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USMC F4 Phantom

43 Fabulous Photos of USMC F4 Phantom

By the mid 1950s it was apparent, that the US Navy would require a modern carrier based fighter to replace the aging post war designs such as the F9F-2 Panther, F-2H Banshee, and F7U Cutlass that were depolyed during the Korean War. As such, in 1954, the US Navy put out a request to the aircraft builders of the day for a new, two engined, long-range air defence fighter that could meet the US Navy's specifications for carrier based operations.

In October, 1954, McDonnell Aircraft and the US Navy signed a letter of intent for the construction of two prototypes to for a new aircraft to meet this need, and the new aircraft was called the F-4 Phantom. The first F4 Phantom prototype flew on May 27, 1958, and VF-101 Squadron of the US Navy accepted delivered of their first F4 Phantom in December, 1960.

From the early 1960s until well into the 1970s, production models of the F4 Phantom were produced as designations that were used in common by both the US Navy and the USMC.

The first F4 Phantom models for the USMC were the F-4B and F-4J, which was powered by two General Electric J79 afterburning engines. F4 Phantoms were well known for their trademark dark trails of black smoke which were always evident on approach. Like the Navy's aircraft, the USMC F-4J Phantom was primarily an ocean based interceptor, also configured with uncompromised ground attack capability. Specially designed 16.5 inch dropping ailerons (which contribute to the F4 Phantom's sinister appearanace) and a slotted tail avail the aircraft with a lower final approach speed, evn though the carrier specific hardware added to the Phantom result in an increased landing weight.

Standard equipment on the USMC F-4Js include a Westinghouse AN/AWG-10 pulse Doppler fire-control system, and a Lear Siegler AJB-7 bombing system. The USMC F-4J Phantom was first demonstrated to the public in May, 1966, and 518 F-4Js were constructed by the time production of this mark came to an end in December, 1972.

Between 1973 and 1978, the USMC and the US Navy upgraded 228 F-4B Phantoms to the new F-4N designation, first of which was delivered to the Navy on February 21, 1973, and the last was delivered in the Spring of 1978.

During the second half of the 1970s, the USMC and Navy upgraded 260 F-4Js to the new F-4S designation. Related improvements included structural strengthening to lengthen airframe service life, addition leading edgle slats to enhance lift and agility at slow speeds, newly up-rated J79-GE-10B engines, and a state-f-the-art onboard weapons system. Two prototype F-4S Phantoms were used in a test program during 1977, and F-4S Phantom production conversions commenced during the Spring of 1978.

Below are 43 fabulous photos of USMC F4 Phantoms from our extensive aircraft image database. Which, by the way, are for sale in both digital and print format. If you are looking for 35mm kodachrome slides of US Marine Corps F-4 Phantoms click here for huge selection.

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