McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
From Scramble - The Aviation Magazine
|McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II|
|First Flight||May 27, 1958|
|Entered Service||December 30, 1960|
|Length||19.20 m||63 ft 0 in|
|Wingspan||11.71 m||38 ft 4.5 in|
|Height||5.02 m||16 ft 6 in|
|Wing area||49.2 m²||530 ft²|
|Empty||13,757 kg||30,328 lb|
|Loaded||18,825 kg||41,500 lb|
|Maximum takeoff weight||28,030 kg||61,795 lb|
|Capacity||Nine hardpoints for up to 18,650 lb (8,480 kg) of weapons|
|Engines||two General Electric J79-GE-17A|
|Thrust||79.6 kN (each)||17,800 lbf (each)|
|Maximum speed||2,370 km/h||1,473 mph|
|Operational range||1,254 km||683 nm|
|Service ceiling||18,170 m||59,600 ft|
|Rate of climb||210 m/s||689 ft/min|
|Avionics||Westinghouse AN/APQ-120 radar|
|Armament||One General Dynamics (General Electric) M61 Vulcan 20 mm gun with 639 rounds; 4x AIM-7 Sparrow and 4x AIM-9 Sidewinder|
The F-4 Phantom is the Western world's most successful combat aircraft. Developed as carrier-born interceptor for the United States Navy, it eventually saw service in every traditional military mission: air superiority, close air support, interception, air defense suppression, long-range strike, fleet defence, attack and reconnaissance. It saw service in both the Vietnam War, Yom Kippur War and Operation Desert Storm with a record of 280 air-to-air victories and the destruction of more than 200 anti-aircraft sites.
Of the 5,057 built in the United States, the US Air Force took delivery of 2,857 aircraft. The US Navy and US Marine Corps 1,264 and international customers a combined total of 1,074. Now, more than 50 years after it's first flight, close to 700 Phantoms remain in active service with the air forces of seven nations (as of July 2007). In US service, is was withdrawn from service in 1996, ending a 38-year career. When production ended in 1981, 5,195 Phantoms had been built, including those built under licence in Japan, making it the most successful - and best looking - Western combat aircraft ever. In US Air Force service, it was replaced by the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon, in the US Navy it was replaced by the F-14 Tomcat and the F/A-18 Hornet.
Prior to 1953, McDonnell had already produced more than 1,000 carrier-based jet aircraft - the FH-1 Phantom (the Navy's first jet-powered, carrier-based aircraft), the F2H Banshee, and the F3H Demon. Preliminary design of what was to become the Phantom began in the summer of 1953 when McDonnell started to work on the McDonnell F3H-G, McDonnell Model 98B, loosely based on the F3H-3G Super Demon. In October 1954, the US Navy ordered two Wright J65 powered prototypes as YAH-1. In 1953, however, the company lost a new carrier-based fighter competition to the F8U Crusader, while A4D Skyhawk was ordered for the attack/strike role and the AH-1 was rejected.
Determined to continue to design and produce carrier-based aircraft, McDonnell reconfigured the AH-1 design by removing the guns, changing the fire control system to be compatible with air-to-air missiles, and removing all external armament stations except one at the centreline for a large external fuel tank. At this time, Sparrow missiles were in the development phase, and the airplane was configured to carry four, semi submerged in the bottom of the fuselage. This was the first such installation of missiles in a fighter. More powerful General Electric J-79 were substituted for the earlier J65, with corresponding changes in the duct area. Other features would make the airplane the Navy's first Mach 2-plus carrier-based aircraft. During this period, the Navy was undecided on a single or double place aircraft, but McDonnell prepared configurations of both and the US Navy selected the two-place version.
The configuration continued to change up to the signing of the detail specification in July 1955. By this time, the primary mission of the Phantom was all-weather fleet air defense, but the attack capability of the original design was retained, making the Phantom a logical choice for the US Air Force's Tactical Air Command and many other air forces. On May 26, 1955, the designated was changed in F4H-1 and the YF4H-1 prototype flew May 27, 1958 from Lambert St. Louis International Airport. In December 1958, the Navy awarded McDonnell a limited production contract. From that point, things went fast. On 29 December 1960, the Phantom joined the fleet when Number 28 left St. Louis for delivery to squadron VF-121 at the Naval Air Station Miramar, California.
