Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19035 RF-4EJ "501st Squadron Retirement Scheme"
67-6380, JASDF, 2020
The 501st TRS was the JASDF’s only Recon Squadron. It was formed in December 1961 and uses the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker as it emblem. In 1972 the JASDF decided to replace their RF86F with 14 RF-4Es and formed a detachment at Hyakuri AB to handle the new aircraft. The first F-4Es were numbered 6901- 6914 and began arriving throughout 1974 and 1975. For operation over the water 6901, 6905 and 6913 were given a special Ocean Blue scheme while converted F-4EJ and F-4EL Kai were painted in green/gray Forest scheme.
The JASDF 501st Squadron was formed December 1, 1961 flying 10 RF-86F Sabre aircraft. Built by Mitsubishi in 1976 as an F-4EJ c/n M080 serial 67-8380 was later converted to an RF-4EJ and renumbered as 67-6380 assigned to the 501st Hikotai. On March 9, 2020 the last flight of the RF-4EJ took place as well as a retirement ceremony for this type of aircraft as well as the disbanding of the 501st. RF-4EJ 67-6380 wore what looks like a roll of 35mm film marking the fact that the unit operated from 1961 until 2020.
Specifications for the F-4E Phantom II / RF-4E
RF-4E - Unarmed reconnaissance version for export only. Retrofitted by most customers to carry weapons.
RF-4E Maiden Flight – September 1970
Number Built: F-4E - 5,195.
Each aircraft has 54,197 feet of wiring and 643,000 fasteners holding it together.
Empty - 29,535 pounds. Gross - 40,562 pounds. Combat weight - 38,019 pounds. Maximum takeoff weight - 61,651 pounds.
Wingspan - 38 feet 5 inches. Wing area - 530 square feet. Length - 63 feet 0 inches. Height - 16 feet 6 inches.
2 X General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb.s.t. with afterburner.
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. 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).
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.