McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

USN aviation

The Phantom II in Brief

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a legendary American tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy. It first flew on May 27, 1958, and entered service in 1960. The Phantom was a highly versatile aircraft used by the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, and it was also adopted by several other nations.

The F-4 is powered by two General Electric J79-GE-17 afterburning turbojet engines, each providing 17,900 lbf (79.4 kN) of thrust with afterburner. Speed and Range: It has a maximum speed of Mach 2.23 (1,472 mph, 2,370 km/h) and a combat range of approximately 367 miles (592 km). It was armed with Air-to-air missiles: AIM-7 Sparrow, AIM-9 Sidewinder, carried Various bombs and rockets, including precision-guided munitions while having Internal M61 Vulcan 20mm rotary cannon (F-4E variant).

The F-4 featured advanced avionics for its time, including radar, electronic countermeasures, and targeting systems. Its Service ceiling was 60,000 feet (18,300 meters) and the Rate of climb was 41,300 feet per minute (210 m/s)

In the Vietnam War, The F-4 Phantom II played a significant role, serving as the primary air superiority fighter for the U.S. military. It was also used extensively in ground-attack and reconnaissance missions. It also fought in the Yom Kippur War (1973), Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) and served across the globe as fighter-bomber, interceptor, reconnaissance, Wild Weasel (SEAD - Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses). It is considered one of the most versatile and durable aircraft of the Cold War era with over 5,000 built, making it one of the most produced American supersonic military aircraft. It was used by several countries including the United Kingdom, Japan, Germany, and Israel. The Phantom remained in service with various air forces into the 21st century, with the U.S. military retiring it in the 1990s, though some nations continued to use upgraded versions.

F-4B/N/J/S: Variants used by the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.
F-4C/D/E: Variants used by the U.S. Air Force, with the F-4E featuring an internal cannon.
RF-4B/C/E: Reconnaissance variants with specialized equipment for photographic reconnaissance.

The F-4 Phantom II's robust design and powerful engines made it a formidable aircraft, earning it a lasting place in aviation history. Its significant contributions to military aviation during the Cold War and beyond make it a classic example of American aerospace engineering.

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⚙ F4 specifications

Gross Weight30,328 lb (13,757 kg) empty, 41,500 lb (18,824 kg)
Max Takeoff weight61,795 lb (28,030 kg)
Lenght63 ft (19.2 m)
Wingspan38 ft 5 in (11.7 m)
Width, wings folded27 ft 7 in (8.4 m)
Height16 ft 5 in (5 m)
Wing Area530 sq ft (49.2 m2)
Engine2× General Electric J79-GE-17A ABTE 11,905 lbf (52.96 kN)/17,845 lbf (79.38 kN)
Top Speed, sea levelMach 2.23
Cruise Speed510 kn (580 mph, 940 km/h)
Range370 nmi (420 mi, 680 km), ferry 1,457 nmi (1,677 mi, 2,699 km)
Climb Rate41,300 ft/min (210 m/s)
Ceiling60,000 ft (18,000 m)
Armament2x 20mm guns, see notes

Combat Records




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