Designation YF4H-1 used for 2 prototypes. The first YF4H-1 was to have been powered by a pair of General Electric J79-GE-8 engines, but delays in their development led to the substitution of a pair of J79-GE-3A engines on loan from the Air Force. The first F4H-1 was a proof-of-concept aircraft and was not equipped with radar and was not wired for missile firings. However, four dummy Sparrow missiles were carried in their ventral under fuselage recesses. Ballast was provided in place of the Westinghouse AN/APQ-50 airborne intercept radar that was to be carried. The tandem cockpits were covered by a canopy that was flush with the top of the fuselage. However, on the first YF4H-1, only the pilot's cockpit was provisioned, with the rear radar operator's position being filled with test instrumentation.
Initial model, 45 delivered in 5 production blocks as F4F-1F, redesignated F-4A in December 1962. The - single seat - F-4A was powered by two J79-GE-2 or -2A turbojets, fitted with a modified Westinghouse AN/APQ-50 radar (with 24" dish), AN/AAA-4 infra red search and tracking sensor and lacked an ejection seat.
Initial production model for the US Navy, 649 delivered as F4H-1 (redesignated F-4B). Equipped with J79-GE-8 turbojets, Westinghouse AN/APQ-72 radar (with larger 32 inch radar dish hence the more bulbous nose), Lear AN/AJB-3 Low Altitude Bombing System (mainly to release the B61 nuclear bomb) and armed with four AIM-7D Sparrow III AAM's, four AIM-9B Sidewinders and SUU-23A 20 mm gun pod. The F-4B, as well as all other Phantom II versions, were fitted with Martin Baker Mk.7 ejection seats, with slightly different versions for US Navy and US Air Force. A number of decommissioned F-4Bs were modified as DF-4B drone directors, EF-4B ECM trainers and QF-4B target drone. The - early model - TF-4B trainer lacked ejection seats, the NF-4B was the development aircraft.
Reconnaissance model for the US Marine Corps, quite similar to the much more numerous RF-4C of the US Air Force. Like the RF-4C, the RF-4B was unarmed. The fighter's radar-equipped nose was replaced with a special nose specifically designed for reconnaissance applications. This nose was 4 feet 8 7/8 inches longer than the nose of the armed F-4B. The AN/APQ-72 radar of the F-4B was replaced by the much smaller Texas Instruments AN/APQ-99 forward-looking J-band monopulse radar which was optimized for terrain avoidance and terrain-following modes, and could also be used for ground mapping. There were three separate camera bays in the nose, designated Stations 1, 2, and 3. Station 1 could carry a single forward oblique or vertical KS-87 camera, Station 2 could carry a single KA-87 low-altitude camera, and Station 3 normally carried a single KA-55A or KA-91 high-altitude panoramic camera. The much larger KS-91 or KS-127A camera could also be carried. Unlike the cameras of the US Air Force's RF-4Cs, the RF-4B's cameras were fitted on rotating mounts so that the pilot could aim them at targets off the flight path. The rear cockpit was configured for a reconnaissance systems operator, with no flight controls being provided. Two Tracor AN/ALE-29 chaff/flare dispensers were installed, one on each side of the aircraft above the rear fuselage. For nighttime photography, a set of photoflash cartridges could be ejected upward from each side of the aircraft. An Loral (Goodyear) AN/APQ-102 reconnaissance SLAR was fitted, with antenna faired into the lower fuselage sides, just ahead of the intakes. This SLAR was capable of tracking both fixed and moving targets. An AN/AAD-14 infrared reconnaissance system was fitted in the fuselage belly just behind the SLAR. A Itek AN/APR-25 radar homing and warning system was used, an AN/ASW-25B data-link was installed. An Sanders AN/ALQ-126 deceptive electronic countermeasures package was installed, which obviated the need to carry external jammer pods.
