RF-4C Phantom II

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Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
Designation: RF-4C
Version: C
Nickname: Phantom II
Type: Fighter
Length: 62' 10"  
Height: 16' 6"  
Wingspan: 38' 5"  
Armament: None. Some later equipped with 4 sidewinder missiles  
Crew: 2  
Cost: $2,260,000  
No. of Engines: 2
Powerplant: General Electric J-79-GE-15
Horsepower (each): 17,000 lbs.
Range: 1,632 miles  
Cruise Speed: 575 mph    
Max Speed: 1,384 Mph    
Ceiling: 55,200 Ft  


The F-4 was designed in 1958 as a company venture by McDonnell Douglas to
meet future needs and it turned into the greatest post World War II fighter ever
built. Considered by some the fastest, most versatile and effective aircraft
ever built. The F-4 was initially designed as an attack bomber without internal
weapons. The Phantom carried a greater bomb load than a B-29, yet was an
effective fighter shooting down 106 out of 137 Migs destroyed in the Vietnam
War. Israel has used F-4's in all of its major confrontations, at one time
shooting down over 70 Syrian aircraft without a Phantom lost. The F-4E was flown
by the US Air Force Demonstration team The Thunderbirds from 1969 through the
mid 1970's.  F-4E's were also flown as aircraft known as Wild Weasels and were
active in the Persian Gulf War.

RF-4 recon aircraft have a longer nose order to carry optical, infrared and
forward looking radar. Over twenty foreign countries have flown the F-4 as
standard front line combat aircraft and the Phantom can match the latest
designed fighters in almost every performance category.

More than 1,200 F-4's have been stored at the Aerospace Maintenance and
Regeneration Center (AMARC) at Davis-Monthan AFB near Tucson, Arizona. Most of
these stored aircraft will eventually be expended as target drones like the
F-86's, F-100's, and F-102's before them.

This RF-4C is the unarmed photo reconnaissance version of the Phantom.  RF's
were used extensively in the Vietnam War and many were lost  to "triple A "
(anti-aircraft artillery) and "SAM's" (surface to air missiles).

This RF-4C is serial number 63-7746.  According to the Air Force Historical
Research Agency (AFHRA/RSA), Maxwell AFB, AL, the museum's RF-4C has the
following history: 

- Manufactured by McDonnell Aircraft, St. Louis MO and gained by the USAF on
22 Sep 1964.

- Jan 1965 --- To AF Missile Development Center (AF Systems Command),
Holloman AFB NM

- Jan 1967 --- To 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (Tactical Air Command),

- Sep 1971 --- To 187th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (Air National Guard),
Dannelly Field, Montgomery AL

- Feb 1983 --- To 67th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing (TAC), Bergstrom AFB TX

- Jan 1990 --- To 155th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (ANG), Lincoln MAP NE

- Jul 1990 --- To 163rd Tactical Reconnaissance Group (ANG), March AFB CA

- (Last assignment located. 5491.7 airframe hours)

Prior to its arrival at the museum, this RF-4C was used as a Bomb Damage
Repair (BDR) aircraft while assigned to the 163rd TFG, California Air National
Guard, here at March AFB. It is substantially intact, including optics,
avionics, ejection seats and engines. The aircraft was retired in August 1996
and placed on exhibit at the museum. This aircraft is on loan from the USAF.