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f4 phantom

First flown in May 1958, the Phantom II originally was developed for U.S. Navy fleet defense and entered service in 1961. The USAF evaluated it for close air support, interdiction, and counter-air operations and, in 1962, approved a USAF version. The USAF's Phantom II, designated F-4C, made its first flight on May 27, 1963. Production deliveries began in November 196. In its air-to-ground role the F-4 can carry twice the normal bomb load of a WW II B-17. USAF F-4s also fly reconnaissance and "Wild Weasel" anti-aircraft missile suppression missions. Phantom II production ended in 1979 after over 5,000 had been built--more than 2,600 for the USAF, about 1,200 for the Navy and Marine Corps, and the rest for friendly foreign nations. In 1965, the first USAF Phantom IIs were sent to Southeast Asia (SEA). f4


  • Span: 38 ft. 5 in. (27 ft. 6 in. folded)
  • Length: 58 ft. 2 in.
  • Height: 16 ft. 6 in.
  • Weight: 58,000 lbs. loaded
  • Armament: Up to 16,000 lbs. of externally carried nuclear or conventional bombs, rockets, missiles, or 20mm cannon pods in various combinations
  • Engine: Two General Electric J-79-GE-15s of 17,000 lbs thrust each with afterburner
  • Crew: Two


  • Maximum speed: 1,400 mph.
  • Cruising speed: 590 mph.
  • Range: 1,750 miles without aerial refueling
  • Service Ceiling: 59,600 ft.

USAF, Navy, and Marine Corps Phantom IIs achieved 277 air-to-air combat victories in Vietnam