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The 82d Aerial Targets Squadron (82 ATRS) was the last USAF unit which flew the F-4 Phantom II, flying the QF-4E,-G, and QRF-4C versions in the role of an aerial target. In the past few years we have seen the QF-4E doing the airshow circuits doing Heritage flights and also single ship demonstration.
For 2016, we were fortunate to have encounter the QF-4E twice in Texas. They flew into Alliance airport in Oct for the airshow and Nov for the Texas motor speedway fly over. Getting twice in a year on these Phantom was an exciting moment for us Aviation geeks. Col King ( Callsign Elvis) and Jim Harkins ( Callsign Wam) flew 2 x QF-4E from Holloman AFB and did some amazing maneuvers.
21st December marks the end of the Phantom era whereby these old warriors were decommissioned from USAF inventory. In the base we get hot ramp access to all the QF-4 in the inventory and see 4 of them taxi and take off. They did some very good maneuvers and a 4 ship supersonic approaches. With 2 of the 4 pilots retiring from flight duties, they were honored by crossed fire hose arcs to taxi through. The only F-4 phantom active left in the world flying would be Turkey, Japan, Greece, Korea and Iran. Like an old warrior we see the end of the Phantom era here in the United States, ……………I always remember this graceful and beautiful double ugly warrior ….. Phantom Phforever!!!
Hot ramp Actions
Aerial Display from the Mighty Phantom
Thanks to our Airwingspotter photographer Joseph Fischer for capturing the farewell ceremony in Holloman AFB.
Photographs from Joseph Fischer , Dave Chng and Bill Havel
Article by Dave Chng