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 trailable "photo-op" display, painted to honor the Blue Angels.
s/n (BuAero 155861)
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.
This is Phantom 155861 aboard USS Saratoga during 1976 Mediterranean cruise assigned to VF-31.The black and white photograph is probably January, The shot of Bob Royes on the nose is about March just before he left the squadron due to an injured leg. The black and white photo was just before they let the plane captains put their names on the aircraft assigned to them. A plane captain performed pre-flight, turnaround and daily inspections, on the aircraft. In short, he insured aircraft was ready for flight.
|Dependant upon tow vehicle|
|Height:||10' 3 "|
|Wing area:||0 sf|
|Empty weight:||975 lbs|
|Gross weight:||1,250 lbs|
|Maximum speed:||55 mph|
|Cruising speed:||45 mph|
|Landing speed:||0 mph|
|Range:||depending upon vehicle pulling|
|Status:||Mobile Static Display|