[Photo] Stunning ultra-low altitude flyby of a Royal Navy F-4K Phantom

When the Royal Navy flew the F-4K Phantom aircraft. At ultra-low altitude.

“I can hear it but I can’t see it yet”: this could have been the last words those two Matelots said before the Fleet Air Arm Phantom thundered few feet above their heads at RNAS (Royal Naval Air Station) Yeovilton, Somerset, southeastern part of the UK.

It’s unclear when the image was shot. For sure it must have been some time between 1968 and 1978, when 48 F-4Ks (which received the British designation FG.1), served with the Royal Navy at Yeovil and aboard HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier.

The plane was primary fleet air defence aircraft, combined with a secondary strike capability, and replaced the de Havilland Sea Vixen.

The latter flew also at very low altitude as the image below, taken during FAC (Forward Air Controller) training proves.

Sea Vixen

Image credit: Crown Copyright / Royal Naval Reserve Air Branch

 

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About David Cenciotti 4406 Articles
David Cenciotti is a freelance journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written four books.

5 Comments

  1. That was 1969 – with Neil Featherstone flying the jet (if I remember rightly). Reminds me of my court martial – but that is a different Vixen story.

  2. “I can hear it but I can’t see it yet” Having witnessed a low pass by a USAF A7 at White Sands Missile Range, I can say they probably saw it before they heard it. In my case the plane whooshed silently over my head, then a second later the sound followed.

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