Rota's Last 'Skywarrior' Hitches Ride on USS Wasp | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

** Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1 **
** Airborne 07.25.14--CLICK HERE! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.25.14 **

Sun, May 10, 2009

Rota's Last 'Skywarrior' Hitches Ride on USS Wasp

Naval Station (NAVSTA) Rota's last EA-3B (A-3) "Skywarrior" departed southern Spain with the help of the crew of multipurpose amphibious assault ship USS Wasp (LHD 1) May 5. Rota Sailors, Airmen and Spanish military members worked with Wasp personnel in transporting the "whale" across the Atlantic Ocean as the ship returns to its homeport in Norfolk, Va.

"I spoke with several people on Wasp," said Brennan. "They told me they would be happy to help, and that this would be a great evolution for them." The "whale" earned its nickname because at one time it was the heaviest type aircraft on board a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. For more than 16 years this particular "Rota Whale" sat on the lawn of the Bachelor Officer Quarters (BOQ) as a memorial to the men who flew these aircrafts and played an important role during the Cold War. The Skywarrior was retired in 1991.

"The A-3 was the first jet aircraft to land at NAVSTA Rota back in 1958 and it flew there for more than 30 years," said retired Cmdr. Tom Brennan, A-3 association representative and project manager for the Rota A-3 move. "This is the last A-3 to leave Rota and these airplanes got me back home, so I'd like to return the favor and help this one get back home to the States too."

The A-3 was moved form the BOQ in 2008 and sat in a hangar at Rota waiting for a ride to its final destination at the Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Ala. The park is located along Mobile Bay, and is home to a collection of notable aircraft and museum ships including the South Dakota-class battleship USS Alabama and Gato-class submarine USS Drum.

"It was a lot of work," said Brennan a former A-3 co-pilot. "We spent a lot of time cleaning up the aircraft. We had to fold down the wings and the tail. We also replaced the tires, and for the first time in 16 years the aircraft sat on its own wheels."

The whale was originally designed for the Navy as a bomber, which explains its large size. Due to financial limitations, hiring a large crane to lift the aircraft onto a normal cargo ship was not feasible. When Brennan heard that Wasp was making a port visit to Rota, he got in contact with the ship to see if they could help.

"If the Wasp hadn't come along, we were not sure when the right opportunity would come up again," said Brennan. "When they were raising the aircraft with the crane, I had butterflies in my stomach. But when it finally sat down on the elevator, I knew it was done and in the hands of flight deck professionals and I could finally relax."

Wasp is expected to offload the aircraft onto a barge when it arrives in Norfolk. From there, the barge will carry the "whale" to its new home in Alabama. [ANN Salutes Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Joseph Ebalo, Naval Station Rota Public Affairs Office, and Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Edward Kobobel, USS Wasp Public Affairs]

FMI: www.navy.mil/local/rota

Advertisement

More News

EAA AirVenture 2014 Welcomes The Boldest Human Space Mission Yet

Events To Highlight Industry Collaboration For Reaching The Planet Mars Leaders from the aerospace community held a press conference at EAA AirVenture on Monday to get the word out>[...]

Aspen Avionics, True Innovators, Present Oshkosh 2014 Special Event Coverage!

OSH2014 Sponsor: Aspen Avionics Aspen Avionics specializes in bringing the most advanced technology and capability into general aviation cockpits. Our products increase situational>[...]

Futuristic OSH2014 Sponsor: 'Beyond The Blue' - The Inside Story Of The XPRIZE

Meet Jim Campbell, TODAY/07.28, At EAA Wearhouse, Author's Corner, At 1500 And Get Your Signed Copy of Beyond The Blue!!! To Aviation Journalist and experienced Test Pilot, Jim Cam>[...]

Ready For Service... ConciAir Helps Present OSH2014!

ConciAir Is Here To Return Our Industry To Service! The name ConciAir is a play on the word "concierge", and our goal is to be able to accomplish any task placed before us in a tim>[...]

OSH2014 Sponsor: Eclipse Aerospace -- In Full Production!

The Eclipse 550: Economical. Efficient. Incredible. The Eclipse 550 not only has the lowest acquisition cost of any twin-engine jet on the planet, it also has the lowest operating >[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC