Pair of McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom IIs of the USAF Thunderbirds performing an "opposing knife edge pass". This is usually performed by the two opposing solo aircraft while the 4-ship diamond formation maneuvers back into position for their next display.
About this creation
The USAF Thunderbirds aerial demonstration team converted from the North American F-100D Super Sabre to the McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II in September of 1969. The Phantom was the first of their aircraft to feature their now-familiar white paint scheme, this necessitated by the need to protect the airframe from the effects of heat at Mach II speeds. During this time the Navy's Blue Angels display team also converted to the Phantom II, flying the "J" version. The Thunderbirds would fly the Phantom until 1974 when the fuel crisis mandated a switch to the Northrop T-38 Talon supersonic trainer. This was the first non-frontline combat aircraft to be flown by the team, the fuel requirements for a single F-4 were the same as that of four of the much more economical T-38. They would fly the Talon until their conversion to the F-16 in 1982, a type they continue in to this day.
The models feature detailed pilot and WSO cockpits with opening canopies, opening radome with antenna, retractable landing gear, opening in flight refueling receptacle, deployable ram air turbine (RAT), and positionable flaps, flaperons, spoilerons, tailplanes, airbrakes, leading edge slats, and tail hook.
Beautiful Thunderbolt color scheme for your F-4 Phantom series! I thought the bottom was also white though?
My very first model was a Phantom in the Thunderbolts scheme, but I have lost quite a bit of it in the 5 years I've had it.
I like it
March 26, 2015
Great shot! You did a really nice job on the markings, especially on the bottom of the fuselage and wings.