F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heavy)

F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heavy)

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 11:32 am

About a year ago i 'got my pass signed' and permission was granted for a week away to Hyakuri, and with the subsequent Christmas donation in funds going quite a way to my ticket to Tokyo, it seemed rude not to go.

In the intervening time, i had asked questions, got great help and answers from those on here, and still didn't 'get it right' on the week (last week by the way).
Firstly, Monday was a public holiday so no flying, Tuesday to Thursday was wet / damp / overcast / windy (delete as applicable) with Friday being 27 degrees and as perfect as you could get despite the squadrons of insects flying around.

Anyway, the help from the guys here did a lot of good for me, and i found 5 days at the hallowed ground very easy indeed.
Arrival at Narita on the Sunday, straight to the hotel, for a catch up on the sleep, next day to 'times' car rental to pick up what was my hire car for the week (oh dear, more of that later), and off to Ibaraki (the civilian airport shared with Hyakuri) so see the phantoms for the first time! Well no, nothing was flying except civilian because it was a public holiday but it did leave us (i went with a mate) the chance to shoot the 2 phantoms on the plinths by the terminal building, and travel across to the peace towers, and various locations around the airfield before off to Mito (20 miles or so north of Ibaraki) for the hotel which was to be our base for the rest of the week.

The rest went very swimmingly, and i used up my memory cards with 8000+ in the bag when i'd finished.
The car broke down with a flat battery, which needed recovery as i was at the peace towers at the time, and upon checking the Mazda 3 has known electrical problems, and subsequently broke down 2 more times. This electrical problem manifests itself as a completely drained battery within an hour of the engine being stopped. Times, dont want to know and say its my problem, so i am in dispute with them as they want to charge me for the honour of being recovered. lol
Dont get me wrong, they were great otherwise, just steer away from the Mazda 3. :mad:

Was it worth it? Heck yes, i did the trip of a lifetime, witnessed airfield beat ups, vapour, 4 aircraft launches, 3 aircraft launches, singles and doubles, a QRA launch, and on average 30 phantom flights per day. not counting the T-4's, the helo's and based HS125's , plus rotary visitors.

Yes i could have gone to other airbases, but this was my dream and we don't have the venerable aircraft with us for very much longer so i had to make the bst of it all while i could, and don't regret a minute!

I'm busy editing now, but here are a few, and please feel free to C+C, but be kind as the 'dust bunnies' are mainly insects that i've tried to edit out.
I'll be adding lots more from the 5 days there over the coming week or so.

Enjoy.
cheers
Dave

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Last edited by HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 7:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
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HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1 and very pic heavy)

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 3:36 pm

Part 2
Featuring some night shots as i wanted landing lights etc for a change, but very heavy on the ISO i'm afraid and as such, a fair bit of grain for which i apologise.

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HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1 and very pic heavy)

Postby MiG_Eater on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 3:59 pm

These are stunning.

It looks like an amazing base to spot from.

Great to see some dreams coming true!
MiG_Eater

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1 and very pic heavy)

Postby Tmyers123 on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 4:00 pm

Great set, happy that you got what you wanted! On a side note, how good looking is that UH-60J? :love:
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Tmyers123

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1 and very pic heavy)

Postby Draken on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 4:41 pm

Excellent!
Are all of them taken from the spotting platforms?

I'll be there in exactly 2 weeks from today :)
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Draken

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1 and very pic heavy)

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 5:17 pm

Hi Draken,

Most were taken from the 'peace towers' number 2 and 3, and i did take some taxiing shots (yet to publish) of the QRA aircraft going back to their barns from the shorter of the 3.

There is also a platform from the side of the blue shed you can take pics from, and is ok for tail shots and great for head on shots when the wind is right.

All pilots and GIB's wave to you, and are very friendly.

Warning, it can get cold with wind chill, take enough food and drink, and i used up all my memory cards in 5 days there.
dont forget the airport F-4's, and also the base museum, which you can see the main aircraft either over the wall or through the fence (starfighter, phantoms special, and 2 x mitsubishi's)
Helo crews are cool too, and i had a low flypast one day with both the pilot and one of the back seaters waving to me.

flying can stop early around 2pm if its wet and windy and the pan can be cleared early too.
watch out for the F-4 tails mounted outside the side each hangar as they have a history too.

however, tale your time and visit the other side (civilian side) of the airport and check out the last chance area at the right hand end looking across from the civilian building.

lastly the civilian building has a viewing gallery which is glass glazed you can shoot through but is not idea, but is alos a large area. There is also a shop upstairs that sells phantastic t-shirts but only up to large (I'm a 3xl so came away without one) but i did get a 'remove before flight' tag for my bag for 302 squadron there.

most of all, enjoy. its an experience that will live with you. the sights, the smells, the heat from the engines as they taxi past, the waves from the crews, the sound of the engines spooling up. then the quiet after they spool down.

more pics here tomorrow.

have fun.
cheers
Dave
Got to love Russianhardware
HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1 and very pic heavy)

Postby Draken on Mon 01 Oct 2018, 6:21 pm

Phantastic! :)
Thank you so much for the tips!
Looking forward for more of your pics :D
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Draken

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 7:49 am

Part 3 now, consisting of a couple more night shots, more helo's, and more...... yes, Phantoms. :heyhey:

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HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby MiG_Eater on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 8:12 am

I must have looked at this thread 5 times now. Just amazing stuff.

