8 minutes of F-4 Phantom goodness.

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by G19Tony, Apr 8, 2019.

  1. Caver 60

    Caver 60

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    I wonder how many of the younger people know why the F-105 was called 'The Thud'?

    Answer, because that was the sound the aircraft made when it hit the ground.

    Those guys went trolling for SAMS. Like GVI implied, those guys clanked when they walked.
     
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  2. MulletLoad

    MulletLoad

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    I'll stand corrected if wrong, but I believe all those cranked wing and stabilator angles were attempts to correct an aerodynamic mess. Whatever the reason, it made it look vicious.



     
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  3. professor kv

    professor kv Hey! Who turned out the lights?

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    It serves a purpose, but man, that's too bad.
     
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  4. G19Tony

    G19Tony Sneet CLM

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    It was all the F-100's before that.
     
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  5. flyover

    flyover

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    I believe it was in the book, Thud Ridge by Jacksel M. Broughton, described the unpowered glide angle of the Thud as that of a brick.
     
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  6. Berto

    Berto woo woo

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    As a kid, my first model airplane was a Phantom f4e. Always been my favorite.
     
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  7. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Friends Call Me "Flash"

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    1978-1983, I worked at McDonnell Douglas during the F4 Phantom "IRAN" (inspect and repair as necessary) program. I developed a real love of these magnificent brutes with the glide angle of a brick!

    Our birds were either gray for coastal defense or camo. Each was stripped of paint and refinished. They also dropped wings and fitted slatted wings to increase bomb loads. Each F4 was placed in a pipe fixture, air was applied to rectangular "float" pads and the bird was moved from station to station in the building.

    My job carried me all around the mile long plant aboard a bicycle and my lead man would assign me work near the runway to see the test flights.

    We always knew when the test flights were going to happen because a crew had to rig the arresting cables on the runway. The F4 is a carrier bird and they all had arresting hooks regardless of their deployment.

    We had an unpainted bird crash during test flights where all hands survived. The centerline bomb rack skipped along the ground and smashed the toilet of a home in the area. The owner was not amused!

    I heard the pilot of the crashed bird describe punching out of his doomed aircraft. It was hysterical! His command to the Radar Officer was "BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT, BAIL OUT!" Local newspapers said he piloted the bird away from populated areas. He said the F4 was actually out of control and it was dropping like a rock.

    From his description: BOOM! the canopy blew, BOOM, the cannon charge below the seat sent it and the man a couple of feet out of the bird until a wire lanyard uncoiled below each seat. When that lanyard straightened out, two rockets below each seat launched the Pilot and Radar Officer away from the bird.

    There was an interlock to keep both seats from activating at the same time. The first seat to eject, delayed the second seat. The F4 was shredded upon impact.

    I knew the guy who repaired the aft assembly of every bird. That assembly had a vent tube, the parachute compartment and were frequently riddled with bullet holes. "Doublers" patched the bullet holes. Apparently, enemy gunners were taught to aim where the smoke starts!

    Flash
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  8. helidude350

    helidude350

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    I vote they use those little planes that nasa scoots around in next. My buddy that worked on them said they were pretty worn out.
    And budget cuts or whatever.
     
  9. Ofc.JL

    Ofc.JL

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    I read "Thud ridge" years ago. I seem to recall a statement someone said about the old "Thuds". Something like they could suck up rocks and give gravel. Anyone heard that before? I also witnessed a flightline flyby of a F4 at an airshow many years ago. The F4 came down the runway under afterburner, clocking just under Mach. Damn, that big old thing was moving, and even then I knew to cover my ears after he cleared our position. Ba-Whoommmmmm!
    Magnificent Battle Plane!
     
