First of the multi-service planes, the F-4 was a supersonic all-weather fighter. First ordered as an attack designation AH-1, but the Navy decided the ship would serve better as a high-altitude interceptor and that was changed to F4H-1, then to joint-service F-4 in 1962, with final designations as F-4A, F-4B, RF-4B, and F-4J. First flight (as AH-1) was made on 27 May 1956, and it would have an unusually long service career, into the late 1970s.
Photographs by Peter D Visel and James Herman
F-4S was the designation applied to 265 (some sources say 248) F-4Js which were upgraded in the mid-1970s. This program was analogous to the Bee Line project in which Navy F-4Bs were upgraded to F-4N standards. The major goal of the upgrade was to prolong the life of the F-4J so that it could remain in service until replaced by the F/A-18 Hornet in Marine Corps service and by the F-14 Tomcat in Navy service.
US Marine s/n 155890
In order to improve the maneuverability, two-position wing leading-edge maneuvering slats were fitted to the F-4S, which gave a 50 percent improvement in combat turning capability in comparison with an un-slatted F-4J. These slats operated automatically as a function of angle of attack, but they could be overridden from the cockpit. The slats came in two sections, one on the outboard part of the fixed inner wing and the other on the folding outer wing panel. Because of delays, these slats were not initially fitted to the first 43 F-4Ss, but they were later retrofitted.
|Power plant:||Two 18,00*-lb J79-GE-8C/10 turbojets
*In full after-burner
|Wingspan:||38' 5 "|
|Wing area:||530 sf|
|Empty weight:||30,770 lbs|
|Gross weight:||56,833 lbs|
|Maximum speed:||1,428 mph|
|Cruising speed:||564 mph|
|Landing speed:||155 mph|
|Range:||900 statute miles|