Copied from another thread;
While we're here, Stephan, could you please post what you feel is the appropriate element of your last comment to me re- source data on the A-36 & 'Apache' saga in that thread? There's more to be said, but you need to go first, surely. Ta!
Stephan Wilkinson wrote:
Well, working from memory here--and the mind is the second thing to go...--you and I had been discussing the long-standing dispute over whether the North American A-36 should be called an Apache or a Mustang. We both agree that the airplane was never officially called an Apache, which is a name that was briefly given to the original Mustang by the North American marketing people when they were trying to sell it to the British, and it was a name that was abandoned months before the A-36 was ever built.
I had been pretty much convinced that "Apache" was a phony name that had sprung up during the late 1970s and early '80s among model-builders and had become a minor urban legend because it was repeated in modeling-magazine articles and ultimately a Squadron Signal "Mustang in Action" book.
But then I talked to Rob Collings, of the Collings Foundation, because it was his A-36 that I was writing about for Aviation History magazine, and I asked him what -he- called his airplane.
"What do you call an F-16?" he asked me in response.
"A Viper, of course," knowing full well that its official name was Fighting Falcon, though that sounds like a member of a high-school football team.
"Exactly," Rob said, "and every former A-36 pilot and ground crew member that I've talked to said they called the A-36 an Apache or an Invader [which is another story]."
His point was that maybe an airplane gets named by the people who operate it, not the air force that flies it or the company that makes it, which is certainly the case with the F-16 and very well may be the case with the A-36. Collings's final words were that he's going to reserve judgement until he talks to more A-36 veterans, but at this point, those that he has questioned all have said that they called the airplane either an Apache (most of them) or an Invader.
At least that's what I think I wrote to you...