McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II "Sageburner" - fuse looking aft (scan - donated)

In this picture, under "Sageburner", you can see the hull of a Curtiss E type flying boat.

Starting Oct 67, 580 Fs built with better engines and armament and increased fuel capacity. Beginning with E model, several hundred delivered to air forces of 12 other countries; some made overseas under license. Meanwhile, Navy decided to order improved J version of its F-4B. First flight May 66; 518 built through Dec 72. Had more powerful engines and more sophisticated fire control electronics. Photo recon versions built in parallel with above models. Night and day cameras positioned in forward part of aircraft and replaced fire controls and guidance system for Sparrow missile. Later, Navy converted B and J models into N and S models--structurally strengthened, engines modified, and avionics updated. F- 4 carries 3 times the normal wartime bomb load of a B-17. Set numerous speed, time-to-climb, and altitude records. NASM's F-4A Sageburner acquired because it set world's speed record of 902.7 mph 28 Aug 61 at Holloman AFB NM. Earlier effort resulted in crash of another aircraft. Second pilot added to Sageburner to act as all-around observer--especially during speed runs which were flown at altitudes under 100 meters and during turns at altitudes below 500 m. (Speed records required successive passes over 3 km course).

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