Initial production model for the US Air Force, 583 aircraft delivered as F-110 Spectre, redesignated F-4C. Armed with AIM-101 Sparrow missiles, later redesignated AIM-7 Sparrow. Intitial F-4Cs were armed with infrared guided AIM-4D Falcon missiles. In November 1964 it was decided to replace them with AIM-9B/-D Sidewinders. Based on the F-4B airframe, with J79-GE-15 turbojets (basically an -8 with self-starter), AN/APQ-100 radar, dual-control cockpits, US Air Force air-to-air refuelling system and redesigned landing gear with low-pressure tyres and heavier brakes. The US Air Force Phantom II first flew May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 1963. Submodels include the F-4C(S) export version for Spain (local designation C.12), GF-4C ground instruction airframe and NF-4C development airframe. The EF-4C Wild Weasel IV was a development of the F-4C, designed in parallel with the F-105 Wild Weasel III program. This aircraft, like the modified F-100F and F-105F, was intended to detect and attack North Vietnamese surface-to-air missile sites.
Tactical reconnaissance aircraft for the US Air Force, based on the F-4C airframe. Initially designated RF-110 Spectre. A total of 503 aircraft were delivered with J79-GE-15 engines, IRLS (AN/AAS-18A), SLAR (Loral (Goodyear) AN/APQ-102 or AN/UPD-4), AN/ALQ-99 radar (as in RF-4B) and Litton AN/ALQ-125 Tactical Electronic Reconnaissance-suite. Initially, the RF-4C carried no weapons, and the underfuselage Sparrow missile slots of the F-4C were omitted. However, in an emergency the RF-4C could carry a nuclear weapon on the centerline position, but this was rarely done in practice. Aircraft from the European-based 10th TRW were eventually fitted with AN/AJB-7 Low Altitude Bombing System (as in the F-4C) just in case the delivery of nuclear weapons ever became necessary. In later years, RF-4Cs were armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles carried on the inner underwing pylon for self-defense. Submodels are the GRF-4C (GIA), NRF-4C (development airframe) and QRF-4C (target drone). Local Spanish designation CR.12.
Dedicated ground-attack model for US Force, 793 airframes delivered to US Force as well as 32 to Iran. Equipped with AN/APQ-109 radar, AN/ASG-21 Lead Computing Sight, AN/ASQ-91 Automatic Weapons Release Computer, Raytheon (Litton) AN/ALR-69) radar warning receiver and Sanders AN/ALQ-109 radar jammer. Several effort were made to give the F-4D (and other versions) a target designation capability. The first effort was the he Ford Aerospace AN/AVQ-10 Pave Knife, essentially an improvised Airborne Laser Designator (ALD). ALD was not a pod, but a hand-held laser operated by the weapon systems officer to mark targets for Paveway laser-guided bombs. The Ford Aerospace AN/AVQ-10 Pave Knife contained a steerable laser and closed-circuit television camera. The WSO or bombardier/navigator (BN) monitored the TV image with a small Sony TV in the cockpit and steered the laser onto the target with a hand controller, then passing the target information to the aircraft's gun sight. It was superseded by the Westinghouse AN/AVQ-23 Pave Spike. This was an electro-optical laser designator pod used to direct laser-guided bombs to target in daylight, visual conditions. It contained a laser boresighted to a television camera, which displayed its image on a cockpit screen. It was used in US Air Force F-4D/E variants from 1974 to 1982. The pod was mounted in the F-4's left forward missile well, in place of a AIM-7 Sparrow missile. Finally, the Phantoms used the Ford Aerospace AN/AVQ-26 Pave Tack, which had to be carried on the centerline station in place of the standard drop tank, and it imposed a substantial drag penalty. Crews referred to it as "Pave Drag" and it was generally unpopular. Some aircraft were wired to carry the GBU-8/-9 HOBOS. Pave Phantom added AN/ARN-92 LORAN and computer to the F-4D allowing aircraft to store targeting information for eight separate positions illuminated by OV-10 Bronco Pave Nail aircraft. Later, the AN/AVQ-11 Pave Sword laser tracker - designed to pick up energy from targets illuminated by O-2A spotter planes - was used. The Pave Sword was bore sighted with the F-4D radar set. For air-to-air missions, the F-4D was initially armed with infrared guided AIM-4D Falcon missiles, later replaced by AIM-9B/-D Sidewinder. Also, Raytheon AIM-7 Sparrow AAM's, SUU-16/A or SUU-23/A gun pods and Martin Marietta AGM-62 Walleye were carried. Submodels include the NF-4D development airframe and GF-4D ground instruction airframe. The designation EF-4D was given to four F-4Ds modified for the Wild Weasel IV SAM suppression role.
