This Was The Last Show For F-4s Everywhere — It’s Just Devastating
Phantom Of The Airshow.
It’s that time again, the EEA AirVenture Airshow is back for another week-long celebration of all things aviation. Kicking off the festivities two F-4 Phantoms took to the skies to show their agility and pulled off low flybys for a crowd of enthusiastic onlookers.
Introduced in 1958 the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was used by most branches of the U.S. Military becoming one of the most successful fighters of its time. The F-4 is able to reach a top speed over Mach 2.2, equipped with air-to-air missiles and ground bombs it dominated the skies until its last mission conducted in April of 1996. True to its name the Phantom has become a rarity in recent years, most of the remaining fighters have been converted to drones (designated QF-4s) and they begin to serve a new purpose as unpiloted flying targets.
“Our goal is to use them to the max extent possible through its service life as that means we are going to shoot them down as much as we can. At the end of the program any airplanes are left that we are not able to down the plan right now is that we are going to demilitarize them, make them not serviceable and then we are going to tow them out to bombing ranges at Holloman Air Force Base and they will be used as surface attack targets there as well.”
– Lieutenant Colonel Ronald “Elvis” King
This once proud fighter jet’s future seems to be target practice for modern aircraft. The F-4 may be extinct soon but a few of them made it out to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for the AirVenture Airshow. Lieutenant Colonel King brought these drones to display and admits that he has less than 21 Phantom F-4s left in service and most those fighters will likely be destroyed by the year’s end.