JG74 Neuburg

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The following pages will tell about major milestones, interesting happenings or just show some nice photos of the flying activity at NATO's smallest airfield, the airfield Neuburg/Zell, home of the Jagdgeschwader 74.
The date back until 2003 and will highlight specific - though sometimes randomly chosen - events of the wing, but staying focused on their aircraft.

Jg74

Where? Neuburg/Zell Airfield - JG 74
When? 2003-2008

BurnerThe last Phantoms to leave Neuburg/Zell on July, 2nd 2008 were the special coloured 38+37, 37+85 still wearing JG74-emblems on the intake and the 38+64 in Richthofen markings. L71However as special greetings to Wittmund the Neuburg maintenance crew replaced the "R" on the left side of the intake by an "L" - maybe to clearly indicate them the two different sides of the aircraft ;)

The take-offs took place at 10am and after a final fly-by of the three ship of the Phantoms the lovely whistling sound of the J79-engine was forever gone and the smoketrail at the horizon began fading away as well...

Phantom Phinal - 02/07/2008: the last Phantoms are leaving Neuburg

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Servus Phantom, thank you for the good times!

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Now it is time for a new era for the JG74, thank you very much for all the memorable moments during the Phantom phase and all the very best in the future with the Eurofighter Typhoon!

And now it is the Eurofighter's turn...

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F-4F Phantom II Phlyout at Neuburg

Thankyou"The Farewell to a Legend", with these words the wing commander of Jagdgeschwader 74, Andreas Pfeiffer, opened its speech due to the decommissioning of the, meanwhile legendary, F-4F Phantom II on June, 12th 2008 at Neuburg. Nearly 34 years ago, on September, 26th, 1974, the first aircraft arrived there from Wittmund, which will also be the airfield where the last 10 Phantoms will leave to as soon as possible. During all these year JG-74 flew more than 240.000hrs on the Phantom, among these more than 7200 on the aircraft 37+48. All these and even more impressive numbers were mentioned at the roll call.

Besides the active personal many former members of JG-74, many of them connecting their entire service at the Luftwaffe directly with the Phantom, attend the event as well to say Pharewell to the F-4F.

BandThe Phantom 3837 (c/n 4716) has been chosen to wear the special scheme for the Phlyout ceremony. It is based on the standard camouflage of the German F-4F with the gray scheme apparently coming out of a black aircraft. On the tail Spooky takes a bow and is saying "Thank you", which obviously goes from the jet to the crews and pilots but can be interpreted also of course in the other way.
Both fuselage sides are showing the words "Phantom Phlyout JG 74" and the sides of the intakes show the emblem of the two Neuburg squadrons: the Falkenstaffel (Falcons / left) and the Zapatas (right).
Spooky is also placed on the underside, accompanied by "PHANTOM - job well done" as well as the JG-74 emblem.

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Unfortunately this scheme will not be in the Bavarian sky for a very long time...

Special coloured F-4F Phantom II

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Details

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Rehearsal Flight on 11/06: Phantom Phlyout JG 74 - Special scheme on F-4F 38+37

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SunsetThe farewell flights consisted of several formations as a Eurofighter together with the special painted Phantom, a 3-ship of Phantoms and finally a phorship of F-4F Phantoms, including the special marked jet celebrating 250.000 flight hours of German Phantoms. Especially the 4-ship left its distinctive smoke trail on the horizon, a sight that will not be seen in the future at Neuburg anymore, but surly not forgotten!

Smoke on, Phantoms phorever!

Phantom Phlyout Phormations

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the final Landings

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Phantoms on the ground

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On aircraft also attending the event was the Messerschmitt Me 262 rebuild from nearby Manching, which was a nice sight during the take-off in the evening to return to its nearby homebase.

Me 262 - Messerschmitt Stiftung

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Pfeifer

"The king is dead, long live the king", another quote of the speeches that day, referring to the Eurofighter Typhoon, which officially took over that day the NATO QRA duties from the F-4F Phantom II. Armed with two live AIM-9L Sidewinders and an external tank two jets took off at 15h00 for an QRA-scramble to herald this new era of jet flying at Neuburg.

 

QRA, now with Eurofighter Typhoon:

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Furthermore the event was enriched by a small static displays of several foreign aircraft, whose aircrews also attended the event. Unfortunately a lot of the, sonetimes also special marked, jets were parked out of reach of the cameras.

Static Display

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A trip in late March 2008 to Neuburg was ventured in quest for the last photos of Phantoms in the snow. Unfortunately the spots of snow were very rare around the airfield, but more numerous than during the last two winters, so I was at least able to catch this impression at least a bit and also some Eurofighters in the cold.

 

Eurofighters in the snow

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Snow Phantoms

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Glorious sunshine some days later was used for some more images and finallly also a glimpse of an Eurofighter and a Phantom on the last chance. The difference in size was really stunning - even more when thinking about the increased effectivness and capabilities of the Eurofighter. A lot of Eurofighters were also flying that day in different configurations, most notable was a single-seater equipped with three external tanks that really change is appearance and the afterburner take-off of one aircraft followed by a stunning vertical climb.

Mixed operations

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Transformation Time

At the beginning of 2008 the Jagdgeschwader 74 is still in the transformation phase from the F-4F Phantom II to the Eurofighter.
The number of Phantoms is constantly decreasing at the airbase , with only around 10 aircraft remaining at Neuburg, amongst them no more than 3-4 aircraft that still carry the wing's badge. The rest of the aircraft is coming from the JG71 at Wittmund, which is visible by the red 'R' on the intake.
Anyway, sine January, 1st 2008, Neuburg does not own any Phantoms anymore, as all GAF Phantoms belong formally to Wittmund for logistical reasons and are only deployed to Neuburg. This is another a clear sign of the phinal Phantom phase in Bavaria.

