Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19014 McDonnell Douglas F-4N Phantom II 152323, VMFA-531 "Gray Ghosts", USS Coral Sea

One of the most famous and easily recognized fighter aircraft of the post-WWII era was the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. This aircraft was developed as a private venture by the aircraft company but was soon ordered by the USN as a carrier-based attack aircraft. Its first flight took place on May 27, 1958 and it entered active service in December 1960. It wasn’t long after the F-4B appeared that a fly-off was set up with USAF front-line fighters. It was no contest, the F-4 performed so well that the USAF ordered their own variant, the F-4C. As time went on, the F-4 evolved into well over a dozen variants.

McDonnell Douglas F-4 15232 was produced as a “B” variant originally serving as the VF-14 “Top Hatters” CAG aircraft. Prior to transferring to the VMFA-531 “Grey Ghosts” in 1976 152323 was upgraded to an “N” variant. In November 1979 VMFA-531 deployed to the Indian Ocean for a 102 day deployment on board the USS Coral Sea. After supporting the Iranian Crisis VMFA-531 returned to El Toro in June 1980. On May 29, 1984 the “Grey Ghosts” received new F/A-18 Hornets and the last Marine F-4N was retired in 1985.

F-4N Upgrades Applied To F-4B
Structurally Upgraded
Complete New Wiring
New Electrical System
F-4J Slotted Stabilator
Inboard Leading-Edge Flaps Locked Shut
New Counter-Measures Equipment
Long Antenna Fairings On Upper Air Intake
Specification of the F-4B Phantom II
Number of “B” variant built for USN and USMC - 649
Engines – 2 x General Electric J79-GE-8A/-8B/-8C turbojets, 10,900 lb.s.t. dry, 17,000 lb.s.t. with afterburner
Maximum speed @ Sea level - 845 mph
@ 48,000 ft - 1,485 mph
Initial climb rate - 28,000 fpm
Service ceiling - 62,000 ft
Combat ceiling - 56,850 ft.
Combat range
Normal - 400 miles
Maximum range – 2,300 miles with maximum fuel load
Empty - 28,000 pounds Gross - 44,600 pounds Combat - 38,500 pounds Maximum take-off - 54,600 pounds
Wingspan - 38 ft 5 in Wing area - 530 sq. ft Length - 58 ft 3.75 in Height - 16 ft 3 in
Maximum fuel load Internal in fuselage – 1,358 U.S. Gallons Internal in wings – 630 U.S. Gallons Total external fuel load – 1,988 U.S. Gallons Maximum external fuel load In center-line tank under the fuselage - 600 U.S. Gallons In 2 x under-wing tanks - 740 U.S. Gallons Combined fuel load – 3,328 U.S. Gallons
4 x AIM-7D or -7E Sparrow semi-active radar homing missiles in under-fuselage recesses
Inner under-wing pylons could each accommodate an additional Sparrow or a pair of AIM-9 Sidewinder infrared homing missiles In ground attack mode, could carry up to 16,000 pounds of ordnance on centerline pylon underneath the fuselage and on four under-wing hard-points