Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19034 F-4J Phantom II "Mig-21 Killer" 157245, VF-114 Aardvarks, USS Kitty Hawk, 1972

The F-4J was the last version produced for the USN and USMC. The “J” version was basically an upgraded “B” version with new radar and avionics as well as a better the “J” version is what isn’t there; the infrared seeker under the nose was deleted. Also missing was an internal gun but Sparrow and Sidewinder missiles were used for intercepting. Between 1966 and 1972 there were 522 F-4Js built. The F-4J had the distinction of scoring the only USMC air-to-air combat victory in Vietnam and it also was the last US operational aircraft inSouth East Asia. In mid 1970 the F-4 Phantom II was being replaced by the new and improved F-14 Tomcat.

The VF-114 “Aardvarks” squadron was deployed to Vietnam from February 1972 until December 1972. F-4J 157245 was delivered to the USN on September 24, 1972 and was assigned to VF-114 “Aardvarks”. On May 6, 1972 2 VF-114 aircraft encountered 4 MiG-21s and after a lot of maneuvering both F-4s downed a MiG-21. One of the F-4Js was 157245. This aircraft spent 6 years with VF-114 and completed two combat tours. In January 1976 VF-114 began converting to the F-14 so 157245 was transferred to VF-51 “Screaming Eagles”.

Specification for the F- 4J
Performance
Engines: 2 X General Electric J79-GE-8B/8C/10 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb. s.t. with afterburner. (lb.s.t. - Pounds Static Thrust)
Maximum speed: 1,584 mph at 48,000 ft. (Mach 2.4), 875 mph at sea level (Mach 1.15)
Initial climb rate: 41,250 fpm.
Service ceiling: 70,000 ft.
Combat ceiling: 54,700 ft.
Combat range: 596 miles, maximum range 1,956 miles with maximum external fuel.
Weights
30,770 lbs empty. 46,833 lbs gross. 41,399 lbs combat weight.
Dimensions
Wingspan: 38 ft. 5 in. Wing area: 530 square ft. Length: 58 ft. 3.75 in. Height: 16 ft. 3 in.
Fuel
Maximum internal fuel: in fuselage tanks 1,347 US gal.
Internal wing tanks: 630 gal.
Maximum external fuel: 3,317 US gal.
600 US gal in a centerline tank, 370 US gal in each of two tanks that could be carried underneath the outer under wing pylons.
Armament
4 X AIM-7 Sparrow semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles in semi-recessed slots in the fuselage belly.
2 X to 4 AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red homing air-to-air missiles carried under the wings on the inboard pylons.
Maximum offensive load of up to 16,000 lbs carried on the centerline and 4 under wing hard points