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I am seeing this correctly? US Navy F-4b.


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hi all,

 

I am doing some research into the VF-84 F-4B currently nearing completion. 

 

Two things I noticed in this picture.

 

No red edges to the landing gear doors.

 

And no main landing gear doors? Are my eyes deceiving me?

 

Thanks for any input,

 

cheers

IMG_0313-600x450.png

 

 

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Purely speculating, but I did work on the mighty F-4 (In one of its UK Guises) in my distant, long forgotten youth, and as such can offer this:

 

The red paint edges that are applied to the movable surfaces indicate gaps that may become 'not-gaps' therefore threatening the continued connectivity of ground crew appendages.

The Flaps and Leading edges can, and will, move on the ground, at the whim of the pilot, often in pre-flight checks, however, the Pilot is strongly advised against any attempt of "Wheels Up" whilst on the ground, so the undercarriage doors should pose no moving scissor action threat, merely the usual 'Pointy corner in the scalp' type ding. 

As for the Landing gear doors- very good spot, I haven't seen that before. Intriguing. 

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If it wasn't for the squadron badge on the fin, I would say trials aircraft.Then again, that sqn. could have been doing the carrier trials..

No tanks, no pylons, early nose gear torque link, not offset for cat launches on shuttle.

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8 hours ago, bentwaters81tfw said:

If it wasn't for the squadron badge on the fin, I would say trials aircraft.Then again, that sqn. could have been doing the carrier trials..

No tanks, no pylons, early nose gear torque link, not offset for cat launches on shuttle.

I've seen a number of photos of Navy and Marine F-4s without the wing tanks, but generally they always had the centerline tank.  It was very rare however to see an Air Force F-4 without the wing tanks.  I can't recall ever seeing one of our 81 TFW birds minus the wing tanks, but I was a cop then and not maintenance so maybe they came off occasionally when being worked in the hangars.

Later,

Dave

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Note also the lack of inboard underwing pylons. I understand the F-4 was squirrely in flight if they weren't mounted.

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1 hour ago, e8n2 said:

I've seen a number of photos of Navy and Marine F-4s without the wing tanks, but generally they always had the centerline tank.  It was very rare however to see an Air Force F-4 without the wing tanks.  I can't recall ever seeing one of our 81 TFW birds minus the wing tanks, but I was a cop then and not maintenance so maybe they came off occasionally when being worked in the hangars.

Later,

Dave

 

You don't often see USN carrier borne F-4s with 370 gal. wing tanks.

 

The VF-84 photo is from their first cruise. That accounts for the anomalies.

 

Jens

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On 12/5/2020 at 1:54 PM, bentwaters81tfw said:

If it wasn't for the squadron badge on the fin, I would say trials aircraft.Then again, that sqn. could have been doing the carrier trials..

No tanks, no pylons, early nose gear torque link, not offset for cat launches on shuttle.

Indeed, I suspect this to be the case. also I just noticed another F-4B in the background with a different tail code and apparently no squadron markings.

 

As an aside, I have changed from VF-84 markings at a late stage in the build to VF-21.

 

The VF-84 stripe on the back was difficult to wrap around the various curves from wing root to spine. I suspect the decals were old and cracked several times.

 

Turns out Vf-21 carried the same black nose and same fin cap so an easy swap has been made.

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I’ve seen that photo a number of times over the years and wonder why no one has ever mentioned it in any of the model forums. I recently saw a pic of a different usn jet minus the mlg door. 

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A few points.

The F-4 in the background is from VF-101 which was the Atlantic fleet RAG (Replacement Air Group) The first carrier suitability trials were carried out in February '60.

The first operational unit was VF-74 which carried out Carquals in October '61 and embarked on Forrestal in August '62.

 

VF-84 (the main subject of the picture) stood up with Phantoms at the end of '64 - so while it is an early Jolly Rogers photo it's not a pre-operational/test USN one.

Note the E on the intake which denotes "Excellence" - that had to be earned so is probably not too early in the unit's career with the F-4. They changed the flag on the tail to a complete black tail - I'll try to work out when but think it might have been when they transitioned to the J model (from the B). They went "back" to the N model in 1974 so if you see a Phantom with an all black tail but under nose radome that's possibly the reason.

 

I'd say flying without wing tanks was normal - I think they caused fatigue problems on catapult launch - and there are quite a lot of pictures with no inner pylons.

 

I'd never seen one lacking MLG doors though. 

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I have seen some photos of F-4s on carriers in strange configurations and the reason given for missing bits in a few instances was that the particular aircraft was being sent ashore for major servicing or repairs so this might be the case here too?