How much longer do the Japanese phantoms have?
MiG_Eater

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 8:14 am

301 and 302 squadrons will 'Phinish' (sorry, lol) by next year apparently, although 301 was slated for December his year, but seems to have changed, but its just as well as they are still working the QRA from there, Hyakuri being the closest fighter base to Tokyo apparently.
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HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby harkins on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 8:42 am

Firstly, great photos Dave. Looks like your trip was brilliant!!

Interesting that you say the disbandment has been put back from December - be good news if that's the case.

Last I read was that 302 Hikotai were to disband after the base air show in December as they're reforming at Misawa with those damn awful F-35s. I'd then read that 301 will continue until about April next year and I'd heard that 501 with their RF-4s would make it later into the year if not even 2020 when they're expected to become a fighter squadron with the F-15 (don't know where). Obviously as the fighter squadrons disband, the base will get decreasingly busy and thus less worth the trip. Be a bit like traveling from Tokyo to visit Marham.

Good point about QRA and being the base that defends Tokyo. Again, the last thing I read about that is that in 2021 Hyakuri will be home to just the one squadron flying the F-2, but I don't know if they will/can perform QRA. It's certainly bad news for Umezawa san as he'll lose an income stream and I'm not sure Japan as a whole will be quite the draw it has been after the Phantoms have gone.
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harkins

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 9:19 am

Hi Phil,

Thanks for the kind words, and i must admit your thoughts where what i understood them to be, but i wonder if they will come to pass.......

QRA remains active, and it took barely 3 minutes from the claxon going off to get airborne, all tooled up and hunting for 'bear'.

could a 35 or F-2 do that? maybe the latter.
do they have enough 35's in country and on strength to do the current duties of the Phantoms at Hyakuri?

my god, we only seem to fly 1 or 2 at a time so lord help the Japanese, unless they actually want to use them as other than expansive large paperweights.

The 'red bird' special is lettered to the effect that 2019 is their last year, but that could mean january 2nd 2019 really just as it could be december 31st so who knows.

Not really sure the future of Hyakuri to be honest, especially if Cover is going elsewhere.
i suppose at least they wont need to shut the hangar doors each day for the Chinese civil landing over the other side, and on that note they were putting up buildings on the approach road to the airport so maybe there are expansion plans there.

Anyway, agree, it wont be the same and the revenue stream Umezawa san has rightfully been getting for such a phantastic facility will dry up.

cheers
Dave
Got to love Russianhardware
HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby raptor01 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 12:00 pm

great set of photos is it still mr umezawa you phone to gain access to the towers
many thanks howard
raptor01

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby BDL on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 12:09 pm

What a set! Thanks for posting - really appreciated!
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BDL

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 12:24 pm

i'll post a last lot in a while, including (and i didnt know they had them as i thought they were all fixed) a folding wing phantom, more in the wet, the engine test bay, a tail or 2, more of the special, and some more helo's.

cheers
Dave

edit, just noticed pic 31 has the folded wing Phantom. side on towards the back
Last edited by HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 3:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby BigClick67 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 3:28 pm

Dave, these are really PHantastic! :clap: Especially the low light images are really worth showing! As a Wittmund 'Local' for many years I can understand your Phantom affection easily. With your trip to Hyakuri you have been living my dream. Unfortunately I won't be able to see the Japanese Phantoms LIVE before their retirement so reading/viewing your excellent report and photos really comes as a nice redemption. If you have more please do not hesitate to show them.
Thanks for sharing :win:
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BigClick67

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 4:55 pm

Ok, last lot from me on this subject, although i have loads more to share, i'll put them on my zenfolio in the next week or 2.

For now, the hush house, 3 abreast by accident, QRA returning to their barns, spare QRA coming from the barns, more lights, more spray, more Phantoms!

Cheers
Dave

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If you've gotten this far, i salute you :worship:
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HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby Red Dragon on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 6:50 pm

I salute you :worship: for actually getting to do one of my dream trips :clap:
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Red Dragon

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Tue 02 Oct 2018, 9:09 pm

For all those contemplating going (thank you Red Dragon), here's a run down of costs for me to do the week.

Flight. Cathay Pacific from Manchester to HK, then into Tokyo £649.00
Hotel at Narita to 'de-stress'/ unwind (1 night) £ 48.00
Car Hire for Monday to Saturday (inc added insurance) £ 245.00
international driving permit (required) £ 5.50
hotel in Mito for 5 nights £170.00
Fuel For the week (full to full) £ 40.00
Food and drink £ 60.00

a grand total of £1,217.50 for me.(plus £30 for the peace tower in total for the week), and £45.00 for the ETS toll road fees.
however my fuel and car hire was 50/50 with a mate.

