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Building the F-4 Phantom


Model Aircraft Extra No. 3: Building the F-4 Phantom

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The iconic McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was originally developed for the US Navy and entered service in 1960. Proving highly adaptable, it was soon adopted by the US Marine Corps and the US 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, and can carry more than 18,000lb of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air missiles, air-to-ground missiles, and various bombs. The F-4 was used extensively during the Vietnam War, where it served as the principal air superiority fighter for the US Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps and became important in the ground-attack and aerial reconnaissance roles later in the war. The aircraft continued to form a major part of US military air power throughout the 1970s and 1980s, being gradually replaced by more modern aircraft such as the F-15 Eagle, F-16 Fighting Falcon F-14 Tomcat and the F/A-18 Hornet. The F-4 Phantom II remained in use by the US forces in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. It was also the only aircraft used by both the USAF Thunderbirds (F-4E) and the US Navy Blue Angels (F-4J). The Phantom was also operated by the armed forces of eleven other nations, and Israeli Phantoms saw extensive combat in several conflicts, while Iran used its large fleet of Phantoms, acquired before the fall of the Shah, in the Iran–Iraq War, and both the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy used the FG.1 and FGR.2 versions using Rolls-Royce Spey engines. As of 2019, sixty 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. This third book in the MA Extra Series contains fifteen model builds, colour profiles and scale plans, and will be a must for the Phantom-Phanatic!

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