Gunfighter model, 1,328 aircraft delivered with General Dynamics (General Electric) M61 Vulcan gun, J79-GE-17 engines, leading-edge slats, AN/APQ-120(V) radar, improved navigation equipment and increased fuel capacity. Later production blocks equipped with Target Identification System Electro Optical (TISEO), AN/AVQ-26 Pave Tack target designator. Delivered to US Air Force, Turkey, Iran and Greece (some converted to F-4E(SRA)). Licence built by Mitsubishi as F-4EJ, delivered to Israel as F-4E(I) Kurnass. Israeli aircraft can carry Shafrir 2 or Python (3,4), in addition to the AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles. Three Israeli aircraft were modified by General Dynamics as F-4E(S) Peace Jack, equipped with HIAC-1 LOROP long-range high resolution reconnaissance equipment. Submodels include GF-4E (ground instruction airframe), NF-4E (development aircraft) and QF-4E (target drone). The F-4E(F) was a proposal for a stripped, low cost, single-seat Phantom intended for the West German Luftwaffe. It was derived from the F-4E and differed by having the rear cockpit faired over and simplified avionics fitted. It had no AIM-7 Sparrow capability. It had modified slats, but was otherwise externally quite similar to the stock F-4E. Initially, the West German government intended to purchase the F-4E(F) for its interceptor squadrons. However, before any F-4E(F) aircraft could be built, the West German government changed its mind and opted for a more straightforward two-seat adaptation of the F-4E Phantom, the F-4F. No F-4E(F) aircraft were ever built. In US Air Force service, it was replaced by the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon.
Reconnaissance aircraft, based on the F-4E airframe, delivered to Greece, Iran, Israel (as Oref, Raven), Turkey and Germany. Licence built by Mitsubishi as RF-4EJ. In addition to the standard IRLS en SLAR, German aircraft were equipped with Loral AN/UPD-6, Isreali aircraft had the Loral AN/UPD-9 variant installed.
Simplified export for German Luftwaffe, based on the F-4E airframe, but with simplified AN/APQ-120 radar and lacking AIM-7 Sparrow armament and air to air refuelling capability. Measures taken to lighten the airframe were the deletion of the rear number-7 fuel tank, the mid-air refuelling receptacle (later restored), and the BLC system, cutting the weight of the F-4F by 1,500 kilograms (3,300 pounds) compared to the F-4E. Due to its lower weight the F-4F performance is somewhat better than the F-4E. Powered by MTU license built J79-MTU-17A turbojet engines. The first F-4F was delivered September 5, 1973, followed by 174 other airframes. The US based German Luftwaffe Phantoms were unofficially designated TF-4F and NTF-4F (development aircraft).
F-4G Wild Weasel V
Modification of 116 Block 42 to 45 F-4Es for the Suppression of Enemy Air Defence (SEAD) mission. Initially designated EF-4E, the F-4G Wild Weasel has an extensive ECM- and ESM-suite, based on the Loral AN/APR-38 EW with 52 antennae. The F-4G was equipped with Laser Guided Bombs and Anti Radiation Missiles, such as the Shrike, AGM-88 HARM or the Raytheon (Hughes) AGM-65 Maverick AGM. Decommissioned F-4Gs were modified by Tracor (now BAE Systems) to QF-4G target drone. Back in 1963, the designator F-4G was used for twelve converted F-4Bs to support the development of a ground control system for fleet air defence.
