Hobby Master 1-72
HA19024 F-4J Phantom II 153887, VMFA-235 "Death Angels", 1972

Starting in 1973 the Japan Air Self-Defense Force received 154 F-4EJ Phantoms that were based on the USAF F-4E. 138 of these aircraft were manufactured under license by Mitsubishi who produced the last F-4 Phantom II. Several changes were made to the F-4E to make it an F-4EJ. Basically it had any offensive weapons removed but eventually these restrictions were lifted and the aircraft were updated with missiles and the latest electronic equipment.

VMF(AW)-235 first deployed to Vietnam in 1966 flying the F-8E Crusader and during a 10 month deployment flew over 6,000 combat sorties. In 1967 they returned to Vietnam until May 1968 when they left for MCAS Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii and were re-designated VMFA-235 “Death Angels”. They re-equipped with the F-4J Phantom II which they flew until 1989 when they transitioned to the F/A-18 Hornet. F-4J 153887 c/n 2503 left VMFA-235 in 1977 and was later upgraded to an F-4S. In 1991 the aircraft was converted to a drone and shot down in 2001.

Specifications for the F-4E Phantom II / F-4EJ
They are virtually identical except for the restricted equipment: This included removal of the in-flight refueling receptacle that was later retrofitted, no leading edge slats, ground attack control equipment such as weapons and bomb delivery systems and the addition of modern electronic equipment including a data link system and radar warning receiver. Most or all this equipment was eventually reinstalled.
Number Built: F-4E - 5,195 / F-4EJ - 154 with 138 built in Japan under license.
Interesting trivia:
Each aircraft has 54,197 feet of wiring and 643,000 fasteners holding it together.
Engines:
2 X General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb.s.t. with afterburner.
Performance:
Maximum speed - 1430 mph at 36,000 feet (Mach 2.21), 914 mph at sea level (Mach 1.19). Cruising speed - 585 mph. Landing speed - 158 mph. Initial climb rate - 61,400 feet per minute. Service ceiling - 62,250 feet. Combat ceiling - 59,600 feet. Combat range - 595 miles. Normal range - 1,100 miles. Maximum range – 1,885 miles with maximum external fuel.
Weights:
Empty - 29,535 pounds. Gross - 40,562 pounds. Combat weight - 38,019 pounds. Maximum takeoff weight - 61,651 pounds.
Dimensions:
Wingspan - 38 feet 5 inches. Wing area - 530 square feet. Length - 63 feet 0 inches. Height - 16 feet 6 inches.
Fuel:
Maximum internal fuel in the fuselage tanks - 1364 US gallons (up to block 40) or 1225 US gallons (block 41 and beyond). An additional 630 gallons of fuel could be carried in internal tanks inside the wings. Maximum external fuel - 600 US gallons in a centerline tank carried underneath the fuselage. Plus 370 US gallons in each of two tanks carried underneath the outer wing pylons. Total fuel load – 3,334 US gallons (up to block 40) or 3,195 US gallons (block 41 and beyond).
Armament:
1 X 20-mm M61A1 cannon with 639 rounds. 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. A total offensive load of up to 16,000 pounds could be carried on the centerline and four under-wing hard-points.