McDonnell F-4J Rolling Display

This particular plane, a two-place reconnaissance and training version, was a derelict at NAS Alameda, abandoned to die ungracefully with its rear fuselage and wings missing. Museum member Wayne King spotted it there and convinced the Navy to release it as surplus, then brought it back on a trailer. With a lot of time, expense, and creativity, he and Gary Ryan restored the basket-case into an attractive trailerable "photo-op" display, painted to honor the Blue Angels.

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Manufacturer: McDonnell
Year/Model: 1959 F-4J
S/N: 155861
Tail Number: no tail
Power Plant: Dependant upon tow vehicle
Wingspan: none
Length: 16 feet 10 inches
Height: 10 feet 3 inches
Gross Weight: 975 pounds
Maximum Speed: 55 mph
Cruising Speed: 45 mph
Service Ceiling: 12
Crew: 1
Status: Rolling Static Display
Owner: Estrella Warbirds Museum

Blue Angels F-4 in Flight


F-Js were multi-service aircraft, being used by the Air Force in 1961, as well. These were first designated as F-110A, then later redesignated as F-4C. Subsequently they were known as McDonnell-Douglas F-4 after the companies' merger.

The carrier-based F-4 was remarkable for it's "loadability" -- a single F-4 could haul around eight tons of ordnance, which was a bit more than the payload of a World War II Boeing B-29 Superfortress, and at five times the speed! That's Mach 2 -- about 1500 mph. That this huge flying machine, this so-called bomber, could be regarded as flexible and agile enough to serve also as a fighter becomes apparent when we see it was also once the plane of choice for the renowned Navy aerobatic team, the Blue Angels.

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