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F-4J Phantom II

First Flight

May 27, 1958


Vietnam Hangar

Dimensions & Capacity

Crew: 2 – Pilot and Weapon System Officer (WSO)
Length: 63 ft 0 in (19.2 m)
Wingspan: 38 ft 5 in (11.7 m)
Height: 16 ft 5 in (5 m)
Empty Weight: 30,328 lb (13,757 kg)
Max Take Off Weight: 61,795 lb (28,030 kg)


Speed: Maximum – 1,280 kn (1,470 mph, 2,370 km/h) at 40,000 ft (12,000 m); Cruise – 510 kn (580 mph, 940 km/h)
Service Ceiling: 60,000 ft (18,000 m)
Range: 370 nmi (420 mi, 680 km)


Static Aircraft


Hardpoints: Up to 18,650 lb on 9 external points, capable of carrying:

Various Ordnance: General/cluster/TV/laser-guided bombs, rocket pods, missiles, gun pods, nuclear weapons, and more.
Specialized Pods: Reconnaissance, targeting, ECM, baggage, and external fuel tanks.

Air-to-Air: 4x AIM-9 Sidewinders (variants carry Python-3, AAM-3, etc.), 4x AIM-7 Sparrow (some variants carry AIM-120 AMRAAM, Skyflash)
Air-to-Ground: 6x AGM-65 Maverick, 4x AGM-62 Walleye, 4x AGM-45 Shrike/AGM-88 HARM/AGM-78 Standard ARM, 4x GBU-15
Bombs: Various (e.g., 18x Mk.82/GBU-12, 5x Mk.84/GBU-10/GBU-14, 18x CBU-87/89/58, nuclear options like B28EX/B61/B43/B57)

Loan Status

This aircraft on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum on behalf of the Navy History and Heritage Command

Serial Number


The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a tandem two-seat, twin-engine, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber originally developed for the United States Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. It first entered service in 1961 with the Navy. Proving highly adaptable, it was also adopted by the United States Marine Corps and the United States Air Force, and by the mid-1960s had become a major part of their air arms. The Phantom is a large fighter with a top speed of over Mach 2.2. It can carry more than 18,000 pounds (8,400 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4, like other interceptors of its time, was initially designed without an internal cannon. Later models incorporated an M61 Vulcan rotary cannon. Beginning in 1959, it set 15 world records for in-flight performance, including an absolute speed record and an absolute altitude record. The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War. It served as the principal air superiority fighter for the U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles late in the war. During the Vietnam War, one U.S. Air Force pilot, two weapon systems officers (WSOs), one U.S. Navy pilot, and one radar intercept officer (RIO) became aces by achieving five aerial kills against enemy fighter aircraft. The F-4 continued to form a major part of U.S. military airpower throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle and F-16 Fighting Falcon in the U.S. Air Force, the F-14 Tomcat in the U.S. Navy, and the F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps.

The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the U.S. in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel (Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses) roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. It was also the only aircraft used by both U.S. flight demonstration teams: the United States Air Force Thunderbirds (F-4E) and the United States Navy Blue Angels (F-4J). The F-4 was also operated by the armed forces of 11 other nations. Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several Arab–Israeli conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms, acquired before the fall of the Shah, in the Iran–Iraq War. Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built, making it the most produced American supersonic military aircraft. As of 2020, 62 years after its first flight, the F-4 remains in service with Iran, Japan, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey. The aircraft has most recently been in service against the Islamic State group in the Middle East. The paint scheme on our F-4J is that of the VF-114 Fighting Aardvarks, with their distinctive Aardvark on the tail – called “Zott” – a resemblance to the cartoon character in the “B.C” comic strip.

Phantom Nicknames
Due to the widespread service of the F-4 Phantom, there was a multitude of nicknames given to the Phantom around the world, such as:

Double Ugly
Worlds Biggest Distributor of MIG Parts (Due to its success in Vietnam against MIGs)
Lead Sled (For the amount of ordnance carried)
St. Louis Slugger (Phantoms were built in St. Louis)
Old Smokey
Phantabulous Phantom
Eisenschwein (“Iron Pig”) – Germany
Fliegender Ziegelstein (“Flying Brick”) – Germany
“Kurnass” (Sledgehammer) – Israel
“Orev” (Raven) – Israel
​The F-4 Crews also gained nicknames such as:

​Phantom Phlyer (Pilot)
Phantom Pherrets (WSOs)
Phantom Phixers (Mechanics)

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