The McDonald/Douglas F-4 Phantom II hold many distinctions not the lease of which are the platform
used to prove that if you put enough power behind it, you can fly a "BRICK", and the aircraft in which
the last US "ACE" status was achieved (just to name a couple). The Phantom II is a two-seat, twin-
engined, all-weather, long-range supersonic jet interceptor fighter/fighter-bomber originally developed for
the U.S. Navy but quickly became the mount of choice for every branch of the service. The Phantom
was referred to by many names including, "Rhino", "Double Ugly", the "Flying Anvil", "Flying
Footlocker", "Flying Brick", "Lead Sled", the "Big Iron Sled" and the "Louisville Slugger" (In recognition
of its record of downing large numbers of Soviet-built MiGs), it was called, "The World’s Leading
Distributor of MiG Parts". A Big Iron and Lead Sled it may have been but the two huge J79 engines
pushed the Phantom along at better then Mach 2.5 with an absolute speed record of 1,606.342 mph.
We Viet Nam era veterans can clearly recall seeing these Monster Planes being shot (catapulted) off the
end of Carrier decks (and what a THRILL that was!). At 2.4 million per plane (compared to 30-50
million for each of today's F-18's) more then 5,000 F-4's were built.
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