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F-4 Phantom

Old 28th Feb 2009, 13:02
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Nov 1999
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At the height of the war, as this was, it's surely inconceivable that the Air Force didn't take the chance to do exchanges in the opposite direction with a view to RAF crew flying live combat missions in the Vietnam War. Can anyone comment?
There were a few RAF crew doing exchanges with the US, but they certainly were not allowed into Vietnam. Even transport crews were only allowed partway across the Pacific.
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Old 28th Feb 2009, 20:36
  #42 (permalink)  
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Oh dear! Just when you thought it was safe your memory banks are fired up again by a post! Wildenrath 1978 ish.....I remember one evening in winter It was just about dark and we had an F4 returning from Deci. We were on the westerly runway. The aircraft was just about down when the reheat came on and it did a very slow overshoot. The pilot had taken the steel hawser that was the upper cable of the barrier across both his main wheels and actually pulled out one of the stanchions. The reheat set fire to the vertical strips as he climbed slowly towards the flats on the Wassenberg road. We thought he was going straight for the Heinsberg ejecting area but he called for an undercarriage inspection and turned downwind. As he came by the tower nice and slow and low we lit the FGIs for a better look. I remember seeing the aircraft coming up the taxiway past 60 Sqn hangar with one of the steel hawser ends whipping along the taxiway creating a load of sparks and a met man running out of the met office towards the taxiway for a better look. He obviously decided, quite late, the he didn't want to be decapitated and and ran back to the relative safety of the Ops building. As the aircraft came by the tower we got a good look at the mess around the wheels and informed the pilot of the situation. Give him his due - he seemed pretty sanguine about it and went off towards the east - we thought to eject. Not so - he dumb-belled back and took the downwind cable! A good end. There was some discussion for a few weeks after the event that they had considered jumping over the side but the nav was festooned with train sets from Deci and couldn't do it. Pure speculation I suppose. At the subsequent Inquiry blame was initially laid completely on the controller for raising the approach barrier into the standby position. However, the pilot did not see any red light showing into the approach that would identify the barrier was up. He was adamant that the barrier was down and was indicating down in the tower. Anyway, to cut a long story short the finding was reviewed because the was a spate at the time of several incidents notified with barriers self raising into the standby position. Anyway, just another F4 musing.............
Interesting to hear but just to put the record straightand not getting into the blame game - it was about 1980. The upper barrier cable lodged over the top of the gun. Luckily most of the ironmongery burned off as the burners went in and most of the concrete fell away. I know because it nearly landed on my moped at the 09 threshold. BTW the jet was on recovery from an Ample Gain and the boxes were merely "cabin baggage". I won't name the Nav

The sad sequel is that the pilot was Hylton Price who died recenlty in the Grob crash in Wales. A better feat of airmanship we'll never see. RIP Hylton.
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Old 28th Feb 2009, 21:58
  #43 (permalink)  
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Vividly remember getting shown round the jet for the first time by a grizzly Flm. He told me to get in the back seat whilst he put power on, having dutifully checked what seemed like dozens of seat and canopy pins, I got in. He warned me spcifically not to touch a thing, as a fresh faced JT not wishing to blot his copy book at such an early juncture, I needed no such urging. With the A/C now live he jumped into the front seat, as I glanced infront of me at the Nav kit I was alarmed to see a flashing red light at eye level with the legend EJECT on it.

I hard all sorts of commotion from the front, and not wanting to stay to find out, I got up and out in fairly short order. Charging down the steps and onto the pan in barely controlled panic.

Gathering my senses I looked round to see 3 other Flm's creased over in laughter at my antics and looking back upto the front seat saw my tour guide laughing like a drain too.

My introduction to the front seat operated EJECT command light for use during loss of comms ! It had of course no other use than to let the back seater know he would be on his own in a second or too.

Then there was the time they trapped me behind the radar.....ahh fun times
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Old 1st Mar 2009, 01:39
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2007
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Phantom over Vietnam - John Trotti
In my opinion easily the best memoir of flying the 'toom. if you're sorting out your hliday reading I can't recommend this book enough.
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Old 1st Mar 2009, 02:09
  #45 (permalink)  
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YouTube - Cam Ranh Bay: What the Captain Means
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Old 1st Mar 2009, 03:24
  #46 (permalink)  
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Great aircraft! Nice big wing, huge target cockpit and the lumbering inability to out-turn a fallen tree; all excellent features to get some REALLY good guns tracking video
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Old 1st Mar 2009, 12:17
  #47 (permalink)  
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Semaphore Sam,

Thank you SO much for digging that out! Took me back a long way. It was a rather popular ditty in it's day but was not so easy to play back in the day when reel to reel tape decks and 16mm movies were the cutting edge.
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Old 1st Mar 2009, 18:46
  #48 (permalink)  
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Lovely stuff. - Mount Kent, late august '86

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Old 1st Mar 2009, 20:13
  #49 (permalink)  
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Not me - check my logbook CAS.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 11:20
  #50 (permalink)  

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Regarding the shape of the Phantoms wings, with the 'bend' at the wing tip. Years ago I worked in St. Louis and had a mate who worked for McD. who told me a tale he had been told by one of the old engineers as to how it had come about.

