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True #Avgeek Challenge: How Many Navy Planes Do You See In This Film?

The Navy Didn’t Miss Many When They Made This Jazzy Flick

Official US Navy Photograph

Test Your Aircraft Recognition Skills With This 1970 Navy Film

“Flight:  The Romance of Naval Aviation” is a film produced by the United States Navy (USN) and distributed in 1970. With no narration but a fusion jazz music accompaniment, the film’s footage was shot aboard the Midway-class aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea (CVA-43), the Forrestal-class aircraft carriers USS Forrestal (CVA-59), USS Constellation (CVA-64), and USS Kitty Hawk (CVA-63), the Essex-class carrier USS Ticonderoga (CVA-14) and the training carrier USS Lexington (CVT-16) as well as during what appears to have been many hours of air-to-air shooting from at least one F9F-8T Cougar. Some of the footage was shot during Western Pacific (WestPac) deployments of these carriers. Also included is some footage of the Blue Angels flying their F-4J Phantom IIs.

Included in the film is footage of front-line carrier aircraft operating from the boat featuring McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs, Vought F-8 and RF-8 Crusaders along with A-7 Corsair IIs, Douglas A-3B and KA-3B Skywarriors, A-4 Skyhawks, and A-1 Skyraiders, and North American A-5 Vigilantes. Grumman A-6 Intruders, North American FJ Furies, Grumman S-2 Trackers, Lockheed P-3 Orions, McDonnell F3H Demons, and Sikorsky SH-34 Seabat and SH-3 Sea King helicopters are all included. Naval Air Training Command (NATC) aircraft are also well represented, with Lockheed T-1A Seastars, Grumman F-11F Tigers, North American T-28 Trojans and T-2 Buckeyes, Grumman F9F-8T Cougars, Beechcraft T-34 Mentors, and Bell TH-13L helicopters all there. In fact, counting the single glimpses of an E-2 Hawkeye, a Kaman SH-2 Seasprite, and a C-1 Trader on deck, there are 26 types of aircraft in the film. Did I miss any? Let me know.

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Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.