MCDONNEL DOUGLAS F-4 PHANTOM VOL.2
US Air Force Versions
The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was initially designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set fifteen world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record and an absolute altitude record. The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War, where it served as the principal air superiority fighter for the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war. At first reluctant to adopt a Navy fighter, the USAF quickly embraced the design and became the largest Phantom user. The first Air Force Phantoms in Vietnam were F-4Cs from 555th Tactical Fighter Squadron ‘Triple Nickel’ which arrived in December 1964. Unlike the Navy, the Air Force initially flew its Phantoms with a pilot rather than a radar intercept officer (RIO), later called weapon systems officer (WSO), in the back seat and all aircraft retained dual flight controls. USAF F-4Cs scored their first victory against a Vietnamese MiG-17 on 10 July 1965 using AIM-9 Sidewinder air-to-air missiles.
Reconnaissance RF-4Cs also made their debut in Vietnam on 30 October 1965, flying the hazardous post-strike reconnaissance missions. On 15 August 1990, twenty-four F-4G ‘Wild Weasel’ and six RF-4Cs were mobilised to the Middle East for Operation ‘Desert Storm’ equipped with AGM-88 HARM missiles. The last USAF Phantoms, F-4G ‘Wild Weasel Vs’ from 561st Fighter Squadron, were retired on 26 March 1996, and the last operational flight of the F-4G was undertaken by the 190th Fighter Squadron, of the Idaho Air National Guard, in April 1996. As the series title ‘Real to Replica’ suggests, the book also contains colour profiles, walk arounds, and how to build plastic models of the F-4 in popular scales, making this an ideal reference for the enthusiast and modeller alike.
22 x 28