Phantom Farewell….. 2016

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( Site best view with PC or MAC)

2016 mark the year USAF will bow down on flying the mighty F-4 Phantom.

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Currently, 82nd Aerial Target Squadron  ( ATRS ) flies the QF-4E  and these jets will be retired by December of 2016.  82nd ATRS base in Tyndall AFB Florida, flies the QF-4E,-G, and QRF-4C versions in the role of an aerial target. The 82 ATRS also has a Detachment at Holloman AFB in support of DoD testing in the White Sands Missile Range Complex. We have seen the F-4 in the South East Asia camo scheme, grey cloud, Egypt, and European camo schemes.  These scheme are illustrated below :

SEA Camo Scheme

82nd ATRS headed by Col. King was making several public appearance in the past few months and Ft worth Alliance airport ( KAFW) was one of the location when a single QF-4E flew by Col King ( Callsign Elvis) for the 2016 Ft worth Alliance Airshow. He showed up with a SEA camo QF-4E spotting the older J79 engine that gives the Phantom the infamous Smokey engine signature.

1st Encounter with the Phantom …. Oct 2016

This QF-4E serial number 74-1638 in detail. This aircraft came through quite a bid before converetd to Drones

*1979-80: USAF 86th TFW. Ramstein Air Base Germany
*1983: USAF 52nd TFW. Spangdahlem Air Base Germany
*1986: USAF 52nd TFW. Spangdahlem Air Base Germany
*USAF 35th TFW. Misawa Air Base , Japan
*1988: USAF 37th TFW. Lackland AFB , Texas
*10/1990: Put into storage at the AMARC bone yard.
*Converted to QF-4E drone AF349.

2nd encounter with the spooks……

The news of Phantom coming to town spread like wild fire when 2x QF-4E come to Alliance AIrport on November 4th to 7th for the Texas motor-speedway flyby.  Col King and Jim Harkins ( Callsign WAM) flew 2x QF-4E namely 74-1043 and 74-0643

Here are the brief history of the 2 jets

F-4E-60-MC s/n 74-0643

*1978: USAF 57th TTW.
*1979: USAF 336th TFS (4th TFW).  Seymor Johnson AFB
*1982: USAF 335th TFS (4th TFW). Seymor Johnson AFB
*1987: USAF 335th TFS (4th TFW). Seymor Johnson AFB
*USAFR 704th TFS (924th TFG). Bergstrom Air Force Base TX
*1990: USAF 4th TFW.
*1/1990: Put into storage at the AMARC bone yard.
*4/2008: Converted to QF-4E drone AF354.

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F-4E-60-MC s/n 74-1043

*1977: USAF 57th FWW.
*1979-80: USAF 336th TFS (4th TFW). Seymor Johnson AFB
*1983: USAF 336th TFS (4th TFW). Seymor Johnson AFB
*1985: USAF 336th TFS (4th TFW). Seymor Johnson AFB
*1989: USAFR 704th TFS (924th TFG). Bergstrom Air Force Base TX
*4/1991: Put into storage at the AMARC bone yard.
*Converted to QF-4E drone AF338.

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“Elvis” and “WAM” arrive KAFW ( Alliance Ft Worth ) at about 1645 hrs and made several passes in full afterburner. They gave us ” Texan ” quite an entrance before landing on runway 34R.  Nov 6 marks the actual Texas speedway fly by and we eagerly waited for the launch at 1300 hrs. However due to the incoming rain, the flight was push forward and they did a quick take off and came back with several passes.  We were fortunate to meetup with old and new friends on this historical occasion. Namely Bill Havel, Scott Meek, Caulun Belcher, Clint White, Liu Chia Ming , Ian Adams, Steve Kemper, Joseph FIscher

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Photo by Caulun Belcher

 

 

Here are the aerial actions of both spooks….

Here are some of the ground actions and Pilots

Article by Dave Chng

Photograph by Dave Chng, Bill Havel and Caulun Belcher