|The McDonnell Douglas F-4 was the main multipurpose aircraft for the US Military for 20
years. The F-4E variant was an improved version of the C/D with an elongated nose
and compact radar. These two things made it possible to install a 20mm M61A1 6 barrel
1387 aircraft being made over its 12 year production period. The “E” also equipped
more air forces than any other variant of the Phantom II.
In 1963 the Australian Government decided to order a replacement aircraft for their
aging English Electric Canberra bombers. The aircraft of choice was the General
Dynamics F-111 that was still in the developmental stages with delivery to begin in
1968. 1968 and 1969 came and went and the F-111 program was still encountering
problems and delivery date could possibly be as late as 1974. Finally in June 1970 the
Australian Government had reached an agreement to lease 24 F-4E Phantom II’s for two
years at a cost of $34 million US with the option to buy the F-4’s at a cost of $12 million
US per aircraft if the F-111 program was cancelled.
One month later USAF Maintenance Training Teams began arriving in Australia and
aircrews went to the US for their training. In September 1970 the various crews had
completed their respective conversion training. On September 14th 1970 5 F-4E’s
arrived at RAAF Amberley led by 69-0306 piloted by Wing Commander Roy Frost, C/O
of 6 Sqn, RAAF. Each aircraft was fitted with a 600 US gallon center-line ferry tank, wing
mounted 370 US gallon drop tanks and MXU-648 travel pods attached to the port inner
wing pylon. Every aircraft was a new 1969 model right from the factory and wearing the
standard USAF Technical Order 1-1-4 camouflage, better known as the “Vietnam or
SEA (South East Asia)” paint schemes. The aircraft arrived with the USAF Serial
Number in black on the tail fin with the last one or two digits of the serial number in white
being applied to the side of the fuselage at a later date. These numbers would make for
easier RAAF identification. There was no squadron markings added to these aircraft.
RAAF Phantom's had the honor of participating in RAAF 50th Anniversary Air Shows
held throughout Australia during 1971.
On October 25th,1972 with the lease up the first six RAAF Phantom's, of which 69-0305
was one were flown by USAF crews and returned to the United States where all the
RAAF leased F-4’s would eventually be converted to “G” series aircraft. Finally on June
22nd 1973 the last two Phantom's departed for their US home. After only 2 years 9
months and 3 days the Phantoms had come and gone from RAAF service.
A brief history for F-4E 69-0305 “05”
Built under contract number 3848 the aircraft first flew on June 24 1970.
It departed the US for Australia on September 14 1970 and arrived on September 19
The aircraft was assigned to 6 Squadron at RAAF Amberley.
05 participated in the RAAF 50th Anniversary Airshow at RAAF Richmond in April 1971.
October 1972 the aircraft was returned to the USAF and converted to an F-4G
The aircraft participated in “Operation Provide Comfort” in 1991. This was to provide
support and defense for the Kurds in northern Iraq who were facing annihilation by
Saddam Hussein forces.
05 flew its last operational mission during Operation Provide Comfort.
The aircraft was transferred to AMARC on April 9 1996 under AMARC # AAFP1044.
(Aerospace Maintenance And Regeneration Center), is a joint service facility managed
by the US Air Force Material Command located in Tucson, Arizona, USA. This facility is
often referred to as “The Boneyard”. AMARC provides an aerospace storage and
maintenance facility for aircraft that are not required for service at this time. Being
located in the desert there is a very low humidity to threaten any corrosion and some
aircraft can be prepared quickly to return to service if needed and others can be used
for spare parts.
05 was removed from AMARC and converted to a QF-4G (target drone) serial number
On June 3, 2000 at White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico the story of 69-0305
ended when the aircraft crashed without being shot down.
Specifications McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
Engines - 2 X General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets
Thrust – 11,870 lb. st dry, 17,900 lb. st with afterburners
Maximum internal fuel - fuselage tanks 1,364 US gallons (up to block 40) and 1,225 US
gallons (from block 41 on).
Additional - 630 gallons of fuel in internal wing tanks.
External fuel load - 600 US gallons centerline tank
Additional - 370 US gallons tanks under each wing attached to the outer pylon
Total fuel load - 3334 US gallons (up to block 40) or 3195 US gallons (from block 41 on)
Maximum speed – 1,430 mph at 36,000 ft (Mach 2.21) / 914 mph at sea level (Mach
Cruising speed – 585 mph
Landing speed – 158 mph
Initial climb rate – 61,400 fpm
Service ceiling – 62,250 ft
Combat ceiling – 59,600 ft
Combat range - 595 miles
Maximum range - 1885 miles with maximum external fuel
Empty - 29,535 lbs
Gross - 40,562 lbs
Combat - 38,019 lbs
Take off - 61,651 lbs
Wingspan - 38 ft 5 in
Wing area - 530 sq ft
Length - 63 ft 0 in
Height - 16 ft 6 in
1 X 20-mm M61A1 cannon with 639 rounds in an under-nose gondola
4 X AIM-7 Sparrow semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles in semi-recessed slots in
the fuselage belly
2 to 4 X AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red homing air-to-air missiles carried under the wings on
the inboard pylons
Total offensive load of up to 16,000 pounds could be carried on the centerline and four
|Hobby Master 1/72 Air Power Series
McDonnell-Douglas F- 4E Phantom II
Royal Australian Air Force, No. 6 Squadron, 1970
|THESE PICTURES ARE
PRE-PRODUCTION PICTURES ONLY,
THEY ARE NOT THE FINISHED MODEL
|HOBBY MASTER COLLECTOR