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..