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  10. cyberghostx13

    cyberghostx13 USMC "The Few The Proud"

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    Well I remember a sunny day on a ridge in the summer of 1968 we(squad) were in the "I Corps" area below the DMZ. We had spotted some movement or something, don't remember the details it's been over 50 years. I do remember that someone called in a strike for the far off ridge. It wasn't too long of a wait and then comes an F-4 Phantom flying really low and fast, releasing a napalm bomb. We could see it falling forward very fast, it hit the ground and a firery explosion that just kept going and going for at least a few hundred yards. It was surreal all that orange, yellow, and black contrasting to the green jungle. We were kicking back smoking cigarettes and watching the show, a good time was had by all, 'cept the NVA that were on that ridge area. I thought to myself, man that would be a nasty way to go, even worse to survive a napalm drop, your body would be one big scar. It's doubtful anyone in the elongated strike area(Kinda like a long burn-out from a muscle car, but with flames and much longer in distance) would have survived. Sayonara.
     
  11. HGGMB

    HGGMB

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    Your recollection reminds me of the scene in Apocalypse Now when Col. Kilgore calls in the napalm strike on the treeline so they can surf.

    You could see the bombs dropping if you look closely.

    I'm not 100% sure, but I think the planes in that scene are F5?
     
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  12. Tomcat1977

    Tomcat1977 "Cynical Little me"

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    Yeah probably Phillipino or maybe Thai. Maybe they got lost over San Antonio.
     
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  13. MulletLoad

    MulletLoad

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    Read the following awhile back. F22 pilot flies the mighty F4, hilarious. ;)
    Reprint from somewhere:

    "colleague who is F22 pilot for the Virginia ANG had honor of flying a Phantom at Eglin. He flew the aircraft we had at the reunion. Here is the F-22 pilot’s thoughts on flying the F-4:

    I flew your jet a couple days ago (see attached). I had a little trouble getting the engines started, so I climbed out and shoveled some more coal in the back; after that she fired right up. Ground ops were uneventful, although I couldn’t figure out why the cockpit smelled like body odor, Jack Daniels and cigars…and that was BEFORE I got in it! By the way, what’s with the no slip crap on top of the intakes, it’s like you have permanent icing conditions due to that spray on rhino truck bed liner on top of the aircraft. It’s no wonder you needed so much coal (I mean thrust) to get airborne.

    Take off scared the sh*t out of me. I lit the burners at brick one and 2 miles and 45 minutes later we were ready to rotate. After barely clearing the tree tops, the gear came up and I climbed away at a VERY impressive 2 degrees nose high. In case you don’t remember, “Trim” is your friend in the F-4 (pretty sure it’s also a good friend on the ground too). Once I got her up to speed and a moderate altitude, we were ready for the G-Ex. Two G-turn’s later and I’m sinking like a rock…the F-4’s energy seems to bleed like Holyfield’s ear in the Tyson fight! After the G-Ex it was time to do a little Advanced Handling Characteristics (AHC) and by “advanced handling” I mean the same crap the Wright Brothers were doing back in 1903…just trying to keep it airborne.

    The jet flies much like my old man’s station wagon used to drive…You turn the wheel (push the stick) a few inches and nothing happens, then all of a sudden the steering kicks in, inertia takes over, and all HELL breaks loose! You’re pretty much along for the ride at that point and only gravity has a real say in your lift vector placement. “Checking 6” was really quite easy…. because you CAN’T! Scratch that off the list of “Sh*t I need to do to keep myself alive in combat today”. Breathing, however, was surprisingly easy in the F-4 when compared to that of the F-22 (thank you Lockheed)…LOX works, who knew!

    I think I may have burned my legs a bit from the steam pouring out from behind the gauges. Where are my 6 mini-flat screen TV’s, I’m lost without my HD jet displays (editors note: actually, I’m an analog guy stuck in a digital world too…I really do like the “steam driven” gauges). After the AHC, I decided to take her up high and do a supersonic MACH run, and by “high” I mean “where never lark nor even eagle flew”; but not much higher, a foot or two maybe. I mean, we weren’t up there high-fiving Jesus like we do in the Raptor, but it was respectable. It only took me the width of the Gulf of Mexico to get the thing turned around while above the Mach. After the Mach run we dropped to the deck and did 600 kts at 500’; a ratllin’ and shakin’ we will go…. I though all the rivets were going to pop out. Reference previous station wagon analogy! Very quickly we were out of gas and headed home.

    As I brought the jet up initial, I couldn’t help but think that the boys who took this thing into combat had to have some pretty big brass you know whats!

