Category Archives: Hardware

F-4 Phantom By The Book

F-4 By The Book

F-4 Phantom By The Book

How cool would your job be if this was one of the books that you used?  Sitting on a cart at the Airzoo, along with a tool kit and a cup of coffee was this book. It appears that part of the work scheduled for that day was work on an F-4 Phantom.

The F-4 was first put into service in the US military in 1960 and found its way into the air wings of the Navy, Marines and Air Force.  As an air superiority fighter, it was one of the primary machines used during the Vietnam War and continued to be used in the later decades. Eventually, the F-15, F-16, and F-14 supplanted it in the different branches.

The last hurrah for the Phantom was in the first Gulf War in 1991. There it was used to suppress enemy air defenses.  In 1996 it was finally retired from active duty in the US military. The model did see extensive use in other military forces around the world and as of June 2013 still was seeing duty in Germany.

The book above is a pretty cool piece that acts as an owner’s manual for the model. From schematics and photos to break downs of all the major components. Sort of like what you may find for your car, except with places for guns and missiles. If you want a copy they are only about $20 and can be found here.


Grease Gun Is The Word

Grease Gun

Grease Gun Is The Word


M3 .45 Caliber machine gun entered the service of the US Army in December 1942 with the idea that it would eventually replace the Thompson sub-machine gun on the front lines of WWII. Picking up the nickname “Grease Gun” from the similarities to the actual Grease Gun used by mechanics. The design was based on the very effective German MP40 and British Sten.

With a fairly long service record, 1942 up till 1992 in the United States, the M3 and the revised version the M3A1. The design was such that it was meant to be disposable, if it jammed or broke, it was tossed. In fact when it was first put into service there were no provisions made for spare parts at the depots, no specific tools for work on the unit and eventually this became in issue as production could not keep up with the demand. Finally in 1944 a number of replacement parts were produced to keep the grease gun greasing.

Even with approximately 700,000 were produced during WWII it was never able to actually replace the Thompson which topped over 1.5 million.  While the US was still using it until the Gulf War the M3 and its variants have seen service with a number of countries and a fair number of conflicts, among the highlights were the Chinese Civil War, Korean War, The Bay of Pigs Invasion, Vietnam, The Falklands and then the Gulf War.  In fact as late as 2004 the Philippine military brought the M3 out of reserve due to the inexpensive nature of the unit.