The first F-4E( S) undergoing weight and balance checks inside GD's Building 30. The nose has been painted black overall in preparation for tuft testing.
Two of the three F-4E(S) aircraft in the course of modification inside Building 30, considered as the "Skunk Works" operation for GD. The number two F-4E(S), in the background, is bearing a US civil registration (N97570), the five digits being from the military serial number.
Roll-out of the first F-4E(S), which took place on 12 December 1975. In this photo, tufts have yet to be applied to the nose, although markings for tuft placement are visible.
Several days after the first flight, wool tufts were installed on the nose to verify airflow characteristics. In this photo, a CAI KA-90 camera is mounted in the nose.
The first flight of the number one F-4E(S), with Air Force test pilot Jerry Singleton at the controls, took place on 20 December 1975 from General Dynamics' Fort Worth, Texas, facility (at Carswell AFB).
The number one F-4E(S) as it was delivered to the Israeli Air Force in March 1976. What appears to be a black radome was only paint, as there was no radome as such. The attempt to make the F-4E(S) look like a stock F-4E was not accidental. This photograph was taken at General Dynamics facility, just prior to the delivery flight.
Several optical systems can be accommodated in the F-4E(S) nose, including the CAl KA-90A/KA-90B, shown here, which is optimised for day reconnaissance and carries 2,000ft (610 m) of film.
The HIAC-1 as configured for use in the F-4E(S), with the barrel wrapped in an insulation blanket. The entire camera, barrel and all, is rotated by the motorised unit on the right.
The male mould of the forward fuselage section, completed in March 1975, used to build a one-eighth scale RF-4X wind tunnel model. The slab sided and extended nose for camera windows is quite distinctive.
Full-scale mock-up of the RF-4X/Peace Jack sensor system nose. Optimised for installation of the HIAC-1, the nose was also configured to accept optical sensors developed by other manufacturers.
This wind tunnel force model, in 1/20th scale, gives a good overall impression of the finished RF-4X appearance. Noticeable in this view is a small ventral chine on the water tank to improve directional stability - which, in this configuration, was expected to be marginal at altitude and speed.
The RF-4X mock-up, showing the revised air intakes and dorsal water tanks.
The completed RF-4X mock-up with dorsal water tanks. Mach = 3-2 intake and HIAC camera nose in place. In this configuration, the aircraft was basically a miniature, low-cost strategic reconnaissance aircraft.
The RF-4X intake was capable of functioning effectively out to Mach = 3-2, although the RF-4X was designed to cruise at Mach = 2-4. The large light brown rectangle just above the wing leading-edge/fuselage junction represents the by-pass door.
A front view of the RF-4X mock-up on F-4E 69-7576 illustrates how only the port half was utilised for studies.
The arrival of the first IAF F-4E for conversion to the F-4E(S) configuration at General Dynamics' Fort Worth, Texas, facility on 6 November 1974. Several patched bullet holes were later discovered in the skin of this aircraft, indicating that it had been used in actual combat.