McDonnell-Douglas F-4C 63-644
This aircraft is a non-flying static display at Arnold Engineering Development Center at Tullahoma, TN.  According to their web site, this particular aircraft flew 5,560 hours, including 1,200 combat hours, from 1966-68 with the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing at Ubon Royal Thai Air Base.  It was later modified to F4D, F4E and F4G configurations.  AEDC had been involved in the development and testing of the General Electric J-79 turbojet, which has powered the F-4.

Note: The display in front of the aircraft stated that it is an F-4C.  Since it was "later modified to F4D, F4E, and F4G" per their web site, I do not know if it was retrofitted to F-4C status when it was put on static display or not.  Those more familiar with the F-4 than I may be able to tell the exact model, but I can not.

Update - 05/16/06 - I received an email from a former F-4 Crew Chief who had this to say regarding the difference between the F-4C and F-4D: "As for the difference in the F4 "C" and "D" models it was in the electronics.  The difference is slight but can be recognized in the nose and chin radomes."

The photgraphs were taken on September 3, 2004 by Scott Craig.  Since this is a non-flying aircraft many of the areas that would be of interest to modelers were not available.  These include the cockpit (the canopy was painted over), the intakes (covered), the engines (removed), the gear bays (closed), and so on.  I tried to get as much detail as I could, but with everything covered there was a lot of areas I could not investigate.

Note that all images are thumbnails to larger images.  You can click the thumbnail to view the large image, then click [BACK] on your browser to return to this page.

Nose Gear

Nose Gear (Right Side)

Nose Gear (Left Side)

Left Main Gear

Left Pylon (looking forward from underneath the center of the fuselage)

Left Rear Missile Recess (I think it's the left rear)

Arresting Hook (Left side looking rearward)

Arresting Hook

Rear Of Arresting Hook Showing Lock (see note below!)

Left Forward Missile Recess (looking forward)

Closeup Of Vent To The Left Of The Missile Recess

Extreme Closeup Of The Same Vent

A few comments about some of the photos:
  • Take notice in the photos of the landing gear how the oleo strut has collapsed.  The nose gear photo shows only a couple of inches of travel whereas in the main gear photo you can see that the strut has completely closed.  Keep in mind that this is on an aircraft completely empty of stores, fuel, and even engines.  I asked a friend who flew F-4's for a good while about this and he told me that this is something that the crew chief would keep pumped up, and it was common for them to close down when the aircraft had been sitting for a while.
  • The cable on the nose gear that is visible going down between the tires is an anchor cable.  It would not be present on active aircraft and is used on this one to anchor the aircraft to a concrete anchor set into the ground.
  • There is also some wire going between the arresting hook and the lock mechanism.  I received an email from a former F-4 Crew Chief who told me that this is an "Up-Lock cable".  In his words, " In the photo of the tail hook up-lock cable, this was a standard issue assembly used on all Phantoms when not flying.  It had a red "Remove Before Flight" streamer attached.  It was installed immediately after engine shutdown.  I can verify the tailhooks are heavy.  Some times after extension (even on Air Force bases) we crewchiefs had to retract them with muscle power."

    Although the wire in the photograph I took does not look like it would be standard issue anything (it honestly looks more like plain old bailing wire than anything else!) from his comments it is certain that there would normally be a prefabricated up-lock cable installed on the hook.  

  • The paint on this aircraft is probably not normal.  As I understand it this paint was applied with paint rollers and not sprayed.  The demarcation between colors is much sharper than I would have expected to see on an active-duty aircraft.
  • I would like to thank the people who have sent me emails regarding these photos and helped with some of the details and information.  Your help is invaluable and I am very grateful for it.

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