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McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II



F-4C Phantom II
First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense and entered service in 1961. The USAF evaluated it (as the F-110A "Spectre") for close air support, interdiction, and counter-air operations and, in 1962, approved a USAF version. The USAF's Phantom II, designated F-4C, made its first flight on May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 1963. In its air-to-ground role the F-4 can carry twice the normal bomb load of a WWII B-17. USAF F-4s also fly reconnaissance and "Wild Weasel" anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built--more than 2,800 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations.
In 1965 the first USAF Phantom IIs were sent to Southeast Asia (SEA). The first USAF pilot to score four combat victories with F-4s in SEA was then-Col. Robin Olds, a WW II ace. The aircraft on actual display at the USAF Museum is the one in which Col. Olds, the aircraft commander, and Lt. Stephan B. Croker, the backseat pilot, scored two of those victories in a single day, May 20, 1967.
F-4D Phantom II
The F-4 is a two-place (tandem), supersonic, long-range, all-weather fighter-bomber built by McDonnell Douglas Corporation. Mission capabilities include: long range, high-altitude intercepts utilizing air-to-air missiles as primary armament; a 20mm gun as secondary armament; long-range attack missions utilizing conventional or nuclear weapons as a primary armament; and close air support missions utilizing a choice of bombs, rockets and missiles as primary armament. Aircraft thrust is provided by two axial-flow turbo jet engines with variable stators and variable afterburner. Airplane appearance is characterized by a low mounted swept back wing with obvious anhedral at the wing tips, and a one piece stabilator with obvious cathedral. Dual, irreversible power control cylinders, position the stabilator, ailerons, and spoilers. A single, irreversible hydraulic power control cylinder positions the rudder. An integral pneumatic system, charged by a hydraulically driven air compressor, supplies compressed air for normal and emergency canopy operation, as well as emergency operation for the landing gear and wing flaps. The wings can be folded for ease of airplane storage and ground handling. A drag chute, contained in the end of the fuselage, significantly reduces landing roll distances and an arresting hook, that is hydraulically retracted, can be utilized to ft the airplane under a wide range of gross weight-airspeed combination.
General characteristics F-4D
Primary function Attack fighter
Power plant Two General Electric J79-GE-15 turbojets
Thrust (with   afterburner) 17,000 lb 75,6 kN
Wingspan 38.4 ft 11,71 m
Length 58.2 ft 17,75 m
Height 16.2 ft 4,95 m
Wingarea 530 sq. ft 49,24 sq. m
Max. speed 1,320 mph 2124 km/h
Initial climb rate 40,550 ft/min 12 360 m/min
Ceiling 61,000 ft 18 590 m
Range combat 538 miles 866 km
maximum 1,926 miles 3100 km
Weight empty 29,200 lb 13 245 kg
max.takeoff 54,600 lb 24 766 kg
Armament 4x AIM-7D or -7E Sparrow + up to 4x AIM-9 Sidewinder or up to 18 340 kg bombs.
Crew Two



F-4E Phantom II
The F-4E is essentially an F-4D with improved J79-GE-17 engines (900 lbs. more static sea level thrust each) and a M61A1 "Vulcan" 20mm cannon. Operational experience gained in Vietnam had a direct influence on the addition of the cannon. The air-to-air missile fire-to-hit ratios were low and air combat usually degenerated to subsonic 'dogfighting' where the F-4 was at a decided disadvantage when flying against more maneuverable enemy aircraft (MiG 17 and MiG 21). The hydraulically powered wing-folding mechanism and the emergency ram-air turbine were removed to save weight and a seventh fuel cell was added. The addition of self-sealing fuel tanks starting with block 41 aircraft lowered the fuel capacity by 139 gallons, but provided much better combat survivability.
The USAF Thunderbirds used the F-4E from June 1969 until November 1973, replacing it with the Northrop T-38, in part, because of the public preception of unacceptably high operating costs for the F-4E.
McDonnell Douglas produced 5,057 F-4's of which 1370 were F-4E's. Mitsubishi received 11 F-4 kits and built 127 of their F-4EJ's under license bringing the total to 5,195 airframes. The USAF ordered 993 -E models, but more than 100 were diverted or direct delivered to other nations. The F-4 was flown by the USAF, US Navy, US Marine Corps, United Kingdom, Australia, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Germany, Spain, Iran, Turkey, Greece, and Egypt.
General characteristics
Primary function Attack fighter
Power plant Two General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets
Thrust (with   afterburner) 17,900 lb 79,6 kN
Max. speed 1,485 mph 2390 km/h
Initial climb rate 49,800 ft/min 15 180 m/min
Ceiling 62,250 ft 18 975 m
Range normal 595 miles 958 km
maximum 1,885 miles 3034 km
Weight empty 29,535 lb 13 397 kg
max. takeoff 61,650 lb 27 964 kg
Wingspan 38.4 ft 11,71 m
Length 63 ft 19,2 m
Height 16.5 ft 5,03 m
Wingarea 530 sq. ft 49,24 sq. m
Armament 20 mm M61A1 Vulcan, 4x AIM-7 Sparrow missiles or under the fuselage another weapons up to 1370 kg. Under wings up to 5888 kg external tanks or weapons.
Crew One



F-4G "Wild Weasel"
F-4G "Wild Weasels" are modified F-4E fighters with their cannon replaced by AN/APR-47 electronic warfare equipment. Their mission is to attack enemy air defenses, including surface to air missile (SAM) air defense radars. One hundred and sixteen F-4Es were rebuilt as F-4Gs for this special purpose. The F-4G, carrying AGM-88A/B/C High Speed Anti-Radiation Missiles (HARM), worked in concert with other F-4Gs or as a hunter aircraft directing fighter-bombers, such as the F-16, against SAM sites. The F-4G carried a pilot and a second crew member, an Electronic Warfare Officer (EWO), who navigated, assisted with communications, and coordinated the attack on the SAM sites. The first F-4G "Wild Weasel" flew on December 6, 1975.
Initially, the USAF converted 36 F-4C's to the "Wild Weasel IV" incorporating the ER-142/ALR-53 receiver becoming the EF-4C. An externally mounted AN/ALQ-119 ECM pod along with a pair of AGM-45 "Shrike" missiles allowed the EF-4C to attack SAM sites with limited success starting in 1969. Four F-4D's were used as Wild Weasel IV/V test aircraft for the AN/ANS-107 Radar Homing and Warning System (RHAWS) and the APS-38 warning and attack system. An initial batch of 116 F-4E's were converted to Wild Weasel V configuration starting in 1976. Finally, a batch of 18 more F-4E's were converted for the Wild Weasel mission in 1987-88.
General characteristics
Primary function Radars and electronic weapons destroyer.
Power plant Two General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets
Thrust 17,900 lb 79,6 kN
Max. speed 1,485 mph 2390 km/h
Ceiling 62,250 ft 18 975 m
Range 595 miles 958 km
Weight empty 29,320 lb 13 300 kg
max. takeoff 62,390 lb 28 300 kg
Wingspan 38.4 ft 11,71 m
Length 63 ft 19,2 m
Height 16. 4 ft 5,02 m
Wingarea 530 sq. ft 49,24 sq. m
Armament Two AIM-7 Sparrow (self defense); mixed AGM-45 Shrike, AGM-65 Maverick and AGM-88 HARM in action with internal APR-38 RHAWS and  ALQ-119 ECM (in container).
Crew Two


Jirka Wagner

 

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Last updated 01.01.2017