We believe we understand what caused Russia to shoot the F-4 Phantom

The U.S. Navy, along with many nations around the world, loved the mighty F-4 Phantom for many reasons. While the old fighter is long since been made obsolete by the F-15 and now the F-35, the F-4 still serves a few countries. Here is what made the F-4 special: 

When pilots do dumb and costly things in the air, it can cost a life or an airplane. To find a good example of such a costly mistake, we can travel back to the era of the Vietnam War and revisit an incident involving an F-4 Phantom II. Naval aviators were flying an air-combat maneuver training mission off the coast of San Diego. One pilot made a major mistake, and things went bad in a hurry. He was running on an afterburner and failed to watch his fuel. You could guess what happened when he ran out. It was time to eject over water.

The F-4 is powered by General Electric J47 turbojets, which can be fuel hogs. The aircraft burns 35 to 40 gallons of fuel per minute. With the afterburner engaged, it can suck about 50 gallons per minute. The fighter can run out of fuel in a hurry at that pace, especially when aviators are not paying full attention.

What’s the Dumbest Thing Pilots Have Done?

The Aviation Geek Club found the above story on Quora, the online forum. Readers were asked, “What was the most ill-advised (dumbest) thing you did as a newly minted fighter pilot and kept your wings?” Former F-4 pilot John Cheshire shared the training mistake, which involved a fellow aviator of his.

Cheshire admitted that he could have made the same error. “He failed to monitor his fuel quantity,” Cheshire explained. “Being in afterburner too long, and burning fuel rapidly by massive bucket loads, he ran out of fuel, flamed out, and had to eject over water. He was grounded for a while as his record was reviewed. Eventually he was reinstated into flight status again. His was a good lesson for the rest of us. I watched my fuel quantity while using afterburner thereafter, like a hawk.”

More on the F-4

The F-4 is an iconic airplane. It made its first flight in 1958 and became a full-time fighter for the U.S. military in 1961. It is still in service with Iran, South Korea, Greece, and Turkey. During its heyday in the Vietnam War, it flew Mach-2 and had an enviable altitude ceiling of 59,600 feet with a range of 1,750 miles. The fighter set speed, climbing, and altitude records. Five thousand F-4s were built.

The F-4 could be a joy to fly for some aviators, and its combat record was top-notch. But F-4 pilot Neil Consentino recalled how dropping bombs in Vietnam could be a harrowing and unforgettable experience. Consentino recounted his flight history on the Air Facts web site, recalling his first mission over North Vietnam.

“I recall the wonderful feeling of release and the sensation of man-and-aircraft-as-one, after the jink, into a graceful pull off the bomb run into a beautiful arching cloverleaf maneuver,” Consentino wrote. “A maneuver in full afterburner that had me for a moment looking straight up into a cool blue sky with small, bright, puffy white clouds. The Phantom and I were indeed one at that moment in time, one of my unforgettable moments: a feeling pilots know of and can fully enjoy,” Consentino wrote.


Related Posts

The Legacy of the Flying Wings: Forgotten Ancestors of the B-2 Spirit

The innovative and potentially very effective flying wing design, in which the tail section and fuselage are deleted and all payload is carried in a thick wing,…

Unleashing the Dragon: Exploring the Dominance of China’s First Aircraft Carrier, the Liaoning

The Liaoning Aircraft Carrier still retains much of the layout of its predecessor. Her hull is treated to resist metal corrosion and repainted. Introduce In a relatively…

Drones агmу аttасk Helicopter – Will be агmed with full function to the teeth in the new version

The ʋersatility of a longer, мultifunction payload Ƅay seeмs quite ѕіɡпіfісапt, as it enaƄles the possiƄle use of a wide range of weарoпѕ and supports the launch…

Meet The SR-71 Blackbird: The Fastest Air-Breathing Aircraft Ever

How the SR-71 Becaмe the Fastest Plane in the World: The Lockheed Martin SR-71 BlackƄird (or, as its aircrew мeмƄers haʋe duƄƄed it, the HaƄu, after a pit ʋiper indigenous to…

Bell H-1 military aircraft surpass 400,000 flight hours

The H-1 мixed fleet of AH-1Z Viper and UH-1Y Venoм attack and utility helicopters haʋe accuмulated мore than 400,000 joint-flight hours. Designed Ƅy Bell Textron Inc., a…

The MQ-28A Ghost Bat, an unmanned combat aerial vehicle produced by Boeing in Australia, has been given its official name

Boeing Australia congratulates the Australian Goʋernмent and Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) on their selection of ‘MQ-28A Ghost Bat’ as the мilitary designator and naмe for the…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *