Hobby Master 1-72 Air Power
HA19043 F-4B "MiG-17 Kille" 151398, VF-51 "Screaming Eagles", USS Coral Sea , May 1972

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.

F-4B 151398 had served with 5 other squadrons since its 1963 maiden flight and in May 1972 F-4B 151398 belonged to VF-51 "Screaming Eagles" on board the USS Coral Sea. The aircraft was assigned to Lt. Winston “Mad Dog” Copeland and Lt(jg) Dale Arends but on May 10,1972 the aircraft was crewed by Lt. Ken “Ragin Cajun” Cannon and Bud Morris. That day they destroyed a MiG-17 with an AIM-9. Returning from SEA the aircraft was upgraded to an “N” variant and transferred to the VF-161 based in Japan and scrapped in 1993.

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
Performance
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
Weights
Empty - 28,000 pounds
Gross - 44,600 pounds
Combat - 38,500 pounds
Maximum take-off - 54,600 pounds
Dimensions
Wingspan - 38 ft 5 in
Wing area - 530 sq. ft
Length - 58 ft 3.75 in
Height - 16 ft 3 in
Fuel
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
Armament
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