The Phantom was developed for the US Navy as a long-range all-weather fighter and first flew in May 1958. It became operational in 1961. The US Air Force then realized that the Navy had an aircraft that was far better than any tactical aircraft in their inventory and ordered 543 F-4C variants. There then followed a spate of orders from around the world. In Britain, it was ordered for the Navy and Air Force, but was modified to take the Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan. One of the Royal Navy's Phantoms stole the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing, a record that stood until taken by the remarkable Blackbird.
During the long course of its service history, the Phantom has been employed in a variety of different combat scenarios and theaters of war. It was one of America's most utilized aircraft during the long Vietnam War and has been flown in anger in the Middle East by a number of different air forces. The F-4 is still operational with several units, but is now coming to the end of its long and successful period as a front-line combat warplane. This is the perfect introduction for the general reader, enthusiast or modeler wishing to find a succinct yet detailed introduction to the design and history of this aircraft. Why was it conceived? What was it like to fly in combat? Who were the people who designed it and who became famous for flying it? What were its virtues and vices? These questions are answered and a wealth of technical data, additional information and suggestions for further reading are provided.
"... features a multitude of black-and-white photos with descriptions of this remarkable aircraft both in and out of combat." ~Air Power History
"This is a great picture book of phantoms." ~AMPS Indianapolis
"This book covers a good deal of the Phantom's glorious history in interesting text with some amazing accompanying photos. Whether your interest is in Navy or Air Force birds or that of another operator you will not be disappointed with the visual impact of the pictures included in this book." ~IPMS/USA
"...a good introduction to the type and the sort of book that those who like to look at F-4 photos will want to have on their shelves." ~ModelingMadness.Com