Air International 2006-11
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D.Carrara - Phantom Targets - The USAF's Last F-4 Squadron /Military/
An F-15C from the 390th Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, fires an AIM-7 Sparrow missile against a MQM-107E Streaker launched by the 82nd ATRS.
An F-16C from the 428th Fighter Squadron at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, flies alongside a MQM-107 Streaker drone on a Combat Archer mission.
Two QF-4s fly in formation with one of the unit's E-9As, which are used to check the sea to ensure there are no surface vessels in an area where missiles are due to be fired. They also record and relay missile and target telemetry. Below are two of the unit's MR-120 boats used to recover sub-scale drones.
Хотя прошло уже много времени после снятия F-4 с вооружения боевых частей США, заметное количество этих самолетов продолжает использоваться, но в основном в качестве мишеней. Самолеты RF-4C/F-4E/F-4G (ВВС США) и QF-4N/S (ВМС) переделывают в QF-4, пригодные для эксплуатации как в пилотируемом, так и беспилотном вариантах. QF-4 (на снимке беспилотная машина) применяют для испытаний ракет. Также в США базируется эскадрилья германских F-4F и F-4F ICE, используемых для подготовки экипажей Люфтваффе. Наконец, небольшое число F-4D применяется фирмой ((Marconi" для экспериментов.
Nobody home! The bizarre sight of a Phantom being remotely flown from the ground. This is only done when a missile is to be fired ata QF-4, and as a result over 90% of Phantom sorties flown by the 82nd ATRS are undertaken by manned aircraft.
A QF-4 makes a sharp turn to rejoin his wingman and demonstrates the manoeuvrability of this Cold War warrior. As well as providing targets for missile firings, the 82nd ATRS also meets requests from fighter squadrons to provide manned aircraft for dissimilar air combat training (DACT).
Assigned to the 82nd ATRS are the last operational USAF F-4s, which act as targets for the testing and evaluation of air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles. The unit also attends airshows with some of its Phantoms, which have been painted in commemorative camouflages from different eras of their life in the USAF.
An impressive line-up of Phantoms. These aircraft constitute the unmanned fleet which are next in line to run the gauntlet of being shot at by missiles. They are based ata facility a few miles away from the main airfield at Tyndall and use a dedicated runway. Note that the first two aircraft are more recent conversions, as they do not have the fairing on the spine, unlike the third aircraft, which was used to house transponder equipment. This equipment is now housed in the nose.
Two QF-4s fly in formation with one of the unit's E-9As, which are used to check the sea to ensure there are no surface vessels in an area where missiles are due to be fired. They also record and relay missile and target telemetry. Below are two of the unit's MR-120 boats used to recover sub-scale drones.
A nice shot of the four different camouflages in which the 82nd ATRS have painted six of their QF-4s to pay tribute to the long service of the Phantom and the personnel worked on the type.
Phantoms adorned with commemorative camouflages by the 82nd ATRS have been painted in gloss paint, as is evident in this photo. Although the original schemes had a matt finish, gloss paint is easier to maintain.
Part of the modification process involved in converting a Phantom to QF-4 status involves adding two additional control panels, one on the coaming and the other to the right. These would allow a pilot to take command from the remote operator should the need arise.
An F-16C from the 428th Fighter Squadron at Cannon AFB, New Mexico, flies alongside a MQM-107 Streaker drone on a Combat Archer mission.