Designation for 552 new built aiframes, based on the F-4B, with improved smokeless J79-GE-10A turbojets, new AN/AWG-10 radar and improved wings with drooping ailerons and slotted tailplanes. Weapon delivery was greatly improved by the AN/AJB-7 Low Altitude Bombing System which provided substantially better ground attack capability over the Lear AN/AJB-3 fitted to the F-4B. The AN/AAA-4 infra-red sensor was finally removed. The three YF-4J prototypes were modified F-4B models. Submodels include the EF-4J (EW-trainer), QF-4J (target drone) and F-4J(UK) (designation for 15 F-4J transferred to the Royal Air Force).
Designation for 50 Phantom FG1 strike fighters delivered to the Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm. The Royal Navy Phantom was originally to have been based on the US Navy F-4B. In fact, the original designation for the Royal Navy Phantom was to have been F-4B(RN). However, a change in plans led McDonnell to use the F-4J as the basis for the new aircraft, and the designation F-4K was assigned to the project. McDonnell built two YF-4K-26 prototypes and two F-4K-27 production aircraft. Main difference with model was the RB.168-25R Spey 203 turbofan. The additional power offered by the Spey was thought to be essential in order to provide sufficient power to operate the Phantom safely from smaller British aircraft carriers. In addition, the Spey was able to provide more bleed air for the boundary layer control system, which would permit slower approach speeds. However, the increased power of these engines required that the air intake area be increased by twenty percent and that the lower portion of the aft fuselage be redesigned. This did not prove to be an unqualified success. The larger air flow required larger air intakes, resulting in a 20% larger frontal area and subsequently increased drag. To make things worse, the wider engines required a redesign of the engine bay, ruining aircraft's drag-reducing area rule contours. As a result - aside from a massive increase in costs - the Spey equipped Phantoms were slower (especially at altitude), had a lower service ceiling and a worse rate of climb than the J79 powered versions. On the other hand, due to the turbofan's lower fuel consumption, it had a 15% better range. Radar was the Ferranti AN/AWG-11 (licence built AN/AWG-10) pulse doppler radar. The Phantom FG1 was initially armed with four Raytheon AIM-7 Sparrow missiles (in 1979 replaced by British Aerospace Skyflash missiles) and four AIM-9G Sidewinder missiles, later replaced by the later AIM-9L model. In the strike role, the Phantom FG1 could be armed with the WE177 nuclear bomb and Bullpup air-to-surface missiles. The first British Phantom arrived April 29, 1968 and served with the Royal Navy onboard HMS Ark Royal carriers. Only 24 out of the 52 ordered ever served with the Royal Navy, the other 28 being diverted to the Royal Air Force as Phantom FGR2.
Production model for the Royal Air Force, designated Phantom FGR2. Equipped with Spey turbofan engines and Ferranti AN/AWG-12 fire control radar, with better ground mapping modes than the Ferranti AN/AWG-12 fitted to the Phantom FG1. Unlike the Phantom FG1, the Phantom FGR2 could be armed with a belly mounted SUU-23/A gun pod. The YF-4M prototype flew February 17, 1967. The first Phantom FGR2 arrived in July 1968 and ultimately saw service in 14 Royal Air Force squadrons, serving in the air defence, reconnaissance and strike roles. The Phantom served in the Royal Air Force until 1992, when No. 72 Squadron disbanded and the other air defence squadrons were re-equipped with Panavia Tornado F2 fighters.
Designation for 265 modernised US Navy F-4J airframes, retrofitted with J79-GE-10B turbojets, updated AN/AWG-10B fire control radar and F-4E leading-edge slats. One way that the F-4S could be externally distinguished from the earlier F-4N was by the shorter upper intake fairings of the S. Target drone designated QF-4S.
