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The Phantom Story

by
Anthony M. Thornborough,
Peter E. Davies




FGR2 - XV470 - now on display at RAF Akrotiri, Cyprus
Sporting a single AIM-7 Sparrow missile after completing a live weapons training exercise off the Welsh coast, note the leading edge droop flaps on the wing


TYPE
all-weather multi-role fighter aircraft, all-weather multisensor reconnaissance, originally a carrier-based interceptor


MANUFACTURER
McDonnell Douglas - also licensed to Mitsubishi for Japan


ENGINES
two General Electric J79 single shaft turbojets with afterburner, 17,000lb to 17,900lb (7,711kg to 8,120kg) thrust depending on type, or two Rolls-Royce Spey 202/203 two-shaft augmented turbofans 20,515lb (9,305kg) thrust in F-4K


DIMENSIONS
  • span : 38'5"(11.7m)
  • length(K) : 57'7"(17.55m)
  • height : 16'3"(4.96m)
  • wing area : 530sqft(49.2m²)



WEIGHTS

  • empty(K) : 31,000lb(14,060kg)
  • maximum loaded : 58,000lb(26,308kg)



PERFORMANCE

  • max speed(Spey) at sea level : 920mph(1,480km/h)
  • at altitude : 1,386mph(2,230km/h)
  • ceiling : 60,000+ft(19,685m)
  • range on internal fuel : 1,750miles(2,816km)
  • ferry range : 2,300miles(3,700km)



FIRST FLIGHT

  • F4-A : 27th May 1958
  • service delivery : Feb 1960
  • F-4K : 27th June 1966



AVIONICS

  • 32" Westinghouse nose radar, Hughes APQ-120 or APQ-99
  • IR detector pod under nose
  • autopilot, CNI package, radar altimeter, air-data computer, INS
  • Northrop Tiseo
  • Pave series laser designators, Pave Tack, Flir
  • ALQ-119 jammer pod



WEAPONS

  • Wasp tandem launch pods, Wasp folding missiles
  • BL.755 cluster bombs
  • GBU-14 Cruciform Wing Weapon
  • Durandal anti-airfield weapon
  • GBU-16B/B 1,000lb Paveway II smart bomb
  • AGM-78 ARM anti-radar missile
  • TAL cluster bomb
  • AIM-9L Sidewinder AAM
  • M61 20mm gun
  • BAe Sky Flash AAM
  • AGM-65D Maverick
  • AIM-7 Sparrow AAM
  • Mk.82 Snakeye retarded bomb
  • AGM-88A Harm (Wild Weasel)
  • AGM-12 Bullpup ASM
  • GE 30mm Gepod gun
  • Mk.82 GP 500lb bomb
  • Mk.83 GP 1,000lb bomb
  • Mk.84 GP 2,000lb bomb
  • AGM-45 Shrike
  • AIM-120A Amraam



NOTES
Phenomenally successful aircraft still in use today throughout the world, though RAF usage ceased in 1993. Strongly built to withstand carrier deck landings, the Phantom has gone through many configurations over the years. RAF versions, all but the F-4Js bought to fill a gap after the Falklands war, were fitted with powerful Spey engines, though the disturbance this caused to the fabulous original design actually made our version slower. In use with the USAF as a Wild Weasel, teamed with an F-16, these aircraft proved very successful at radar suppression during the Gulf War, and had an excellent record in the Vietnam conflict.



FGR2 - XV470 - No.56 Sqn, RAF Wattisham
Both canopies open soon after landing at RAF Valley, the braking parachute just discarded, note the air intake flap open at the rear indicating the Spey engine version.