Hobby Master HA1958 USAF McDonnell RF-4C Phantom II Reconnaissance Aircraft - "Starize", 1st Tactical Reconaissance Squadron, 10th Tactical Reconaissance Wing, Alconbury, 1986 (1:72 Scale)
"The winner [of an air battle] may have been determined by the amount of time, energy, thought and training an individual has previously accomplished in an effort to increase his ability as a fighter pilot."
- Lt. Randy "Duke" Cunningham
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.
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.
The RF-4 was an unarmed photographic reconnaissance version of the USAF's F-4C which carried a variety of film-based and side-looking radar [SLAR] sensors for the Air Force [RF-4C] and the Marine Corps [RF-4B].
In February 1963, the Marine Corps agreed to acquire the first 9 of what would eventually amount to a fleet of 46 RF-4Bs, a photographic reconnaissance version of the basic F-4 Phantom. The RF-4B was generally similar to the more numerous Air Force RF-4C, with a lengthened nose designed for reconnaissance applications. Three separate camera bays in the nose were designated Stations 1, 2, and 3, and carried a variety of cameras, which unlike the cameras of the RF-4Cs were on rotating mounts so they could be aimed at targets off the flight path.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USAF McDonnell RF-4C Phantom II Reconnaissance Aircraft that was attached to the 14th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron.
Wingspan: 6.25 inches
Length: 10.5 inches
Release Date: December 2013