Just FIVE Public Appearances Remain For USAF F-4 Phantoms, Including Final Flight Event In December

posted in: Airshows, Military, Popular Posts | 60
USAF F-4 Phantom Departure
USAF F-4 Phantoms departed EAA AirVenture Oshkosh for the last time this July.

Update: 9/20/16 – Although the Fort Worth Alliance Airshow asked to be removed from this post last week, we have reconfirmed that two Phantoms plan to attend the show and have re-added it to the schedule.

We have already reported that 2016 is the final year for USAF-operated F-4 Phantoms, but we are happy to report that they will go out with a public celebration of their service. As announced by F-4 pilot Ron ‘Elvis’ King at EAA AirVenture, there are plans to fly the last remaining F-4s in Holloman Air Force Base on December 20th this year. He estimates that four Phantoms will take part in the event. There will be multiple flybys and some supersonic flying, as well as a Phinal Phantom formation of four F-4s.

The aircraft will also be making several other public appearances this year before this final send off. The most recent plans include just four stops; three of them airshows and one a NASCAR race flyover. As always, and especially with these old jets, the appearances are subject to change at any time due to weather, mechanical issues, or operational scheduling.

16-19 Sep – Reno, NV
23-26 Sep – MCAS Miramar, CA
14-17 Oct – Ft. Worth Alliance, TX
6 Nov – NASCAR Sprint Cup Flyby at Texas Motor Speedway
10-14 Nov – Nellis AFB, NV

Holloman Air Force Base is located near Alamogordo, New Mexico and is home to multiple flight groups such as F-16s of the 54th Fighter Group and the German Air Force Flying Training Center of the German Luftwaffe.

The Phantoms at Holloman Air Force Base are QF-4 Phantom target drones. As of EAA AirVenture 2016, 20 QF-4s remained in inventory. Not all of them will be completely destroyed, but members of the QF-4 program were told that they will need to get rid of the Phantoms one way or another. Once they are gone, the only remaining F-4 Phantom that will be airworthy in the United States is the one owned by the Collings Foundation, which has had mechanical issues for several years.

USAF F-4 PhantomUSAF F-4 Phantom

The date is currently tentative and is subject to change, but the pilots want to get the word out. So mark your calendars; USAF F-4 Phantoms will have one last hurrah in New Mexico before signing off for good this December.

For those who can’t make it, rest assured that AirshowStuff will have plenty of F-4 footage coming, including more exclusive cockpit footage!

60 Responses

  1. Ralph Moerschbacher

    Please try to schedule something in the east I would again love to see the phantoms fly

  2. Randy Krongard

    Sad that these Aircraft will be taken out of service…..why ? We have vintage WW2 Aircraft be flown, why not use these supremely engineered machines. Please save our heritage in aviation….we have lost too much of it already….and let’s face it, if it can still Rev up, it can still make us smile. Sincerel Randy K.

    • Glenn Brown

      Cost. WW2 aircraft are much more simplistic. You should see the inside of the central air data computer. What a cluster….

      • Jim McDede

        I suspect this will be more common with later generations of avionics/computer dependent aircraft. We no longer fly electrical, mechanical and hydraulic aircraft. Software is a game changer. The computer code and the computers (meaning their internal individual vintage electrical component piece parts) have to be maintained per the design and certification. It’s a lot easier to substitute screws, bolts, washers and fittings than it is to replace obsolete out of production digital electronc components.

  3. Tim Talbert

    Wish they would let the CAF have a couple of F4s to fly at airshows after they leave Air force service.

  4. Chris

    I too wish they don’t stop flying the F-4. My dad was a pilot of them. They are the best fighter we ever produced.

  5. Sean

    So why don’t they swap the broken Collins Phantom with a working one before they finally decommision the remaining airworthy Phantoms? Even better, let the foundation have them all for spares to keep the last one flying for as long as possible?

  6. Doug Crann

    When I lived in Jersey I would go to Warren Grove and watch the F-4’s and A-10’s using the target range…was very impressive to watch

  7. Raymond unger

    Truly a sad time for a superior plane. Ask any pilot or gib who flew them in Vietnam how many times it brought them back to base, where a different plane wouldn’t! End of an era

  8. James Kassela

    Never got a chance to fly in one, but was a maintainer. 67th TRW at Bergstrom 83-89. When F-4’s no longer fly, it will be a sad day indeed.

    • Lorri Halliday

      I was in the 924th at Bergstrom from ’85 to ’91. I miss working on these magnificent birds!

  9. Efrain (Evil Genius) Hernandez

    One of my favorite planes of all time, Such a beautiful design. Sad to see the news that it will no longer be in the air.

  10. Edward M Pate

    I would like to see these aircraft preserved and continue to fly in air shows. The ONLY aircraft used by the Navy, AF and USMC at the same time!

  11. Coyote

    For Brandon and his wise-ass comment on the drag chute – yes, that was what it was. Trust me, I have over 1,600 hours in Phantoms.

  12. RRogers

    As an Phantom Phixer, Electronic Warfare, I have to wonder why is the Air Force so set on destroying every last F4? They boast that they will all be destroyed as drones by the end of the year (next year?). It saddens me deeply.

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