Like the P-51 Mustang and the F-86 Sabre before it, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was an aircraft that changed history. This was a massive machine, two rockets with wings, loaded with a variety of weapons of mass destruction. It was a fighter plane with no equal.
Powered by two General Electric J79-GE-17 turbojets, 11,870 lb.s.t dry, 17,900 lb.s.t. with afterburner with a maximum speed 1430 mph at 36,000 feet (Mach 2.21), 914 mph at sea level (Mach 1.19) and a cruising speed 585 mph. The initial climb rate was 61,400 feet per minute with a service ceiling of 62,250 feet. Combat ceiling was 59,600 feet. The Phantom II had a combat range 595 miles and a maximum range 1885 miles with maximum external fuel. She weighted in at 29,535 pounds empty, 40,562 pounds gross, 38,019 pounds combat weight, 61,651 pounds maximum takeoff weight. The Phantom had a wingspan of 38 feet 5 inches and a wing area of 530 square feet! Length was 63 feet 0 inches with a height of 16 feet 6 inches. Maximum internal fuel in the fuselage tanks was up to 1364 US gallons. An additional 630 gallons of fuel could be carried in internal tanks inside the wings. Maximum external fuel load was 600 US gallons in a centerline tank that could be carried underneath the fuselage plus 370 US gallons in each of two tanks that could be carried underneath the outer under wing pylons, bringing total fuel load to 3334 US gallons! Now the business end, a Phantom could carry a wide variety of armaments that consisted of a single 20-mm M61A1 cannon with 639 rounds in an under nose gondola, plus four AIM-7 Sparrow semi-active radar homing air-to-air missiles in semi-recessed slots in the fuselage belly and two to four AIM-9 Sidewinder infra-red homing air-to-air missiles carried under the wings on the inboard pylons. A total offensive load of up to 16,000 pounds could be carried on the centerline and four under wing hardpoints. That's some some serious muscle and and a massive punch! The Phantom had a crew of two.
This illustration was done with Chris Edmonds [link]
who work on this aircraft with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing at George AFB, California.
Adobe Illustrator CS2, Apple G5 Power Mac, OSX Tiger