Hobby Master HA1936 Egyptian McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber - 76th Fighter Squadron, 222nd Tactical Fighter Brigade, Cairo West, Egypt, 1980 (1:72 Scale)
"The normalization of relations [between Israel and Egypt] went into effect in January 1980. Ambassadors were exchanged in February. The boycott laws were repealed by Egypt's National Assembly the same month, and some trade began to develop, albeit less than Israel had hoped for. In March 1980 regular airline flights were inaugurated. Egypt also began supplying Israel with crude oil."
- The Continuum Political Encyclopedia of the Middle East
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II is a two-seat, twin-engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic fighter-bomber originally developed for the U.S. Navy by McDonnell Aircraft. Proving highly adaptable, it became a major part of the air wings of the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, and U.S. Air Force. It was used extensively by all three of these services during the Vietnam War, serving as the principal air superiority fighter for both the Navy and Air Force, as well as being important in the ground-attack and reconnaissance roles by the close of U.S. involvement in the war.
First entering service in 1960, the Phantom continued to form a major part of U.S. military air power 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 and the F-14 Tomcat and F/A-18 Hornet in the U.S. Navy. It remained in service in the reconnaissance and Wild Weasel roles in the 1991 Gulf War, finally leaving service in 1996. The Phantom 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 in the Iran-Iraq War. Phantoms remain in front line service with seven countries, and in use as an unmanned target in the U.S. Air Force.
Phantom production ran from 1958 to 1981, with a total of 5,195 built. This extensive run makes it the second most-produced Western jet fighter, behind the famous F-86 Sabre at just under 10,000 examples.
The F-4 Phantom was designed as a fleet defense fighter for the U.S. Navy, and first entered service in 1960. By 1963, it had been adopted by the U.S. Air Force for the fighter-bomber role. When production ended in 1981, 5,195 Phantom IIs had been built, making it the most numerous American supersonic military aircraft. Until the advent of the F-15 Eagle, the F-4 also held a record for the longest continuous production for a fighter with a run of 24 years. Innovations in the F-4 included an advanced pulse-doppler radar and extensive use of titanium in its airframe.
Despite the imposing dimensions and a maximum takeoff weight of over 60,000 pounds (27,000 kg), the F-4 had a top speed of Mach 2.23 and an initial climb of over 41,000 ft per minute (210 m/s). Shortly after its introduction, the Phantom set 15 world records, including an absolute speed record of 1,606.342 mph (2,585.086 km/h), and an absolute altitude record of 98,557 ft (30,040 m). Although set in 1959-1962, five of the speed records were not broken until 1975 when the F-15 Eagle came into service.
The F-4 could carry up to 18,650 pounds (8,480 kg) of weapons on nine external hardpoints, including air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, and unguided, guided, and nuclear bombs. Since the F-8 Crusader was to be used for close combat, the F-4 was designed, like other interceptors of the day, without an internal cannon. In a dogfight, the RIO or WSO (commonly called "backseater" or "pitter") assisted in spotting opposing fighters, visually as well as on radar. It became the primary fighter-bomber of both the Navy and Air Force by the end of the Vietnam War.
Due to its distinctive appearance and widespread service with United States military and its allies, the F-4 is one of the best-known icons of the Cold War. It served in the Vietnam War and Arab-Israeli conflicts, with American F-4 crews achieving 277 aerial victories in Southeast Asia and completing countless ground attack sorties.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of an Egyptian McDonnell F-4E Phantom II Fighter-Bomber that was attached to the 76th Fighter Squadron, 222nd Tactical Fighter Brigade, then deployed to Cairo West, Egypt, during the 1980s. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 6.25 inches
Length: 10.5 inches
Release Date: December 2013
Historical Account: "Camp David" - The Al Quwwat al Jawwiya il Misriya (Egyptian Air Force or EAF) encountered Israeli F-4s during fighting between the two states, especially during the later stages of the War of Attrition and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. These encounters gave the EAF a measure of the type's effectiveness, especially as a bomber.
After the Camp David Accords, and the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty signed on March 26th, 1979, Egypt ended its military dependence on the Soviet Union. It also lost the financial support of the other Arab states, and Saudi Arabia cancelled its plans to send Egypt 50 F-5s. The U.S. State Department proposed trading Egypt new military hardware in exchange for military aircraft made in the USSR, including MiG-21s, and the newer MiG-23s delivered to them by the Soviets prior to their breakdown of relations in 1976.
Under the September 1977 Peace Pharaoh agreement, 35 ex-31 TFW F-4Es along with a number of Sparrow, Sidewinder and Maverick missiles were supplied to the EAF for US$594 million and served with 76 and 78 Squadrons of the 222 Fighter Regiment. Initially Egyptian ground crews found their maintenance far more complex than required for Soviet aircraft and consequently there was an average of only nine F-4s serviceable during 1982, a 26% serviceability rate. To correct the situation, Egypt considered selling some of the F-4s to Turkey and buying extra F-16s. However, assistance from U.S. advisors in 1985 made it possible to reach a reasonable serviceability rate, and in 1988 another seven F-4s were delivered. While further purchases of F-4s and upgrades were considered, these plans were rejected in favour of additional orders for F-16s.
By the end of the 1990s, three aircraft had crashed but were replaced with three others. Two squadrons of F-4s are still in service with the 222nd Regiment.