Great video. Thanks for posting. The first time I saw a F4 Phantom fly they were painted like this:
Great video. Thanks for posting. The first time I saw a F4 Phantom fly they were painted like this:
Late 70's I did 2 Med deployments aboard the Saratoga (CV60). Us and the Forrestal were the last operational carriers with Phantoms. Leaky bastards. What was the old adage about the F-4? " proof that if you apply enough horsepower, you can make a rock fly".
Yeah I was in the area at the time and there were a lot of F4's on the NATO bases.
When we had to film a Titan missile going up only a Phantom could stay with it long enough to shoot the film. Thats how fast they were, we had some of the older J79s that smoked like all get out.
Gulf-1 was their final dance. The F4 Wild Weasel's just smoked the Iraqi SAM sites eventually making them terrified to even turn them on.
One of the all time greats.
The Ford 1 Ton of fighters.
My best friend in high school was an F-4 pilot.
Beautiful video. Thanks for posting. I always thought the F-4 just looked “right”
F-4 did great things in Nam.
An Army friend of mine had his and his squads 'bacon' saved by an F-4 driver. Two guys in my pilot training class were shot down flying F-4's.
One guy was a POW at the Hanoi Hilton from 67 until the POW's were released. He has a website which I've visited. The other guys remains were found in 1988.
General Robin Olds flew many heroic missions over there. Just search his name. Here's one hit.
Edited to add: A Bomb Wing Commander of mine was Robin's back seater for a while. That was in the days when the (GIB) 'Guy In the Back seat' was a fully rated pilot. That commander also retired as a Lt General. He was a great guy and I enjoyed having a staff job under his command. He also has a website.
Proof, "tanks can fly".
Thanks for posting - a good friend flew them in Vietnam - that was his phrase.
At my first job out of college in 1988, our Coporate Operations Manager, Bill Rath, was a Marine F4 Pilot in Vietnam. He was huge and one of the last men of his stature Uncle Sam allowed in a cockpit. In addition to that, he is brilliant. Thanks for sharing.
I've been on both those CV's.
Sara was based outta Mayport. You should have seen the Tomcat land on her.
Good posting OXMYX.
My only comment is on what may be a technical error early in the video. I don't think those were 1,000 pound bombs being loaded onto the F-4's. Not unless they made them in a different configuration for fighters, than what I was familiar with.
The one thousand pound bombs I'm familiar with, were bigger. We occasional carried 1,000 pounders early on in the war. But generally even in the B-52, 750's were the biggest bombs we carried. And they were quite a bit fatter.
I could be wrong?
My dad told me about getting close air support from a flight of F4s that were so low their afterburners lit the treetops on fire.
I was about 8 or 9 and was going to be a fighter pilot, so I asked my mom to walk me to the Air Force recruiting station so I could talk to the recruiters. They were nice enough to give me some color prints of F-4s and F-5s they had on hand. The F-4 was always one of my favorites. We used to see them flying around over my neighborhood in Philly, either from Maguire AFB or Willow Grove NAS. I once saw a pretty low fly-by with a B-52 with four F-4s in formation (had to be an air show at WG NAS). I always stopped to watch when I heard their engines.
Robin Olds was my Wing Commander at RAF Bentwaters /RAF Woodbridge - 81st TFW in Ipswich, England in early 1960's. A heck of a nice man. He and Daniel "Chappie" James were some Bad Dudes!
Blackman and Robin. You should read Robins book.
Did a little searching and found this account of a dog fight that Olds and my former wing commander were in when General Croker was a junior officer.
Roger that, I always thought that the F-4 looked like a 5000 gallon tanker with stub wings.
It’s predecessor, the handsome Republic F-105 may still be the fastest fighter ever made beneath 10,000 feet.
One of the pilots I fly with is a former Air Force test pilot who flew the “Thud” in Vietnam in the “Wild Weasel” mission, a pre-requisite for which is titanium testicles.
Last I heard, they are painting the nose, tail, and wingtips orange , flying them to Florida for Target practice.
All the F-4's have been shot down. They're using F-16's now.
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.
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.
It serves a purpose, but man, that's too bad.
It was all the F-100's before that.
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.
As a kid, my first model airplane was a Phantom f4e. Always been my favorite.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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?
Yeah probably Phillipino or maybe Thai. Maybe they got lost over San Antonio.
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! "
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".
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!
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!
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.
No fuse plugs in the wheels? That's odd.
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.
When we were stationed in Europe during the 60's and 70's my Dad was in Photo Intel and he poured over a lot of film footage from RF-4 Phantoms.
He eventually went on to write Protocol for Photo Intelligence for the DOD. I got some cool paperwork with the letter from DOD somewhere. The wife knows where it is.
I've got a cool Masonic Lodge ring in the same briefcase from him.
Thanks for bringing back good memories G19. Its getting blurry in here now. Damn old eyes.
We spent some time at RAF Upper Heyford and RAF Alconbury right about the same time. We did some TDY over to RAF Mildenhall during our stay there too.
A long time ago, I knew a guy that flew RF-4C's in Vietnam. He was shot down on one mission and spent some time in hostile territory before getting rescued. After his medical recuperation, he got a got job flying Blackbirds, a little higher and a little faster.
We farmed just west of Lambert Airport where McDonald Douglas was cranking out F-4s and it was very common to see and hear F-4's flying out to the west and on their way to Vietnam I guess. Later on when F-15s started to fly out from the factory I quickly learned the difference in their engine sounds. The F-4 was very different from the F-15.
We didn't live on a farm but in a nice suburb of St. Louis where 90% of the neighbors were employed at McDonald Douglas on various projects.
At one point they had a crazy amount of f-4’s in the grave yard. All gone now.
Dad was stationed at Hurlbert and Eglin from 67-74. I used to see and hear F-4's a lot. One time there was a fire power demonstration at Hurlbert and families were invited to attend. Bleachers for the visitors were set up in a very long field. At the far end of the field were some grass huts simulating a Vietnamese village. The event took place as the sun was starting to set. A C-130 gunship (I think they called it Puff the magic dragon) circled wide, raining tracer rounds from mini guns on the village. This was followed by some F-4's dropping napalm that engulfed the entire village in a big fireball. It was an impressive demonstration.
Dad said some of the reconnaissance photographs were taken by F-4's flying just over the tree tops at a high speed. He said some of the VC's surprised facial expressions were interesting.
"F4 Pilot Drone Demonstration Team"
"Cal Worthington's F4's For Sale"
I'll see your "Airforce and Marines" and raise you One NAVY! 1st time I ever saw one it was Blue and Gold, at Annapolis, June Week. Forget the year though... Website says 1969-1974. Lived in Annapolis and got to see them every year, through every change. But, that's for another thread...
T-38 Talons are very cool (supersonic) airplanes. Thornton Aviation has a low time example for sale that I'm going to have parked in my garage just as soon as I hit Lotto.