The McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II had several nick names including "The World's Largest Distributor Of MiG Parts", "Old Smokey", "The Big Ugly", and "America's Proof To The World That With Enough Power Even A Brick Can Fly".  There is no question that with its drooping tailplane and bent-up wing tips that it has a distinctive profile, nor is there any question that with its two huge, smoky GE J-79 engines that it could be seen for miles.  But there is also no question that it was a magnificent aircraft that truly deserves its place in aviation history.

Flown operationally by the US Military from 1960 to 1996 McDonnell-Douglas produced over 5,000 Phantoms in 20 model configurations, including nation-specific configurations.  This is the largest production run of any supersonic fighter built in the United States.

Few if any aircraft can make as many claims as the F-4 Phantom.  Originally designed in response to a Navy RFP, the Phantom eventually flew for the US Air Force, Navy, and Marines.  The Phantom joined the US Navy in 1959 and then the Air Force and Marines in 1962 and served in both Vietnam and Operation Desert Storm.  The Phantom set 15 world aviation records within its first 28 months, including altitude (98,500 ft.), 8 time-to-climb marks, and speed (Mach 2.59).  Five speed records were held for 13 years until broken by the F-15 Eagle in 1975.  It was the first aircraft to achieve a sustained altitude of 66,443.8 ft. and the first aircraft to fly from Los Angeles to New York in 2 hours and 49 minutes.

The Phantom design, as originated by McDonnell-Douglas as the F3H-G (and later the F4H-1), had four 20mm cannon.  The US Navy, in an optimistic blunder, viewed guns as being obsolete and wanted an aircraft designed for the new AIM-7 Sparrow missiles.  Being under the impression that all future air combat would be fought at distances that would preclude gun engagements, they felt that the weight and performance penalties of hauling around the guns and ammunition was a mistake.  This oversight was rectified in the F-4E by the installation of a M61A1 6-barreled 20mm cannon in a fairing under the nose.

For a full history of the F-4 Phantom, Click This Link.  This site has a complete explanation of all of the F-4 variants from the concept aircraft to the last production aircraft, and is a must for all F-4 Phans!

Quick historical note ... if anyone is interested in why the F-4 is called the Phantom II it is because there actually was a short-lived Phantom I.  This Web Page on the US Museum of Naval Aviation web site tells the story.  It was originally designated the XFD-1 and later redesignated as the FH-1 Phantom.

Another quick historical note ... The Phantom is credited as a product of McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft, but in reality the aircraft was initially designed and built by McDonnell Aircraft Corporation.  According to This Page on the US Centennial Of Flight Commission web site, "Production began in October 1954, and the Mach 2 fighter made its first flight as a Navy interceptor on May 27, 1958, under the F-110 'Spectre' designation."  The company of McDonnell-Douglas came into being on April 28, 1967 when McDonnell Aircraft Corporation acquired Douglas Aircraft and the two merged to become McDonnell-Douglas.  On December 15, 1996 Boeing Corporation acquired McDonnell-Douglas.


This aircraft model carries the markings of serial number 67-0392 and was assigned to the 469th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 388 Tactical Fighter Wing.  Aircraft 67-0392, call sign Eagle 3 and flown by Maj. Luke Lucas and Lt. Doug Malloy, shot down a MIG-19 with an AIM-7 Missile on September 9, 1972 while flying an "Iron Hand" mission led by Maj. Ed Cleveland and O.B. O'Brien in Eagle 1.  The kill by Maj. Lucas and Lt. Malloy was the first of nine kills for the 388th (split between the 34th and 469th).  It ended with the downing of a MiG-21 on October 15, 1972.  The aircraft is now on static display at the Virginia Air and Space Center / Hampton History Center in Hampton, VA.

Notes: The date of arrival of the 40TFS at Korat RTAFB, and their redesignation as 469 TFS is shown above as November, 1969 since this is the date that was given me by the Air Force History Support Office.  I have also seen this date shown as November, 1968 by other reliable sources.   At this time I do not know which is the correct date.

Update - 06/11/2007 - I just received an email from a man who was stationed with the 44th TFS at Korat during the redesignation of the 40 TFS to the 469 TFS, and he assures me that it did without question occur during November, 1968.  Thanks for the clarification, Al!

Update - 11/30/2008 - I just received an email from a man who was Major Lucas's room mate at that time who was good enough to correct some of my historical errors.  That's the problem with pulling historical "Facts" from the internet, they aren't always "Factual".  Thanks very much, Lon.  Your input is appreciated.

Update - 08/12/09 - I just received an email from a man who flew in 392 a few times.  He informed me that the "JV" squadron marking on the tail was for the 469 TFS and not the 34 TFS.  Not much I can do about it now though, except wish I had gotten it right ;)  Thank you for the input, Richard.  As with the others mentioned above it is much appreciated.

Update - 12/14/09 - I received another confirming email from a man who was crew chief on this aircraft for 9 months while it was in Vietnam.  He told me that the "JV" tail code was most assuredly for the 469 TFS, and the aircraft was assigned to the 469 TFS at the time of it's downing of the MiG 19.  He should know, it was his plane for a long time!  Thank you for your input as well.  It is the guys like you who keep the rest of us straightened out.

Update - 04/04/2013 - I received an email from a retired USAF colonel who stated, "The 469th TFS arrived at Korat in November 1965 from McConnell AFB, KS. That was their permanent change of station in the F-105.  I joined the squadron in April 1966 and flew 100 missions over North Vietnam.  Lt Col Cooper was the squadron commander and Major Bob Krone replaced him after he was shot down."  Thank you for the information Col Moon.

