Re: F-4 aircraft

drieux, just drieux (drieux@WETWARE.COM)
Fri, 3 Oct 97 07:29:19 -0800

The F-4 was created to be a Joint USAF-USN aircraft
as an all weather all missile Fighter-Bomber aircraft.

The Mythology of the All Missile Aircraft would die
an unpleasant impact with reality when the americans
were flying over north vietnam and would learn that
the day of the 'low speed' { sub-sonic } Gun Fight
was still going to occur.

{ For those who would wonder about the roots of "top gun"
and with it that cute 'rocky horror' film by the same
name with Tom Cruise - you can blame this on the dog
fights over north vietnam. And for those who can, DO
see this film in the enlisted quarters on an aircraft
carrier, it WILL cure you of the belief that 'rocky horror
picture show' is a singular cultural phenomenon.... }

One can get all of the tech-spec propoganda about the
F-4 at almost any book store that has books an PhlapPhlaps,
since the F-4 had a distinquished CarRear.

>From the Folklore section allow me to unload the following
tales passed along from 'the front'.

Depending upon which SubKult of the US Military one was with,
F-4's were either the best of times or the worst of times. I have
JarHeads who trusted no one BUT Jar Head PeeLots to pilot them in
the close support role - and AirFarcePeeLots who know that any
ground unit crying for Air Support loved the fact that the F-4's
could be anywhere in vietnam within 30 Minutes or Less. There are
ground pounders who liked this fact, but felt that Zoomies were
cute but did not have the staying power, unlike the A-1E which
would arrive on station with eight .50 cal machineguns, the bomb
load of a B-17 and the Hang Time that would keep them around as
one of the family.

FAC's could, if need be, stack up Close Air Support like O'Hare
Airport during the commute - but would need to get the F-4's in
early, since they had no 'hang time' - gine that as jets they
burned up fuel fast.

There is the tale of the field modification for the first generation
of 'gun pods' hung underneath the F-4 where the Belly Tank would normally
go. The problem of course was that there were minute 'crabbing' problems
at altitude and speed. This was alledgedly solved by a length of laundry
line, a sheet metal screw and a piece of masking tape. The laundry line
was bolted down on the nose of the plane, with the line running up to the
cockpit, and taped down while on the ground. The last step in the pre-flight
was to remove the tape. In the air, when the electronics said that the
target was in position, a last minute check of the wind flow over the nose
by means of this laundry line would tell the PeeLot if they were aligned
correctly in the air stream.

By the end of the American Active Involvement in Vietnam, the Soviets would
be out with their next generation of Zoomie, and so F-4 drivers were working
the new tactic called 'the cork screw' - in which F-4's would use the twin
fact that they could out turn the soviet aircraft, as well as pull out at a
lower altitude. Thus offering their soviet counterparts the simple option,
cork screw down to an altitude where he had to bail out, or pull into the
weapons sights of the F-4.

Many of the design flaws of the F-4, such as a lack of a built in Gun,
would be corrected in the F-14/F-15 - and they would be developed
as independent aircraft for the USN/USAF on the grounds that these two
branches of the Armed Services had clearly distinct mission requirements.
{ a point that can be argued, and will be argued, as long as peeLots
phalpPhlap through the sky. }


Date: 10/03/97
Time: 07:29:19