To: (Separate email addresses with commas)
From: (Your email address)
Message: (Optional)



13 Facts About The F-4 Phantom II

It made its first flight in 1958, and it was a true feat of thrust over aerodynamics. Check out these 13 facts about the F-4 Phantom II.

1) With a total of 5,195 built, the F-4 is the most numerous US supersonic jet ever built.


2) Early wind-tunnel tests revealed lateral instability in the F-4's design. To overcome the problem, engineers needed to add 5 degrees of dihedral to the wings. But instead of redesigning the central titanium section of the jet, they added 12 degrees of dihedral to the outer portion of the wing, averaging 5 degrees across the entire span.

3) The tail was designed with 23 degrees of anhedral, which improved high AOA control.

4) In some versions, the nose strut could extend up to 20 inches to increase AOA for carrier takeoffs.

5) The F-4 wasn't short on speed. The Air Force's first Phantom II exceeded mach 2 on its first flight in 1963.

6) Built as a long-range radar interceptor, the F-4 originally didn't have an internal cannon.

AV8PIX Christopher Ebdon

7) The F-4 was the first fighter in the world to have a Look Down Shoot Down radar.


8) In 1959, the F-4 set an altitude record of 98,557 feet. Cmdr. Lawrence Flint Jr. accelerated to Mach 2.5 at 47,000 feet, zoom climbed at 45 degrees, then shut down the engines to glide to the peak altitude. He restarted the engines in the descent.


9) In 1962, the F-4 set a time-to-climb record of 9,000 meters (29,500 feet) in just over 61 seconds.

10) The F-4 is the only jet that has been flown by both the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds.

11) 528 F-4s were lost in the Vietnam war.

12) The US Air Force still uses F-4s as target drones.

13) At 63 feet long and with over 35,000 pounds of thrust, it's no wonder the F-4 was nicknamed "the triumph of thrust over aerodynamics."

Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at

Images Courtesy:

Recommended Stories

Latest Stories

    Load More
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share via Email