 ("Brewer/Firebar/Maestro"):  NO -- The last Yak-28P
"Firebar" interceptors were withdrawn in the 1980s, the last Yak-28R
"Brewer-D" reconnaissance aircraft about 1990, and the last Yak-28PP
"Brewer-E" electronic warfare aircraft (along with the last Yak-28U
"Maestro" trainers) about 1992.

* Yakovlev Yak-38 ("Forger"):  NO -- The Russian Navy retired the last of
its Yak-38 fleet around the end of 1993.

[Most of the above comes from the "Air Forces of the World" directory in
the 24-Nov-93 issue of _Flight International_]

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