Skip to comments.PICTURE: German air force to bid 'Pharewell' to last F-4Fs
Posted on 06/26/2013 2:09:54 PM PDT by sukhoi-30mki
PICTURE: German air force to bid 'Pharewell' to last F-4Fs
Germany will retire its last operational McDonnell Douglas F-4F Phantom IIs on 29 June, with the veteran type's duties having been assumed by Eurofighter units.
After almost 40 years of service, the final interceptors will be retired during a decommissioning event to be staged at the Luftwaffe's Wittmund air base.
The final German examples are operated by the air force's JG 71 "Richthofen" squadron, which was also the first to begin flying the type, in March 1974. Delivered in 1973, its first F-4F, 37+01, received a special livery for the occasion.
A total of 263 Phantoms were acquired by Germany, the air force says, including 88 in the RF-4E reconnaissance configuration, from 1971.
Flightglobal's MiliCAS database shows Germany's retirement of the Phantom will reduce the global frontline fleet of the type to 431 aircraft, operated by the air forces of Egypt, Greece, Iran, Japan, South Korea and Turkey. The US Air Force also has more than 150 examples, which have been adapted for use as QF-4 aerial targets.
I’ve heard the 60 year old F4s perform better than our new strike fighters.
The F-4 is an absolutely awesome airplane. Sad to see it go wherever it is.
Basically an airframe wrapped around the biggest pair of engines available in 1960.
You mean that somebody is still operating the Flying Hog?
Met some Luftwaffe pilots at the Dayton air show several years ago. They’d flown their Tornadoes up from training in New Mexico for the show. They stood out with the planes on the tarmac and were very accessible and friendly to the crowd. Got to practice my German with them.
Led Sled! Helluva plane. There was a squadron of NJ Air Guard at McGuire when we were stationed at Ft Dix with F4’s. Awesome sight seeing them take off full afterburner.
F-15E is a strike fighter, as is the F-18. . .and no, the F-4 can’t beat those jets.
JSF. . . who knows. . .
What a bird!
Made our A-4s look mighty small.
What a sound on take off too.
We were flying off of Marston matting
when I got to chu lai, the next year they
brought in F-4s and they really had a time
with the unevenness and their greater weight.
It was awesome to see them come rocking all
over the place.
Was not unusual to see them lose a whole rack
of ordinance on take off. Mostly they didn’t
go off but every once in a while...
That plane is a fine old warrior.
My best memory of it was standing on the flight line when a pair of them took off in formation. The ground shook and my ears rang for hours afterwards. It was one of the most incredible displays of raw power I have ever seen.
A great work horse! Job well done!
My father spent a lot of years working on these. I’ll have to share this with him.
Once upon a time, I went to an small airshow staged at Tampa International Airport. Two aircraft were demonstrated, an Eastern Airlines Boeing 727 (relatively new at the time) and an Air Force F4-C from MacDill AFB.
The Phantom driver and his rear-seater were patched into the PA system and they could be heard by the crowd going through their pre-flight checklists before take off.
The pilot lined up on the runway and addressed the crowd:
"I'm going to run our J-79 engines up to full power..one at a time. If I do both engines at the same time, we'll just skid down the runway.
After brake release, the pilot lit the burners and roared past the crowd, rotated and pulled vertical and just disappeared.
“Ive heard the 60 year old F4s perform better than our new strike fighters.”
I had some training time in a F-4 Kurnass (no combat — I flew an F-16; this was to test certain products from Norden) and it is a great airframe, but its time has come.
I will note a very good friend of mine shot down a Mig-21 flying an F-4 E (I think E).
I grew up in Valdosta GA and at the time Moody AFB had Phantoms. Not unusual for them to fly over the house a couple of times a day.
I always loved the look of the F-4 Phantom. Beautiful planes.
correct you are. The f-15’s are the baddest of the bad with the notable exception of the F 22 raptor.
Well, since the Blue Angels are sequestered...maybe this one can fill in..
Fixed your error..you're welcome.
I thought the article meant these F4F’s.
<IMG SRC=”http://www.alexhamilton.net/media/f4fgrummanwildcat_fs.jpg" ALT=”F4F Wildcat”
My third best Phantom memory was of 250lb & 500lb bombs they dropped and the expanding condensation domes caused by the shock waves.
My second best memory of the F-4 was one making a 20mm gun run using his Vulcan on an NVA position we were assaulting. The Phantom was dropping 20mm brass all over us. Made us thankful that we had helmets & flak vests... and really, really glad that something like that was not strafing us!
The wildest memory was the day an F-4 made a dry run over us, looking for an NVA mortar firing from a hidden pit. He came in from behind our lines and I remember thinking, “I hope he doesn’t make his LIVE run from that direction.”
Sure enough, a minute or two later we hear that special Phantom engine whine and looked behind us. There he was, about 75 feet off the deck and maybe 75 yards behind us, coming our way fast. He had just released 6 snake-eyes, probably 250 pounders. The fins had popped open, plus he’d released two canisters of napalm which were tumbling along.
