Modern Airplanes/Jets


F-4 C Phantom II

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United States of America

Model Box

Date Deployed: December 30, 1960
F4-C Phantom II - U.S. Air Force AF-70 308
Manufacturer: McDonnell Douglas
Model from Monogram Kit # 5831 Built on 04-18-2007        1/48 scale



   During the initial design of the Phantom, several proposals had been considered for a cannon-armed version. In fact, the original F3H-E proposal was designed around a quartet of 20-mm cannon. However the philosophy of the day was that the air-to-air missile was the wave of the future and that the internal gun was an obsolete holdover from an bygone era. Consequently, all Phantoms to reach production had been armed exclusively with missiles. 
   However, the all-missile fighter had shown some serious drawbacks in the initial air-to-air battles over Vietnam. The earlier Sparrow, Falcon, and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles did not perform up to expectations. They were expensive, unreliable, and vulnerable to countermeasures. Many an enemy MiG was able to escape unscathed because a Phantom-launched missile malfunctioned and missed its target. The Phantoms could carry a plodded cannon mounted on the centerline, but it was relatively inaccurate, caused excessive drag which reduced the performance of the Phantom carrying it, and took up a valuable ordinance/fuel station. 
   An initial F-4 variant with an internal M61 cannon had been proposed by McDonnell to the USAF in March of 1961, but had met with little enthusiasm. McDonnell began a new design study for a gun-armed Phantom in late 1964 and finally got the attention of the Air Force. The gun-armed F-4E was finally funded in June of 1965. It was destined to be produced in greater numbers than any other single Phantom variant.
   The main difficulty in equipping the Phantom with an internal cannon was in finding a place to put it. The solution was found in using the sharper, longer nose of the F-4C reconnaissance version. The new nose was fitted with an AN/APG-30 radar set and an external pod was mounted underneath the nose that could carry a single six-barrel 20-mm General Electric M61A1 rotary cannon. 



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