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McDonnell Douglas F-4C Phantom II


First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense. The U.S. Air Force's first version, the F-4C, made its first flight in May 1963, and production deliveries began six months later. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built -- more than 2,600 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations. 

In 1965 the USAF sent its first F-4Cs to Southeast Asia, where they flew air-to-air missions against North Vietnamese fighters as well as attacking ground targets. The first USAF pilot to score four combat victories with F-4s in Southeast Asia was Col. Robin Olds, a World War II ace. The aircraft on display is the one in which Col. Olds, the pilot, and Lt. Stephen Croker, the weapons system officer, destroyed two MiG-17s in a single day, May 20, 1967. 

In its air-to-ground role, the F-4C could carry twice the normal load of a WWII B-17. The armament loaded on the aircraft on display is a typical configuration for an F-4C in 1967. It consists of four AIM-7E and four AIM-9B air-to-air missiles, and eight 750-pound Mk 117 bombs. The aircraft also carries two external fuel tanks on the outboard pylons and one ALQ-87 electronic countermeasures (ECM) pod on the right inboard pylon.

TECHNICAL NOTES:
Armament: Up to 16,000 lbs. of externally carried ordnance
Engines: Two General Electric J-79-GE-15s of 17,000 lbs. thrust each
Maximum speed: 1,400 mph
Cruising speed: 590 mph
Range: 1,750 miles
Ceiling: 59,600 ft.
Span: 38 ft. 5 in. (27 ft. 6 in. folded)
Length: 58 ft. 2 in.
Height: 16 ft. 6 in.
Weight: 58,000 lbs. loaded

Click here to return to the Southeast Asia War Gallery.

 

Find Out More
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Brig. Gen. Robin Olds: Combat Leader and Fighter Ace
Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-17F
AIM-9 Sidewinder Air-to-Air Missile
M117 General Purpose Bomb
General Electric J79 Engine
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360-degree Virtual Tour
View the F-4C on Display
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Cockpit360 Images
View the F-4C Front Cockpit
View the F-4C Rear Cockpit
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Air Force Museum Foundation
Fly the F-4 in the 360-degree interactive simulator at the museum
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