Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19042 F-4F Phantom II "Norm 81" 38+56, JG 71 "Richthofen", GAFTIC 86,
CFB Goose Bay, Canada, May 1986

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a two-seat, supersonic long-range all-weather fighter-bomber. The aircraft was designed as a USN Fleet defense aircraft and entered service in 1961. The F-4 soon became one of the few aircraft to be utilized by the USN, USAF and USMC. The Phantom could carry a varied payload and armament so it was well suited to do just about any job. Because of its large nose and ruggedness the F-4 earned the nickname “Rhino”, along with others that were less flattering. The F-4 went on to serve in no less than 11 other countries. Production ended in 1979 with 5,201 aircraft manufactured in 14 different versions.

JG 71 "Richthofen" converted from the F-104G to the F-4F beginning March 1974 and completed by 1975. Various paint schemes had been used by the Luftwaffe but in 1982 and onward the standard scheme was the “Norm 81”. In the 1970s and 80s NATO countries adopted low-level flying to avoid radar detection. With Europe being heavily populated it made it almost impossible to fulfill this role so to accomplish this, Germany and others were based at Goose Bay Labrador that provided 294,000 km of airspace with a population of less than 30,000.

F-4F specifications
Manufacturer: McDonnell-Douglas
Type: Fighter/Ground Attack
Crew: 2
Height - 5.01 m
Length - 19.40 m
Wing Span - 11.70 m
Empty - 21,950 kg.
Max T/O weight - 27,300 kg
Engines – 2 X J79-MTU-17A engines were built under license from General Electric by Motoren-und-Turbinenen-Union Munchen GmBH.
Thrust - 5,308 kg (8,120 kg with A/B)
Max speed - Mach 2.23 @ 12,500 m
Initial Climb Rate - 41,000 ft/min (210 m/s)
4 x AIM-120A AMRAMM air-to-air Missiles
The F-4F originally lacked the capability of carrying nuclear weapons and it could not carry or launch certain air-to-ground missiles such as the Maverick, Shrike, or Walleye. The design that finally emerged was 3300 pounds lighter than the stock F-4E. The number 7 fuselage fuel tank was removed and all Sparrow equipment was eliminated. The AN/APQ-120 radar was simplified, with no beacon search or constant wave illuminator being provided for Sparrow or Falcon missile launches. Although no in-flight re-fuelling receptacle was initially fitted, the internal plumbing needed for midair re-fuelling was installed at the factory.