We were in a little gully about 2 feet deep and immediately begin trying to burrow into the dirt (not that it really mattered!) All that ordnance sailed right over us and hit 40 or 50 yards or so in front, right on top of that NVA mortar.
Overkill, but it works for me...
Former F-4e/g Asst Shop Chief A.M.S. Calibration Docks, George AFB, where the WEST German Luftwaffe trained in F4f’s........
Had one come over us just a bit more than tree-top level
with full burners on dropping a napalm bomb about a
quarter mile in front of us
Guess he saved our butts,but it scared the crap outta us.
1973, Naval Air Station, Albany, GA (primarily A-5 Vigilantes stationed there)...a Marine F-4 flew in, landed, taxied and parked on the tarmac for a short while. Pilot called a little later for clearance to taxi back out...cleared him to taxi...heading to MCAS Cherry Point. As soon as the pilot was on the parallel taxiway, he started calling immediately for takeoff clearance. Not unusual for a pilot to do that...very often cleared for takeoff like that if there was no traffic. Couldn’t clear him though...had a T-38 on short final already cleared for touch & go. He was gonna have to stop at the end of the taxiway and wait for the T-38 to clear. Pilot asked a few more times, wanting to get out in front of the T-38...really pushing for clearance. Then I noticed smoke coming from under his aircraft...looked like a wheel fire. Grabbed the binoculars...sure enough, his left wheel was on fire. Told the F-4 pilot about the fire...”Roger, tower, shutting down.” Rolled the trucks and the fire was put out.
As it turned out, there was something wrong with the aircraft. Engines were spooling up and pilot couldn’t bring them down, so the plane was in an uncontrolled acceleration down the taxiway. The pilot’s answer? Stand on the brakes until he could get clearance...which led to the wheel fire.
He knew the plane was broken and he wasn’t going to be able to stop at the end of the runway. All he wanted to do was get off the ground, get to Cherry Point, call an emergency while inbound, land and be on a Marine base for dinner.
If it wasn’t for those F4F’s (along with the SDB Dauntless Dive Bombers and TBF Avengers), we would have never won the ‘Battle of Midway’.
You were Navy AC? Marine ATC, here. 7312/22/24. I still miss Millington NATTC. Fun not to be believed and will never, ever happen in the Navy/Marine Corps again.
Damn! I had a little over 700 hours in the F-4E/G. I’d gladly come out of retirement of fly them again, but I guess I’m not the only one getting old...
Spent three years with the Phantom at Spangdalem Airbase Germany. The cold war was in high gear and we had the Victor Alert Area, that had 5 Phantoms loaded with nukes on the 24/7 plan! AMMO!!!!!
Yeah...VFR tower. Did A School at Glynco, NATTC. Never did radar. Had Marines in class with us at Glynco. Used to laugh at those guys because they would go out in the hall at break time and get into wrestling matches. They were a hoot. Always heard of Millington but never visited. Wound up at NAS Albany GA, then on to NAF Sigonella, Sicily...which was a little slice of Heaven in its own way.
For all you puppies who weren’t around in 1967.
F-4 Phantom Departure Vietnam DaNang Air Base
You can’t compare a one engine platform to two. The F-15 can sit stationary on it’s end on the ground and still have enough power to accelerate and take off like a rocket straight up.
“Guess he saved our butts,but it scared the crap outta us.”
I hope you had some clean skivvies in your ruck heh.
*smiles*....heard them for a year, 24/7...loud, VERY LOUD, the trim pad was only about 1/4 mile away from my bunk....had a Marine bird rotate right after lift off once and scare the dog snot out of me when he roared over us full AB round 60ft haulin...I know he did it on purpose,can’t prove it,it was against regs, it hurt our ears...but I know it,I know it.
Heh, but it sounds so ROMANTIC!
I love the Phantom, but it would be toast against nearly any airplane built after 1974.
(all pilots being equal, of course)
The last operational F-4s i’ve seen were some german Phantoms at Holloman AFB,NM. The germans had fun names for it: flying oil stove or air defence diesel. One of the pilots told me that the only reason the F-4 does fly is the victory of thrust over weight.
That is one fine looking bird!
My best f-4 memory......
‘79, I was a plane captain aboard the FID....
They just shot off an F-4....
As it was rolling down the cat, a deck wrench came flying out from the catwalk.
the f-4 ate the wrench and spit out the engine in a million little pieces.....
The plane hit the end of the catapult, all the stores were immediately ejected, and the plane drifted below the flight deck....
We all just stopped ans stared, waiting for them to eject...no seats...
Then, way off in the distance, we saw it, at wave top level, shaking like a leaf, but sslooowwwllly gaining altitude...
It got up, came around, and caught the wire.....
Just can’t kill ‘em?..
When I was 10 years old, my dad got orders to Yokosuka, and our flight landed at Atsugi (I think)
I was ten years old, and as we taxied by those rows and rows of Phantoms in the black and dark green camouflage, I had my nose pressed against the window.
I was a fanatical model builder, and to see them live for the first time was a real thrill!
That damn plane. I fell so far behind in school because I sat in class all day drawing that plane instead of paying attention.