Phightertown Bavaria

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Nightflying

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However 4 of the Phantoms are still permanently used for the QRA (Quick Reaction Alert) – two of them providing a permanent readiness to take-off within 15 minutes after alert. The second pair is kept ready as a spare in order to fulfil this mission also in case of a quick succession o alerts or in case of technical failures of one of the other aircraft. To comply with NATO requirements only one jet is normally necessary, but in view of the Phantoms age two jets are more convenient in the point of view of JG74. On a regular basis the QRA Phantoms are taking off twice a day and reflect the main part of Phantom phlying nowadays. To keep pilot proficiency in average only one other daily local F-4F flight is performed.

QRA Aircraft

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The flying activity on the Eurofighter Typhoon is increasing as the Phantoms step back successively. But the flying is still restricted as the number of the aircraft actually based at Neuburg is limited due to the fact that jets are rotated between Neuburg and the manufacturer because of on-going update programms. The so-called retrofit programme R2 aims at aircraft in Blocks 1, 2 and 2B that are being upgraded to Block 5 capability to recieve a full FOC standard (Final Operational Capability). This will include a full air-air functionality and an enhanced carefree handling air-to-ground capability to drop laser guided bombs.* The most visible external difference of this upgrade is the missile approach warning sensor in form of a spike at the tail of the aircraft.

JG74 Eurofighters

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Eurofighter Typhoon Details

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* by http://www.eurofighter.com/


 

First Eurofighters

Tail On July 25th, 2006 the first Eurofighter Typhoons touched down at the airbase Neuburg, home of the Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Wing) 74.
At 11h27 lcl. the smoketrails of two F-4F became visible, announcing the arrival of one twin-seater Eurofighter Typhoon and a four-ship formation of single seaters.
After two formation fly-bys the first aircraft touched down at 11h31.

This was a memorable moment as JG74 can now go fully operational with this new fighter aircraft. Besides JG73 at Laage it is the second squadron of the Luftwaffe to be equipped with this aircraft, but in contrast to the the flight training at Laage Neuburg will be the first one that pursuits solely operational and tactical flying.

Phabulous Phantoms

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Eurofighter Typhoon Arrival

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the First Landings...

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Within the JG74 the Eurofighter will replace the beloved F-4F Phantom, an aircraft that is in service within the Luftwaffe since 1974. Until the phasing-out in 2008 the two types will operate in parallel from Neuburg. The Eurofighter, a modern 4th generation fighter aircraft, is a worthy successor of the Rhino and the pilots are eagerly waiting to fly it in a daily routine.

Taxiing Back

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the Ceremony

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'Static Display'

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In the course of the festivities, Lieutenant General Kreuzinger-Janik handed over a symbolic key and thus heralded a new area at the airbase, which is clearly visible on all the construction work going on at the moment.

Pilots & People

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Eurofighter Detail Photos

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I would like to thank all the Luftwaffe personnel at Neuburg and Fürsty for their support and perfect organisation!


 

Nightflying at Neuburg

Etsn In the early days of the year 2006 a visit was planned at Neuburg to document the F-4F Phantoms flying activities. The jets at Neuburg fulfil their mission during day and night, especially due to the fact that the Jagdgeschwader (Fighter Squadron) 74 provides QRA (quick reaction alert) aircraft on behalf of the NATO. In order to show the around-the-clock-readiness the visit was arranged in the early evening to photograph the night flying activities.

During my visit 2 QRA aircraft departed late in the evening, shortly followed by a 4-ship of F-4F Phantoms going on a training mission.

Dawn Phantoms at Neuburg

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On a second visit later in autumn that year the Eurofighters were already flown regulary at Neuburg and they subsequently participated in the nightflying as well. Some of the photos were taken on the provisional last chance area along the  taxiway that has been set up due to the refurbishment of the normal area. Auxiliary lights around that place provided some nice photographs:

Eurofighter Night Operations

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Nightflying with the Phantom

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Due to the arrival of the first Eurofighter Typhoons for the JG74 in July and the stealthy farewell of the Phantoms during their take-off at dawn into the black evening sky was quite symbolic to me. But nevertheless the Rhino can still be admired at the airbase until 2008, still providing the possibility to collect some more images of this passing legend.


 

Spotterday 2003

Spotter

 

One of the first contacts to the wing for me after theairshow in 2001 was the spotter's day in 2003 on a splendid summer day. In the morning several Phantoms from JG71 at Wittmund left Neuburg for an exercise to Goose Bay- providing an unforgettable sight of an endless row of F-4F on the last chance, and taking care of a smoky horizon after their departure.

 

Phantoms on the Ground

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F-4Fs leaving to Goose Bay

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During the rest of the day the busy daily flying could be photographed from different vantage points around the airfield and some rare visitors as an US ARMY RC-12 or a E-3A AWACS, which was re-routed from nearby Manching by the friendly tower crew, provided welcomed sights as well.

Phantom Phlying at Neuburg

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Visitors: RC-12 amd E-3 AWACS

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More information about the two Squadrons at Neuburg can be found on their websites:
1. Squadron (Die Falken ) and 2. Squadron (Zapata-Staffel)
Current updates on the wing can be found at the corresponding Luftwaffe Site of JG74.

 

The following photos from Neuburg are available for you to download in a higher resolution:

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