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.
RF-4E was manufactured as 69-7514 MSN 4155 in 1969 and between 1971
and 1972 the Bundeswehr replaced their RF-104 with 44 RF-4Es. Now with
the Bundeswehr the aircraft became 35+67 assigned to AufklG 52
(reconnaissance squadron 52). AG 52 was established at Erding in 1959, and
moved to Leck / Stadum in 1964. On December 15, 1993 AG 52 was
deactivated and along with other aircraft 35+67 was sold to Turkey where it
flew with 113 Filo until 2009 when it was stored.
Specifications for the F-4E Phantom II / F-4EJ
They are virtually identical except for the restricted equipment:
This included removal of the in-flight refueling receptacle that was later
retrofitted, no leading edge slats, ground attack control equipment such as
weapons and bomb delivery systems and the addition of modern electronic
equipment including a data link system and radar warning receiver. Most or
all this equipment was eventually reinstalled.
Number Built: F-4E - 5,195 / F-4EJ - 154 with 138 built in Japan under license.
Each aircraft has 54,197 feet of wiring and 643,000 fasteners holding it
2 X General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb.s.t. with
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.
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.
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
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.