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The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom was the outstanding aircraft in many of the Western World's air forces during the 1960s and 70s. It played a key role in the 'Cold War' and saw action in Vietnam. It first flew in 1958 and went into operation with the US Navy in 1960. During its long front-line life it flew in the roles of an interceptor, fighter-bomber and reconnaissance aircraft.Apart from giving a comprehensive overview of the Phantom's history, this book looks particularly at the experiences of the Royal Air Force and Fleet Air Arm when they received a new model designed with a British Rolls-Royce turbofan instead of the original American power-plant. All was not sweetness and light when the first trials commenced and this book traces its development and progression from being a carrier-based attack aircraft flown by the Fleet Air Arm to the many successful roles it played as a land-based aircraft with the RAF.
David R. "Buff" Honodel was a cocky young man with an inflated self-image when he arrived in 1969 at his base in Udorn, Thailand. His war was not in Vietnam; it was a secret one in the skies of a neighboring country almost unknown in America, attacking the Ho Chi Minh Trail that fed soldiers and supplies from North Vietnam into the South. Stateside he learned the art of flying the F-4, but in combat, the bomb-loaded fighter handled differently, targets shot back, and people suffered. Inert training ordnance was replaced by lethal weapons. In the air, a routine day mission turned into an unexpected duel with a deadly adversary. Complacency during a long night mission escorting a gunship almost led to death. A best friend died just before New Year's. A RF-4 crashed into the base late in Buff's tour of duty. The reader will experience Buff's war from the cockpit of a supersonic F-4D Phantom II, doing 5-G pullouts after dropping six 500-pound bombs on trucks hidden beneath triple jungle canopy. These were well defended by a skillful, elusive, determined enemy firing back with 37mm anti-aircraft fire and tracers in the sky. The man who left the States was a naĆ­ve, self-centered young pilot. The man who came back 137 missions later was much different.
Over a thirty-two-year military flying career which spanned a period when the RAF regularly replaced its fighter/bombers, Ian Hall had seven front-line flying tours on five different types. His story starts in Bahrain in the early 1970s, just before the massive contraction that saw the RAF withdraw from the Middle and Far East. This first, Hunter experience is followed by a home-based tour on a ground-attack Phantom squadron. But as the Phantom is about to be transferred to air defense duties, Ian is posted back to the Hunter on the staff of the tactical weapons unit. This tour, as a qualified weapons instructor, is cut short by a return to the front line on the Jaguar, which he flies in the strike/attack role in Germany. Following an exchange with the Royal Norwegian Air Force during which he enjoys flying the F-5A Freedom Fighter, Ian returns to the Jaguar as a flight commander, then converts to the Tornado and commands a squadron. All these flying tours provide a rich seam of material for incisive, amusing and, sometimes, reflective observations from the cockpit. As do his periods on the ground, from which he recalls impressions of various other types in which he flew as a guest: Lightning; Harrier; F-14 Tomcat; F-16; and so on. He also relates observations of his varied experiences with the army, the navy and foreign air forces, and these are interspersed with musings on the political interface and on friends lost in accidents. Later, Ian surprised himself somewhat by switching to civil aviation, and the book touches upon the twelve-year experience of a fast jet pilot who became a direct-entry turboprop captain. Finally, equipped with pipe and slippers, he reflects on a great life of flying, as well as taking a brief look at the things that keep a retired pilot amused. An ideal read for anyone fascinated by tales of aerial exploits.
One of the great aircraft of the Cold War era, the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was the most heavily produced supersonic, all-weather fighter bomber. Capable of a top speed of Mach 2.23, it set sixteen world records including an absolute speed record of 1,606 mph and an altitude record of 98,557 feet. The F-4 flew Vietnam, in the Arab-Israeli conflict, and the Gulf War and amassed a record of 393 aerial victories. F-4s also flew as part of the USAF Thunderbirds and the U.S. Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration teams. Originally printed by McDonnell and the U.S. Navy in the 1960s, this flight operating handbook taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit. Classified "restricted", the manual was recently declassified and is here reprinted in book form. This affordable facsimile has been reformatted. Care has been taken however to preserve the integrity of the text.
"Reviving a feature of old aviation magazines, author Tim McLelland invites you to place yourself in the cockpit as he shares detailed accounts of what it is really like to sit inside a warplane, describing the views, smells and excitement of military aviation. McLelland has been lucky enough to experience flying in a wide range of military planes--something few civilians, and these days few journalists, get the chance to do--ranging from the Chipmunk and Bulldog to huge multi-engine craft and front-line combat aircraft, such as the Jaguar, Phantom, Harrier, Buccaneer, Hawk, Hornet and Tornado, not to mention an extremely rare opportunity to fly four full display routines with the Red Arrows aerobatic team."--Back cover.
Hair-raising descriptions of aerial combat as seen from the cockpit of a fighter jet Thoughtful reflections on what it meant to fight in Vietnam As the Vietnam War raged thousands of miles away, Mike McCarthy completed his flight training in the United States, eager to get into the war and afraid it would end before he could participate. He needn't have worried. By 1967, he was flying his F-4 Phantom II fighter with the U.S. Air Force's 433rd Tactical Fighter Squadron, also known as Satan's Angels. Before his tour ended, McCarthy completed 124 missions during the intense air war over North Vietnam and Laos and earned the Distinguished Flying Cross. His memoir recreates the horror and exhilaration of air combat.

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