Hobby Master 1-72
HA19031 F-4B (F4H-1) Phantom II 148390f, VF-74 "Bedevilers", CVA-59
USS Forrestal, US Navy, 1962

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.

VF-74 “Bedevilers” were the first USN squadron to deploy with the F-4 Phantom II. In July 1961 VF-74 traded their Douglas F4D Skyrays for the F4H-1, later to become the F-4B thereby becoming the “First In Phantom”. During the next twenty years VF-74 would fly three variants of the Phantoms 13 times on Mediterranean cruises and twice to SEA. 148390 was the 75th F-4B constructed for the USN and the USMC. The F-4B was eventually upgraded to F-4N standards.

Specification of the F-4B Phantom II
F4H-1 later became the F-4B

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