Here is a link to a picture of 392 on the Military Aviation Journal web site.  It is dropping a load of Mk. 82 bombs (some with extended fuses).  Also take note of the AIM-7E Sparrow missiles tucked into the recesses on the bottom of the fuselage and the 600 gallon centerline auxiliary fuel tank.  The fairing under the nose (with a yellow stencil on it) houses a 20mm M61A1 Vulcan rotary cannon.  The photo was taken by Don Logan in January, 1972 while participating in a LORAN pathfinder mission.


Installment 1 Curtis-Wright P-40B Warhawk
Installment 2 Fairchild-Republic F-105G Thunderchief Wild Weasel
Installment 3 McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II
Installment 4 Fairchild-Republic A-10A Thunderbolt II

KIT INFORMATION
Manufacturer: 1/32 scale Tamiya 60310 F-4E Phantom II Early Production

Aftermarket: Eduard 32079 PE Set - Mk. 7 Ejection Seat Detail Set
Eduard 32073 PE Set - F-4E Exterior Detail Set

Finishing: The four-color camouflage scheme consists of:
  • FS-36622 Light Gray -- Tamiya XF-19
  • FS-30218 Tan -- Polly Scale F505392
  • FS-34087 Olive Green -- Testors Model Master 4734
  • FS-34079 Leaf Green -- Testors Model Master 4726
All of these paints are acrylic, and were airbrushed freehand with an Omni 4000 airbrush over a thin coat of Tamiya Fine Surface Primer.  A coat of Future floor polish was added to smooth the surface (all of those paints have a flat finish) prior to decaling.  After the decals were in place another coat of Future was applied and then a dark gray panel line wash was added.  A final coat of Testors Model Master Acryl Clear Flat was then sprayed.

The "Natural Metal" areas are Testors Model Master Metallizer laquers.  These areas did not turn out as well as I expected.  I've used this paint in the past and it worked quite well, but for some reason most of the sheen disappeared this time.

The decals are the kit decals and are quite thick.  A lot of Micro Set and Micro Sol was used to thin them down and get them to conform to the surfaces.

The "Remove before Flight" flags are a mixture of Eduard photo etch and homemade.  The nose caps on some of the missiles are also homemade.


Build Started: July 24, 2004
Build Completed: October 22, 2004 (except for the radar and Vulcan cannon)
Total Build Time: 290 hours (except for the radar and Vulcan cannon)

CONSTRUCTION NOTES

Click This Link To View Construction Photos and Construction Notes


FINISHED MODEL PHOTOGRAPHS - 10/24/04

Each of the images are links to larger views.  Click the image to open the larger photo.


 

Update - 12/19/2009 - It's hard for me to believe that it's been 5 years since I completed this model.  It's still my all-time favorite and sits in my office at work where I can see it every day.

I've been somewhat disappointed in the photographs of this model and I've been meaning to take some more for a long time.  The original group was shot on my deck and I've always disliked the background in most of them.  The lighting was good but the background was distracting and added nothing to the pictures.  I finally got around to taking some more and in this batch the background is better but the lighting leaves a lot to be desired.  It also managed to accumulate some dust even though it's been kept in a display case the whole time.  I still think these are generally much better though.

 

Each of the images are links to larger views.  Click the image to open the larger photo.


October 23, 2004 Phillips Toy Mart 1st Place - 1/32 Aircraft
March 12, 2005 Middle Tennessee Modelers Association 1st Place - 1/32 Aircraft
March 12, 2005 Middle Tennessee Modelers Association Best Aircraft In Show
AIRCRAFT SPECIFICATIONS
Aircraft Type: McDonell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II
Aircraft Category: Fighter / Bomber
Wing Span:38'-4"
Overall Length:63'
Height:16'-6"
Empty Weight:29,535 lbs
Gross Weight:55,957 lbs
Engine:Two General Electric J-79-GE-17
Thrust:11,870 lbs each
Max. Speed:1,485 mph (at altitude)
Cruise Speed:585 mph
Range:1,050 mi
Ceiling:62,250 ft
First Flight:May 27, 1958
REFERENCE SITES AND MY THANKS TO ...
Aviation Enthusiast Corner - F-4 Museum / Aircraft Reference Exhibit: 67-0392 - McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II Aircraft: McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II
469 TFS Unit Patch USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Serial Numbers--1908 to Present McDonnell F-4E Phantom II
The 'AirNet' Web Site. Aviation Links: Specific Types of Aircraft: M to P F-4 Phantom II Page 1 of 1 Phantom Photos
F-4B Phantom instrument panel Aircraft Resource Center F4 Phantom II (part 1) Walk Around
F4 Phantom II (part 2) Walk Around F4 Phantom II (part 3) Walk Around F4 Phantom II (part 4) Walk Around
F4F Phantom II Walk Around Photo Index Page F4-F Phantom II Walk Around Photo Index Page Air Force History Support Office
F-4A Aircraft in Detail - F-4 Phantom II Walkaround Index F-4 Phantom II Photo Gallery on Boeing.Com
U.S. Air Force Phantoms F-4 Phantom II Society [1.0] Phantom Variants
F-4E Phantom #68-366A Parts and Instrument Sources F-4E Phantom (Early Production) Review by Dave Williams (Tamiya 1/32)
Aircraft: McDonnell-Douglas F-4E Phantom II Aircraft Photographs and Air Displays by Roger Whitcomb Those Were the Days #02 - Double Ugly @ War
Tamiya America, Inc. -- Item 60310 | McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II Early Production Thirty Thousand Feet - Aircraft Models F-4 Phantom Power, the site for f4 enthusiasts
F-4 Phantom Website McDonnell F-4E Phantom II McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II on display at the US Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio
Martin Baker Mk. H-7 Ejection Seat Phantom Variants Walkaround Photos That I Took
McDonnell-Douglas Technical Artist Mr. Anthony "Tony" Wong for his rendition of the "Spook"!


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