    My first F-4 landing was a little rough; sub-standard really by Air Force measure… but apparently “best seen to date” according to the Navy guys. Did you know that there’s no such thing as an aerobrake in the F-4? As soon as the main gear touches down, the nose comes slamming down to the runway with all the force of a meteor hitting the earth….I guess the F-4 aerobrake technique is to dissipate energy via denting the runway.

    Despite an apparently “decent” landing, stopping was a whole different problem. I reached down and pulled the handle to deploy the drogue chute…at which point a large solid mass of canvas, 550 cord, metal weights and cables fell out and began bouncing down the runway; chasing me like a lost puppy and FOD’ing out the whole runway. Perfect. I mashed down on the breaks and I’m pretty sure at this point the jet just started laughing at me. Why didn’t you warn me that I needed a shuttle landing strip to get this damn thing stopped?

    All kidding aside, VERY COOL jet! Must have been a kick to fly back when you were in Vietnam! Just kidding! "
     
  14. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie

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    I had a good friend who flew Phantoms up along (Route) Pack 6 back in the day (pucker factor of 12 at least)... He had some great tales of "OMFG you're (not) kidding".

    R.I.P. Alan.
     
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  15. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Friends Call Me "Flash"

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    At McDonnell Douglas, the F4 Test flights were made on the Tulsa International runway. I saw scores of test flights in 5 1/2 years and my Lead Man was the greatest! He knew when the test flights were scheduled and always assigned me to areas where I'd get a good view. I was actually working while I was watching.

    The flights were almost always the same. The unpainted birds taxied to the far end of the runway and they radioed for "permission to expedite." They began to roll and we heard Boom-Boom as the afterburners kicked in.

    The lights on the forward landing gear began to shake as the bird gained speed ...… until they raised the gear at very low altitude. The bird came by me raising hell, smoking and at high speed at that same very low altitude. Near the end of the runway, they went stick back and climbed at 11 o'clock under afterburner. Looking at the aft end of those birds under full afterburner, was like the Fourth of July! What a thrill!

    One flight went terribly wrong. The F4 turned immediately around and came back in for a landing THE WRONG WAY! The F4 took the arresting cables very close to where I was, the nose lurched down, canopies came up as the Pilot and Radar Officer dropped clipboards, helmets and ran like hell! I was in a control shack for the fuel farm very close to that bird. I ran like hell, too!

    Later, we found out that engine bypass ducting had come loose which set all of the fire warnings red. When they landed, instrumentation said they were on fire! The F4 and the crew were safe. So was Flash!

    Great memories!

    Flash
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
  16. OXMYX

    OXMYX

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  17. 1L26

    1L26

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    Beautiful! I was a F4 fan and when I got assigned to wrench on BUFFs I was disappointed I didn't get to TAC and the F4s. I grew to be very proud of the BUFFs but, still have a soft spot in my heart for the Phantom!

    Thanks for posting that!
     
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  18. ROGER4314

    ROGER4314 Friends Call Me "Flash"

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    I reached down and pulled the handle to deploy the drogue chute…at which point a large solid mass of canvas, 550 cord, metal weights and cables fell out and began bouncing down the runway.

    When the drogue chute failed and all F4 braking was accomplished with the landing gear brakes, the tires would overheat and possibly explode the hubs. That was a real threat to ground crews.

    The first job I did at McDonnell Douglas, was to fabricate three thick steel plates. Each plate had large threaded and sharpened fasteners protruding through the plate.

    When a hot landing took place, the plates were arranged and the aircraft was directed to roll over the plates. The sharpened bolts punctured the F4 tires! I read the SOP (standard operating procedure) for that task. It was official procedure when the F4's were operational.

    Flash
     
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  19. G19Tony

    G19Tony Sneet CLM

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    No fuse plugs in the wheels? That's odd.
     
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  20. cadillacguns

    cadillacguns Millennium Member

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    Got stuck one time overnight at Kunsan AFB in Korea, asked the AF where I could stay the night and they told me the VAQ, just grab a bunk anywhere...........got into it and was about to crash when I discovered it was at the end of the flight line and F-4's took off from there 24/7, noisy buggers.
     
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