The story was they were doing some wind tunnel tests on the aircraft and while they were carrying the model they were using into the wind-tunnel it got dropped and the wing tip got bent. After some discussion they decided that this shouldn't affect the tests they were doing (which were on the nose area, forward of the damage) so they would carry on with the tests. When the tunnel was switched on though they found the model 'flew' asymetrically, with more lift on the bent wing. Further experimentation showed the bent wing was more efficient and the whole aircraft ended up with the final shape.

Always suspected that one should have 'Urban Myth' stamped on it in large letters but, given that there was a lot less in the way of design aids (no computers to speak of for instance) back then it could be true.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 11:44
  #51 (permalink)  
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AR1 - Of a similar note,

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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 11:56
  #52 (permalink)  
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The story was they were doing some wind tunnel tests on the aircraft and while they were carrying the model they were using into the wind-tunnel it got dropped and the wing tip got bent.
Nice one - but;

Over the next four months problems popped up and were solved. The new configuration no longer allowed room for a low set horizontal stabilizer so it was raised and given 23 degrees of anhedral. Providing stability while still avoiding the hot jet efflux. In a similar way wind tunnel tests showed that there was not enough dihedral in the wings. With the centre section a single 27 foot span, immensely strong, the solution was to re-engineer the outboard panels to have 12 degrees dihedral for an average of 5 degrees across the span. It was a common sense approach and gave the Phantom its characteristic bent wing appearance.

The Fabulous Phantom. Wings 83.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 18:34
  #53 (permalink)  
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Thanks Semaphore. Haven't heard that for decades. And the recording quality is exactly the same as when I first heard it.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 19:35
  #54 (permalink)  
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"There were a few RAF crew doing exchanges with the US, but they certainly were not allowed into Vietnam. Even transport crews were only allowed partway across the Pacific."

One RN crew - on exchange with VF-121 at Miramar - certainly delivered a USMC Phantom to Vietnam in the late sixties. They opened the refuelling probe when they arrived in Da Nang to reveal a Union Jack they'd wrapped round before leaving on the last leg of the journey. Just there for a couple of days. No combat.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 19:55
  #55 (permalink)  
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Real jets - big, noisy, dirty and beautiful, I had the privilege to woosh around the sky in XT866 in April 1981 when my squadron (43 F) were on detachment to Akrotiri. Drop-tankless, slippery as hell, Mach 0.9 at the top of the burner climb. Lots of the groundcrew were lucky enough to get a trip, not many were girls, but this (now getting pretty middle aged I've got to say!) girl did and it was awesome, like belting around with a rocket strapped to your arse. Won't ever forget it.
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Old 2nd Mar 2009, 21:28
  #56 (permalink)  
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I can comment from no experience beyond basic knoweldge of looks, but what I will say on that note is that it, in my view, was one of the last fighters that looked like a fighter....big, deadly, powerful. More modern aircraft look too clinical, all very clean and kinda powerful, but the f-4 just looks like it wants a fight.

Does that make any sense whatsoever?

TO digress a bit, i've always loved the lines on the A7 Corsairs and A-1 Skyraiders, I think both have a short nosed, stubby but purposeful look that if i were an infantryman i'd appreciate!
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 03:42
  #57 (permalink)  
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F4 was one of my favorites, but you cant beat the F-8 for looks.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 04:27
  #58 (permalink)  
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My favorite too

If looks can kill, it's the [McDonnell] F4 Phantom. The meanest looking bad dog on the ramp; and it's got all the noise [GE-J79s] to go with it.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 19:02
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2007
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The Phantom a good aircraft?

In 1967, it could carry a full rocket/bomb load, have two sorts of AAMs, could detect a MiG 15/17 (its main opponent) head on at low level and at 20 miles and shoot them down before the F4 had even been detected and finally deliver a nuke at pretty long range (for a fighter).

As one instructor (Griggles) said to me, "If you get to the target and its been nuked, what do you do".

Answer - nuke it again!!

It also was the best and meanest looking of the lot. Hunter, beautiful but hornless;Lightning, fast quick handjob but no weapons or fuel; F3, OMG don't even ask.

Last edited by BSweeper; 3rd Mar 2009 at 19:56.
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Old 3rd Mar 2009, 20:32
  #60 (permalink)  
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Westie - F8 as in Bearcat, or F-8 as in Crusader?

Both were great aircraft!

BSweeper - Griggles, what a character he was! No longer of this earth though, I understand?
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