AN/AVQ-9 stabilized laser designator developed for the F-4.
Development of laser scanner to aid Phantoms in securing proper target bearing.
AN/AVQ-12 Laser tracking and designator pod.
AN/ALQ-10 original laser designator pod developed by Aeronutronic-Ford and used in combat in Vietnam.
Developmental effort to replace the Pave Knife by improving night capability with the addition of a FLIR in place of the low light television (LLTV). Superseded by Pave Tack.
AN/AVQ-26 advanced optronics pod containing stabilized turret with FLIR, laser designator and tracker used on the F-4 and RF-4.
F-4F Peace Rhine
Kampfwertsteigerung (or Improved Combat Efficiency) midlife-update for German F-4Fs. Fitted with AN/APG-65GY radar and wired for Raytheon (Hughes) AIM-120 AMRAAM missiles. Also, updated AN/ALR-68(V)3 radar warning receivers were fitted. The first F-4F-KWS flew May 2, 1990 and conversion was completed in October 1996.
F-4E Peace Icarus 2000
An advanced version of the KWS upgrade was fitted to Greek F-4E aircraft. In addition to the KWS standard, the Greek upgrade includes integration of the Rafael Litening II pod, AGM-142 Popeye missile, the latest GBU-series JDAM munitions and the European developed IRIS-T air-to-air missile. First flight was April 28, 1999. The final of 38 converted Phantoms was redelivered by DASA in 2004.
Alternative designation - used by Hellenic Aerospace Industries - for the Peace Icarus 2000 upgrade. Upgraded aircraft be can identified by their all-grey radome (no black tip anymore), the Ghost colour scheme, the four IFF transponders just in front of the windscreen and by a small GPS antenna just forward of the in-flight refuel receptacle.
Updated F-4EJ Phantoms for Japanse Air Self Defence Force (JASDF) with J/APG-66J radar and wired for AIM-7E/F Sparrow, AIM-9P/L Sidewinder and locally developed Mitsubishi AAM-3 missiles. In the air-to-ground role, the F-4EJ Kai can carry two ASM-1C anti-ship missiles. Upgraded RF-4EJs were designated RF-4EJ-Kai and are equipped with ANAPQ-172 radar and Thomson-CSF Astac Elint pod. The prototype F-4EJ Kai first flew July 17, 1984. Eventually, some 90 airframes were upgraded.
F-4E Kurnass 2000
Upgrade for Israeli F-4Es, designed by Israel Aircraft Industries. Upgrade includes structural improvements (replacement of aircraft skin plating), new hydraulic systems, additional fuel tanks and complete rewiring. New avionics include Elta EL/M-2002 radar, Kaiser HUD, Elbit LCD HDDs, HOTAS and Mil-Std-1553B databus. Planned re-engining with Pratt & Whitney PW1120 turbofan engines was cancelled. IAI also modified 84 Turkish F-4Es to F-4E-2000.
In 1995, Israel Aircraft Industries of Israel implemented an upgrade similar to Kurnass 2000 on 54 Turkish F-4Es which were dubbed the F-4E 2020 Terminator. Dedicated to air-ground with Popeye-1/2, LGB, AGM-65 Mavericks and Litening III.
Another local Turkish upgrade, dubbed Simsek (Lightning), introduces new avionics, navigation and secure digital communications equipment, plus replacement flight software and improved mission planning equipment. Related structural renovation work is being conducted by the air force's maintenance centre in Eskisehir. The first of 16 upgraded aircraft was delivered September 2010.
Avionics modernization and recce pod integration of 18 RF-4E's, redesignated as RF-4ETM.
Phantom proposals and special versions
The former YRF-4C prototype became known as the Precision Aircraft Control Technology (PACT) demonstrator. It made its first flight with the new FBW system on April 29, 1972. For this program, it was fitted with a set of canard tailplanes mounted on the upper air intakes. These tailplanes had 20 degrees of movement. The first flight in the PACT configuration took place on April 29, 1974. In order to move the center of gravity to the rear and to destabilize the aircraft in pitch, lead ballast was added to the rear fuselage. A total of 30 test flights were made.
