Tag Archives: McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II

Iran stages “massive” aerial parade with F-14, F-4, Mig-29 and several other warplanes

The traditional military parades at mausoleum of the Late Founder of Islamic Republic, Imam Khomeini, south of capital Tehran saw the flyover of several warplanes, including the legendary F-14 Tomcat.

On Apr. 18 Iran celebrated the National Army Day with a traditional and interesting flypast of most of its active warplanes. Eight formations for an overall 27 aircraft took part in the aerial parade: not really “massive” as some Iranian media wrote, still an interesting opportunity to see the majority of the IRIAF (Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force) fighters and bombers in the air.


The flypast featured F-5F Tiger, F-5E Saeqeh, FT-7N, Mirage F.1EQs, F-14A Tomcat, F-4E Phantom, Mig-29UB Fulcrum and Su-24Mk Fencer divided in 8 formations.

F-14 takeoff

One of the formation was a mixed flight made of a Mig-29UB, an F-4E, an F-14A, a Mirage F.1BQ-3 and a Su-24Mk.


As highlighted by a member of the ACIG.org forum, both Mirage F.1BQ-3s were carrying F-5E/F external fuel tanks thanks to domestically designed and manufactured underwing pylons.

Mirage F1

Obviously, no sign of the famous F-313 Qaher stealth jet.


Along with the fixed wing aircraft, 26 helicopters of their Iranian Army Aviation performed their flypast which included AB-206Bs, AH-1Js, Bell 214As and CH-47Cs.


Image credit: IRNA News Agency


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These photos prove F-4 Phantom and F-14 Tomcat could take off and land with folded wings

You won’t believe it but U.S. Navy legendary planes (F-4, F-8 and F-14) could fly with folded wings, asymmetric configurations.

To save space aboard the deck of U.S. flattops, aircraft built for carrier operations can fold their wings making room for more planes.

Obviously wings must be extended tbefore catapult launch.

But what happens if the wings aren’t unfolded before take off?

Even if the pictures in this post show aircraft that were safely brought back without any trouble, for sure no aircraft can fly in those configurations.

One case in which the wings were forgotten folded occurred in August 1960, when a US Navy F-8 took off from Naples and climbed to 5,000 feet, when its pilot felt an amount of pressure on the stick: immediately, he started to look around to discover why its Crusader was facing the pressure amount and noticed that the wings were still folded.

Instantly he started to dump as much fuel as possible, and after 24 minutes of flight he was able to come back to Naples, landing safely.

He said that his Crusader faced no serious problems during the unusual kind of flight and the landing had been very fast but uneventful.

At least seven more times F-8s took off with wings folded, in several occasions at night, but without any mishap, proving Crusader strength and revealing the great job done by Vought engineers.

F-8 folded wings

Six years later was the turn of an F-4B (BuNo. 152327) aircrew belonging to VF-14 Tophatters to experience a “wings folded” flight: in fact, on May 10, 1966, LT JG Greg Scwalber and his RIO (Radar Intercept Officer) Bill Wood were launched from USS Roosevelt (CVA-42) and once airborne they discovered that their Phantom II was flying with outboard wings folded.


They immediately understood that the locking mechanism was not properly set before launch. They quickly dumped all external stores, dropped the flaps and after declaring an emergency they diverted to the nearest airport that was Navy airfield in Cuba.

After 59 miles of flight Scwalber and Wood were able to made a successful arrested landing at a speed of 170-180 knots. As happened with the Crusader the F-4B BuNo 152327 returned into service few days later.

At least one Air Force crew had the chance to experience this strange kind of flight with their F-4, but the Rhino revealed to be a very robust airframe and it always brought its aircrew back home even without its wings fully opened.

The last impressive picture depicts the third F-14 prototype (BuNo 157982) with its wings swept asymmetrically: with the starboard wing locked fully forward and the port wing swept fully aft.

To reduce deck spotting area its wings could be “overswept” to 75°, eliminating the need for the folding mechanism of the wings. However in this photo the wings position is the result of tests undertaken to explore how the Tomcat could return back to the carrier with this asymmetric configuration.

Six flights were made between Dec. 19 1985 and Feb. 28, 1986 in this unusual configuration and landings were conducted with the aft-swept wing at up to 60°. These trials were conducted after four fleet aircraft found themselves in this difficult situation.


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[Photo] U.S. F-4E Phantom’s ultra-low final approach buzzes photographer’s heads

If you though that the most spectacular landing happens at the Caribbean St. Maarten’s Princess Juliana Airport, you were wrong.

Along with Waddington in the UK (and few other airports…), there’s another famous place where planes flew very low final approaches and this is Gilze-Rijen in the Netherlands.

The following image was taken by “Con-V” of Spotting group Volkel at the Dutch airbase almost 30 years ago, and it shows a U.S. F-4E Phantom about to touch down. If you search for images taken at that airfield, you’ll find some more examples of ultra low final approaches at Gilze-Rijen, but the one in this post is surely among the most stunning ones.

Low, isn’t it?

Image credit: “Con-V” of Spotting group Volkel and H/T to Bart Sweers who made us in contact with the author of the photo.


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Interesting photos from Iran’s latest war games

On Dec. 20, Iran’s air force started a military exercise in the Persian Gulf region.

Codenamed Fadaian-e Harim-e Velayat 4 (Defenders of Velayat Sanctuary 4), was a two-day exercise part of annual drills aimed at testing indigenous air defense systems, improving the front line’s combat readiness and displaying the country’s latest military achievements.


The exercise featured live firing against air and surface fixed and moving targets that, needless to say, were “successfully hit” and destroyed according to local media outlets. Transport and reconnaissance missions were also part of the drills.

Mirage F1

Based on the information and images posted by both the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) and IRNA news agency, F-4E Phantom, Mirage F-1, Saeqeh, F-5 and Su-24 aircraft took part in the operation.


Image credit: IRIAF, IRNA



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[Photo] When US Navy F-4 Phantom jets met Soviet Tu-95 Bear bombers

Close encounters between U.S. Navy F-4 Phantom fighter jets and Soviet Tu-95 Bear bombers were frequent in the skies near aircraft carriers around the world.

A collection of shots taken by the U.S. planes, can be found in the San Diego Air & Space Museum archive on Flickr.

F-4 Tu-95 3

These photos tell us a story of tense moments when Phantoms launched by American flattops intercepted and shadowed, sometimes in “tight formation”, USSR strategic bombers that skirted aircraft carriers at low level to probe their reaction times.

F-4 Tu-95 5

F-4 escort of Tu-95

Some shots depict Soviet crew member greeting their colleagues in the American fighter jets with hand language.

F-4 Tu-95 4

During the Cold War Soviet bombers were often intercepted in the Mediterranean Sea by Italian F-104 Starfighter jets. And here’s a collection of images taken during those close encounters with the “zombies.”

F-4 Tu-95 1

Image credit: U.S. Navy via San Diego Air & Space Museum


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