McDonnell Douglas F-4C-23-MC (S/N 64-770) "Jeannie" over South Vietnam in December 1968. This aircraft was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing flying from Cam Ranh Bay Air Base. (U.S. Air Force photo)
McDonnell Douglas F-4C-19-MC (S/N 63-7541) of the New York Air National Guard. Note that the victory star was scored on Nov. 5, 1966, by Maj. R.E. Tuck (pilot) and 1Lt. J.J. Rabeni Jr. (WSO) flying for the 480th Tactical Fighter Squadron, 366th Tactical Fighter Wing using an AIM-7 Sparrow against a MiG-21. (U.S. Air Force photo)
Side view of McDonnell Douglas F-4C-21-MC (S/N 64-660) of the New York Air National Guard. Note that the three victory stars were scored on May 12, 1966, by Maj. W.R. Dudley (pilot) and 1Lt. I. Kreingelis (WSO) flying for the 390th TFS, 35th TFW using an AIM-9 Sidewinder against a MiG-17; May 14, 1967, by Maj. J.A. Hargrove (pilot) and 1Lt. S.H. Demuth (WSO) flying for the 480th TFS, 366th TFW using the 20mm cannon against a MiG-17; and June 5, 1967, by Maj. D.K Preister (pilot) and Capt. J.E. Pankhurst (WSO) flying for the 480th TFS, 366th TFW using the 20mm cannon against a MiG-17. (U.S. Air Force photo)
McDonnell Douglas F-4C-17-MC (S/N 63-7466) at Itazuke Air Force Base, Japan. Note that the actual "Itazuke Tower" sign, as seen in the background, is on display in the Korean War Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)
McDonnell Douglas F-4C with armament layout. Note that this is the second aircraft loaned to the USAF as F-110A and is a U.S. Navy F-4B-9i-MC BuNo 149406 later reserialed as USAF 62-12169 and called F-4C even though it wasn't (tail number is 49406). (U.S. Air Force photo)
First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense and entered service in 1961. The USAF evaluated it (as the F-110A Spectre) for close air support, interdiction and counter-air operations, and in 1962, approved a USAF version. The USAF's Phantom II, designated F-4C, made its first flight on May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 1963. In its air-to-ground role, the F-4 can carry twice the normal bomb load of a World War II B-17. USAF F-4s also fly reconnaissance and "Wild Weasel" anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built -- more than 2,800 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations.
In 1965 the first USAF Phantom IIs were sent to Southeast Asia. The first USAF pilot to score four combat victories with F-4s in SEA was then-Col. Robin Olds, a WWII ace. The aircraft on actual display at the museum is the one in which Col. Olds, the aircraft commander, and Lt. Stephan B. Croker, the backseat pilot, scored two of those victories in a single day (May 20, 1967).
The National Museum of the United States Air Force has several F-4 variants in its collection, including the F-4C, the RF-4C, the YF-4E, the F-4G and an F-4 cockpit mockup.
USN/USMC; 29 loaned to USAF
Export F-4E for Germany
Royal Navy; FG.1
Royal Air Force; FGR.2
USN/USMC; from F-4B
USN/USMC; from F-4J
- F-4A was originally designated F4H-1F (and XF4H-1) by the U.S. Navy.
- Dual-control F-4As were redesignated TF-4A.
- F-4B was originally designated F4H-1 by the U.S. Navy.
- RF-4B was originally designated F4H-1P by the U.S. Marine Corps.
- Seven F-4Bs were converted to QF-4B drone aircraft.
- F-4C was originally designated F-110A by the USAF.
- The U.S. Navy loaned the USAF 29 F-4Bs for service evaluation (see F-110A).
- Twelve F-4Gs (Navy designation) were out of service before the USAF F-4G "Wild Weasel" aircraft were converted from F-4Es.
- 138 of 140 F-4EJs were built in Japan.
- 32 F-4Ds were built for the Iranian Air Force.
- The USAF F-4G was initially designated EF-4E.
USAF F-4 numbers: - F-4C -- 583 [does not include 29 F-4Bs (F-110A) on loan from U.S. Navy]
- RF-4C -- 505
- F-4D -- 793
- F-4E -- 993 (116 later converted to F-4G) (as ordered, some E models - diverted/direct delivered to other nations)
- TOTAL: 2,874
TECHNICAL NOTES: Armament: Up to 16,000 lbs. of externally carried nuclear or conventional bombs, rockets, missiles, or 20mm cannon pods in various combinations Engines: Two General Electric J-79-GE-15s of 17,000 lbs. thrust each with afterburner Maximum speed: 1,400 mph/1210 knots at 40,000 ft. maximum power (ferry mission) Cruising speed: 590 mph/546 knots at 35,000 ft. Range: 1,750 miles/1528 nautical miles ferry mission with one 600 gal. and two 370 gal. external tanks Service ceiling: 59,600 ft. Span: 38 ft. 5 in. (27 ft. 7 in. folded) Length: 58 ft. 3 in. Height: 16 ft. 6 in. Weight: 58,000 lbs. maximum design takeoff weight Crew: Two