While not cheap, it must be weighed up against the value for money to the enthusiast for seeing Phantoms and lots of them. Sometimes 30+ flights a day.

Important note there for Draken, is that you need an 'international driving permit' to drive in Japan, and its Mandatory. you cannot get a hire car without one.

To those considering going, dont consider......do! To those going, enjoy, and live for the moment and i guarantee the experience will stay with you forever.
Got to love Russianhardware
HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby Draken on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 6:53 am

Unfortunately we'll have to make it without hired car, however plan is to spend there only 2 days as we go to Atsugi AFB, Gifu AFB, KIX, NGO, HND and NTR as well.
Thanks again for all the tips :)
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Draken

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby AB52 FLY on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 8:56 am

Hi Dave great photos and super info certainly makes good reading. Five of us are going on an adventure on 30th of this month to do the rooftop civvi airports in Tokyo, Iruma Airshow and a few days at Hyakuri for The Phantoms.
Can I ask you a few questions if you don't mind.
Did you need to buy step ladders for Hyakuri or are the towers sufficient and does the guy you phone for the towers speak English.
How was the food? Like for taking a packed lunch? Is there kind of our type of food to buy?

Thanks Colin
AB52 FLY

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 9:08 am

AB52 FLY wrote:Hi Dave great photos and super info certainly makes good reading. Five of us are going on an adventure on 30th of this month to do the rooftop civvi airports in Tokyo, Iruma Airshow and a few days at Hyakuri for The Phantoms.
Can I ask you a few questions if you don't mind.
Did you need to buy step ladders for Hyakuri or are the towers sufficient and does the guy you phone for the towers speak English.
How was the food? Like for taking a packed lunch? Is there kind of our type of food to buy?

Thanks Colin


Hi Colin,
the car rental company in Narita (Times car rental) has loads of step ladders in their compound from spotters who buy them and leave them, and if you book through them, ask for 2 ladders of 4-5 steps to be reserved for you.
i did and they were waiting for me.

Yes the peace towers chap speaks enough english to get by, and was very nice to me on my visit (got a home made bottle of sake!)
Step ladders are around the compound at the peace towers, again left by spotters.
for 4 of the 5 days i was there i and my mate were the only 2 peeps there.
food: i went to a 7-11 everyday, for rolls, crisps, drink, (beer and water and coke) and there are these stores almost everywhere, and very locally to Hyakuri i can remember at least 3 of them.

The tall scaffolding tower looks flimsy but is remakably sturdy and high, and around 10ft higher that the other 2 wooden ones, which are very nice in themselves.

Consider other vantage points around the airfield as the sun makes afternoon photography from the towers problematic. i moved to the other side (civilian side) a bit, and always moved back to the towers for dusk and evening shots. Talk to Umuzawa san, and he will arrange for you to have a key to the compound so you can come and go as you please. Make sure you have his number on you at all times, it came in handy for me.

toilets are rudimentary and 'ok' in a camping in a field sort of way.

Remember flying can start at 7.30 (i turned up at 8am to find 4 phantoms taxiing, with 4 more about to.
It can end at 3pm, or evening depending on night flying.

take warm clothes, its autumn and an airfield, and you know how windy they can be.
also take a hat, as last Friday is was 27 degrees and bright hot sunshine.

Hope this helps but feel free if you need more info.
cheers
Dave
Last edited by HeyfordDave111 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 12:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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HeyfordDave111

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby Airwolfhound on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 11:50 am

Phabulous, phantastic, and phairly incredible shots and trip you've had, thanks for sharing :clap: :clap: :clap:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24874528@N04/

Agile, mobile and hostile ;-)
Airwolfhound

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby RichPittman on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 11:56 am

Wonderful selection Dave.
Makes me want to go again!

I was only talking about this the other Day.
Looks like many enthusiasts are going out in the next few Weeks.

I still have a thread
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=70613&hilit=TOMEI

with some additional information if anyone needs it
Always remember "If you cannot turn tight...you cannot fight!"
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RichPittman
UKAR Staff

Re: F-4 Hunting, Hyakuri Style Part 1,2 +3 and very pic heav

Postby HeyfordDave111 on Wed 03 Oct 2018, 12:30 pm

RichPittman wrote:Wonderful selection Dave.
Makes me want to go again!

I was only talking about this the other Day.
Looks like many enthusiasts are going out in the next few Weeks.

I still have a thread
viewtopic.php?f=9&t=70613&hilit=TOMEI

with some additional information if anyone needs it


Hi Rich,

coming from you thats a great compliment, thank you.
in fact it was your 2015 feature that underlined my desire to do the Phantoms at Hyakuri.

By the way, if anyone is going, like Draken, keep a look out for '440' as it is, apparently, the last Phantom built.
i was lucky as i got it flying as well as on the ground.

Cheers
Dave
Got to love Russianhardware
HeyfordDave111

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