29 August 2019

F-4C Phantom II: The Record Breaker

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The F-4 Phantom II is a well-known American all-weather supersonic jet interceptor and fighter-bomber, developed by the McDonnell Aircraft company during the 1950s. In the upcoming update 1.91, pilots in War Thunder may look forward to having the chance to sit behind the virtual controls of one of the most recognizable and no less powerful jet aircraft of the 20th century!

Briefly: A 1950s American jet interceptor and fighter-bomber, capable of carrying an enormous payload, while also being able to reach speeds in excess of Mach 2!

F-4C Phantom II, jet fighter, USA, VI rank.

Pros

  • Top speed over Mach 2
  • Perfect climb
  • Deadliest and heaviest payload in the game for fighter aircraft

Cons

  • Lack of offensive cannons or MGs
Historical Background

In the early 1950s, McDonnell Aircraft began work on a revised design of their F3H Demon naval fighter, in an effort to expand upon its capabilities and improve performance in general. By September 1953, the design was submitted for Navy consideration. Showing interest in the project, the U.S. Navy ordered the construction of a mock-up and expressed interest in potentially procuring the type.

By 1955 however, the U.S. Navy changed the requirements for the aircraft substantially. Instead of a multipurpose aircraft, the new design was now supposed to act as a two-seat, long-range, all-weather fleet interceptor. Having revised the design, orders were issued for the construction of two XF4H-1 prototypes as well as an additional five pre-production F4H-1s. Following comparative testing against other machines in service with the Navy at the time, the F4H proved itself as highly capable aircraft and was thus ordered into full-scale production as the F-4. The name ‘Phantom II’ was given to the aircraft at McDonnell’s 20th anniversary celebration in July 1959.

Some time after the Navy procured the F-4, other branches of the U.S. military also became interested in the aircraft. A result, the USAF also introduced a special “army” version of the F-4 into service during the mid 1960s under the designation F-4C.

The F-4 Phantom II would become one of the most produced and widely used American combat aircraft of the second half of the 20th century. With over 5,100 machines being built, the F-4 Phantom II saw service with several operators around the globe and remained in service until the 1990s, while some still serve to this day. Phantom II is widely known as a symbol of the US campaign in Vietnam, in particular.

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In War Thunder, the F-4C Phantom II will be the first aircraft coming to the game, capable of surpassing speeds twice that of sound. This new American top tier aircraft, coming soon to War Thunder with update 1.91, will also be among, if not the most heavily armed machine of its class in the game thanks to the sheer number and variety of its weapon loadouts!

One of the first things that made the F-4 Phantom II stand out from contemporary, and indeed upcoming aircraft designs, was its outstanding flight performance. Namely, the F-4C could reach a maximum top speed of 1460 mph (2350 km/h, Mach 2.1) at an altitude of 37,000ft (11,300 m), while still managing to get up to a more than respectable speed of 845 mph (1360 km/h, Mach 1.1) at sea level. The ‘Phantom’ is able to reach such mind-boggling high speeds mainly thanks to its two General Electric J79-GE-15 turbojets

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As such, the ‘Phantom’ will become one of the first aircraft in War Thunder capable of reaching and surpassing Mach 2 speeds. While this ability will certainly allow pilots to explore, develop and take advantage of new tactics and strategies for aerial combat, it’s also worth noting that the F-4C can only reach such high speeds at high altitudes, and more importantly, only with little to no ordnance on board.

Fun Fact: Starting with its introduction and throughout its service life, the F-4 ‘Phantom II’ set a number of world speed records, including one for absolute altitude of 30.040 meters.

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Speaking of onboard ordnance, there is a double dose of news for WT pilots. First, there is no pre-built directional offensive armament at all, no cannons, no machine guns. Second, the Phantom II carries the greatest payload of different types of armament amongst all fighter aircraft in the game! Just listen to this: up to 228 Mighty Mouse rockets, or 48 Zuni rockets, or  bombs available in sets 12x750 lb, 18x500 lb, 18x250 lb or 8x1000 lb! 3 gunpods with rapid-fire 20mm Vulcan cannons are also available for nailing down light targets or helicopters, and of course missiles - AGM-12B and much more devastating AGM-12C Bullpup for ground targets, and Sidewinder air-to-air missiles for anything that flies.

The tactics are obvious - use your speed to reach any target, use your mounted weapon to kill any target, do not engage with a target you are not prepared for. And of course -  have fun with this perfect lightning-fast jet fighter!


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