Classic Airshow Performers
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II
The Phantom was widely used throughout the World but has now been replaced in the inventories of many air forces by more modern designs. However, a significant number are still in service, although only those of the German Air Force are now regularly seen in the UK.
Phantom displays were always noisy and impressive especially those given by the Rolls Royce Spey powered examples flown by the RAF. These were more powerful than their General Electric powered counterparts although this did not result in the expected improvement in performance. However, a full afterburner take-off by one of these examples was always worth seeing.
The F-4G 'Wild Weasel' radar suppression version performed admirably with the USAF in the twilight of its career during the 1991 Gulf War.
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An immaculate F-4E Phantom of the 53rd TFS 52nd TFW at the 1984 USAFE 'Open House' at RAF Lakenheath. This aircraft still wears the Vietnam style camouflage at a time when many examples were appearing in the darker 'European One' scheme.
Raw power! An F-4E of the 86th TFW gets airborne at RAF Whethersfield in 1984.
An F-4G 'Wild Weasel' of the 52nd TFW gets airborne at the 1991 'Open House' at RAF Upper Heyford.
Another F-4G of the 52nd TFW, this time at RAF Fairford during the 1991 International Air Tattoo. Note the breaking chute just about to deploy.
An old favourite and good to see an example from a different air arm, an F-4E Phantom of the Turkish Air Force departs RIAT '99 having been part of the huge static display.
This shot of a German F-4F was taken from just a few feet away as it taxied in after arriving in impressive style for RAF Coltishall's Photocall 2000, performing a number of ear-splitting 'overshoots'.
The departure day following an Air Tattoo offers the opportunity to photograph rare visitors such as this Greek Air Force F-4E Phantom.
No decent show is complete without a Phantom and pictured here at RIAT 2001 is an F-4F from JG-74 of the German Air Force.
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