Someone mentioned that it was an early F-4B because of the lack of offset scissor link and no link for the cat shuttle. As far as I know no F-4 variant ever had a link to connect to the later cat shuttles (as you see on F-14 etc) and all the (fwd) scissor links were offset, even on the land based versions. I think the camera angle makes it look like it's not offset but it will be.

 

Duncan B

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11 hours ago, iainpeden said:

A few points.

The F-4 in the background is from VF-101 which was the Atlantic fleet RAG (Replacement Air Group) The first carrier suitability trials were carried out in February '60.

The first operational unit was VF-74 which carried out Carquals in October '61 and embarked on Forrestal in August '62.

 

VF-84 (the main subject of the picture) stood up with Phantoms at the end of '64 - so while it is an early Jolly Rogers photo it's not a pre-operational/test USN one.

Note the E on the intake which denotes "Excellence" - that had to be earned so is probably not too early in the unit's career with the F-4. They changed the flag on the tail to a complete black tail - I'll try to work out when but think it might have been when they transitioned to the J model (from the B). They went "back" to the N model in 1974 so if you see a Phantom with an all black tail but under nose radome that's possibly the reason.

 

I'd say flying without wing tanks was normal - I think they caused fatigue problems on catapult launch - and there are quite a lot of pictures with no inner pylons.

 

I'd never seen one lacking MLG doors though. 

The plot thickens, all good points and yes indeed I guess the E award is a give away. 

 

And as far as I can tell the all black tail came in with the J. Interesting how few photos exist online for these early Navy Phantoms. 

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34 minutes ago, DrumBum said:

And as far as I can tell the all black tail came in with the J. Interesting how few photos exist online for these early Navy Phantoms. 

No, there were already all black tails during their first combat cruise on the USS Independence in 1965 with the F-4B, see this photo from the cruisebook:

https://www.navysite.de/cruisebooks/cv62-65/123.htm

 

And this one:

https://www.navysite.de/cruisebooks/cv62-65/125.htm

 

As for the missing doors, there must have been a reason, but it's not something you see every day. The only other one I could find with the missing doors is this Naval Missile Center F-4A, but that's a test one, and parked indoors at NASA:

F-4A_NASA_1965_E-14209.jpg

 

The red edges were certainly not always applied, plenty of jets didn't have them, even as late as the 1980's. Some examples below:

 

IX0Qrgp.jpg

 

5tMm5Eq.jpg

 

Kl9it1R.jpg

 

And on an F-3 Demon:

 

DYrPyyo.jpg

 

They seem to be more common on other types. Maybe it was a McDonnell thing.

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@Creepy Pete - that linked photo give irrefutable evidence that the 2 styles of tail decoration were concurrent - also gives me a good excuse to have a tidy up of all my Phantom books and have a look for more pictures (with or without red edges!).

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1 hour ago, Creepy Pete said:

They seem to be more common on other types. Maybe it was a McDonnell thing.

I've often wondered that myself.

 

Red edges were certainly applied to a lot of US Navy carrier based aircraft undercarriage doors edges, my guess is to mark them as a possible injury hazard on a busy deck as they can have sharp edges and corners.

The application does vary though, Douglas and Grumman in particular seemed to have gone with red edging.

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16 hours ago, 71chally said:

I've often wondered that myself.

 

Red edges were certainly applied to a lot of US Navy carrier based aircraft undercarriage doors edges, my guess is to mark them as a possible injury hazard on a busy deck as they can have sharp edges and corners.

The application does vary though, Douglas and Grumman in particular seemed to have gone with red edging.

https://tailspintopics.blogspot.com/2012/10/painting-crush-points-red.html

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On 12/8/2020 at 1:32 PM, Creepy Pete said:

No, there were already all black tails during their first combat cruise on the USS Independence in 1965 with the F-4B, see this photo from the cruisebook:

https://www.navysite.de/cruisebooks/cv62-65/123.htm

 

And this one:

https://www.navysite.de/cruisebooks/cv62-65/125.htm

 

As for the missing doors, there must have been a reason, but it's not something you see every day. The only other one I could find with the missing doors is this Naval Missile Center F-4A, but that's a test one, and parked indoors at NASA:

F-4A_NASA_1965_E-14209.jpg

 

The red edges were certainly not always applied, plenty of jets didn't have them, even as late as the 1980's. Some examples below:

 

IX0Qrgp.jpg

 

5tMm5Eq.jpg

 

Kl9it1R.jpg

 

And on an F-3 Demon:

 

DYrPyyo.jpg

 

They seem to be more common on other types. Maybe it was a McDonnell thing.

Some great shots there, thanks very much

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