A 1966 proposal to the Royal Navy for a version of the F-4M with better catapult performance and a lower carrier approach speed than that of the F-4M. The F-4(HL) was to have been powered by a pair of Rolls-Royce RB.168-27R turbofans. It was to have had a 14-inch longer fuselage and was to have been equipped with wings with longer span (43 feet 5 1/2 inches, as compared to 38 feet 4 7/8 inches for the F-4M). Cancelled.
Proposed swing-wing model for US Navy as a less expensive alternative to the Grumman F-14 Tomcat. The wings would be shoulder-mounted and would be able to sweep from 23 to 75.5 degrees. The design has a striking resemblance to the Mikoyan Gurevich MiG-23. Cancelled.
Proposed version, powered by Rolls Royce RB.168-25R Spey turbofans and to be armed with either six Sparrow III missiles or two Phoenix long-range missiles. The increased power made available by the Spey would make the Phantom capable of being operated from smaller aircraft carriers which had previously used the Vought F-8 Crusader for defense. Cancelled.
Proposed swing-wing model for Royal Air Force. Cancelled.
At one time to have been applied to the F-4X project, which was a joint US/Israeli proposal for a special reconnaissance version of the Phantom that was to have been capable of Mach 3 performance. However, it is now believed that the designation F-4P was, in fact, never assigned to any Phantom project.
The F-4T was a late 1970s proposal by McDonnell for a stripped F-4E optimized for the air superiority role. All air-to-ground capability was to be eliminated, the armament consisting solely of the built-in M61 Vulcan cannon, the four belly-mounted Sparrow missiles, and the four wing-mounted Sidewinder missiles. A digital computer was to have handled the weapons system. By the late 1970s, the Phantom was clearly old technology, and no customers ever expressed any interest in the F-4T. The project was abandoned before anything could be built.
Mach 3 capable model with Pre Compressor Cooling, developed by General Dynamics. Based on standard F-4E aiframe, the F-4X would be capable of cruise speeds of Mach 2.4 and maximum speed of Mach 3.2. Configured as reconnaissance aircraft, an RF-4X would be capable of covering 62.160 km2 within 4 minutes when travelling at 4.100 km/h. Cancelled.
Phantom modernization program, jointly developed by 1984 proposal, developed by Boeing and Pratt & Whitney, targeted primarily at foreign users of the Phantom. McDonnell had already turned down a similar idea, citing the fact that the Phantom was already old technology and fearing that Phantom upgrades would compete with their F-15 Eagle, which they also hoped to sell on the export market. To be powered by two Pratt & Whitney PW1120 turbofans and modernized avionics.
Serials and designators
- US Air Force Serials/BuNo/FMS Serials
- Block details
- McDonnell designators
- US DoD weapon system numbers
- Australia (temporary leased)
- Israeli Air Force
- South Korea
- Royal Air Force
- US Air Force
- US Navy
- US Marine Corps
- From US Air Force to Egypt, Greece, Israeli Air Force, South Korea, Spain, Turkey
- From US Navy to Royal Air Force
- From Germany to Greece, Turkey
- The Blue Angels
The Blues made their début in F-4Js at the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma, Arizona on 15 March 1969, and for five seasons thrilled millions worldwide with their exhibitions of precision flying.
- The Thunderbirds
The United States Air Force also selected the Phantom for its Thunderbirds Air Demonstration Squadron. The Thunderbirds made their début in F-4Es at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado on 4 June 1969, and for five years their exciting close formation manoeuvres represented American air power and friendship all over the free world.
F4H-1 1st prototype
66-0308 F-4E of the US Air Force Europe
US Air Force displaying former colour schemes
- F-4 Phantom II - Wikipedia
- Phantom II Society
- Boeing F-4 image gallery
- Patrick's Aviation F-4 image gallery
- Afwing.com (in Japanese!)
- F-4K Fleet Air Arm. Royal Navy