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ade rowlands

F-4 Phantom centreline fuel tank

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Have the Tamiya F-4C/D on the way to me which I believe lacks the 600gallon centreline tank. Decal scheme I plan to do requires one, so, did the Air Force Phantoms use the same centreline tank as the Navy Phantoms? That way I can rob one from my F-4J but that’s probably to easy a solution so the tanks will end up being different now won’t they?

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Depends on the time period, towards the end of its service, they used the F-15 style tank, prior to that, it was the same as the navy ones. 

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29 minutes ago, Kagemusha said:

Depends on the time period, towards the end of its service, they used the F-15 style tank, prior to that, it was the same as the navy ones. 


Thanks Kag, I’m talking August 1972 for Steve Ritchie’s F-4D on the day of the 5th Mig kill. Werners wings instructions state 3 tanks carried on that day. If I don’t need the one for my F-4J I’ll take it from that kit or order the tank sprue. 

Edited by ade rowlands

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The only F-4’s to use the F-15 tank were later E,F,& G’s.   The C/D’s and USN/USMC versions all used the older tank.

 

Sprue Brother’s  carries both styles of drop tank in the GT Resin line.

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42 minutes ago, ghatherly said:

The C/D’s and USN/USMC versions all used the older tank.

 

Maybe these were the only ones to carry the later F-15 type, I only know as I intend to model one just like it, think it looks great.

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1 hour ago, ghatherly said:

The only F-4’s to use the F-15 tank were later E,F,& G’s.   The C/D’s and USN/USMC versions all used the older tank.

 

Sprue Brother’s  carries both styles of drop tank in the GT Resin line.


At least one F-4D carried the F-15 tank, but since it’s a warbird, it’s hard to know if was carried while operational.  If any C/Ds did, it probably would have been near end of life in a ANG Squadron, and most likely only ever a -D.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/McDonnell_Douglas_F-4_Phantom_IIs_on_display#/media/File:F-4_Phantom_II_Collings_Foundation.jpg


ETA: Here’s a couple for reallz:

 

https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Air-Force/McDonnell-Douglas-F-4D-Phantom-II/2606326?qsp=eJw1jDEOwkAMBP/iGqpEFOlIQQsFH7DsFUQE7mRbglOUv3MXRLezI81Ckl6BT1xLBg3kYJM77Siz8dNpWOiB8k6mddNp32t1nizGUlk5cBRBDvz/symsKbhsmVvL9m3CLj/qDhV18jzzVkHwNNO6fgEP3C3t

 

https://www.airliners.net/photo/USA-Air-Force/McDonnell-Douglas-F-4D-Phantom-II/2119564?qsp=eJw1jDEOwkAMBP/iGioQRTpS0ELBByx7RSICd7ItwSnK33MXRLezI81Mkt6Bb9xLBnXkYJOBdpTZ%2BOXUzfRE%2BSTTuumyP2p1niz6Ulk5cBZBDvz/qymsKbhsmUfLntqE3X50aKij54m3CoLHiZZlBRAoLe8%3D

 

RF-4Cs definitely carried the tank late in life.

 

https://www.militaryimages.net/media/rf-4c-phantom-ii-reconnaissance-aircraft.32755/

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/87/106th_Reconnaissance_Squadron_McDonnell_RF-4C-24-MC_Phantom_65-0833.jpg

Edited by Dave Williams

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Well it seems I'm going to need an F-15 style tank for my F-4EJ Kai (if I can get a hold of the Wolfpack Designs Kai update set, if not it will be an F-4EJ before the Kai updates took place) at least but the one from my J kit will suffice for the F-4D. 

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What do you mean by mount?  The F-15 tank has a pivot ball on the aft "fin" which fits into a fitting (unique to the F-4 AFAIK) that is permanently attached to the lower aft fuselage.  That's so that when punched off, the tank pivots nose down and away from the aircraft.  AFAIK there is no pylon or anything.  The top of the tank mounts directly to the F-4's built-in fittings on the belly.

 

The ex-Thunderbirds F-4E at Pima has an F-15 tank installed, so I can take a look next time I'm down there.  The tank fits very close up to the belly.

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34 minutes ago, Jennings Heilig said:

What do you mean by mount?  The F-15 tank has a pivot ball on the aft "fin" which fits into a fitting (unique to the F-4 AFAIK) that is permanently attached to the lower aft fuselage.  That's so that when punched off, the tank pivots nose down and away from the aircraft.  AFAIK there is no pylon or anything.  The top of the tank mounts directly to the F-4's built-in fittings on the belly.

 

The ex-Thunderbirds F-4E at Pima has an F-15 tank installed, so I can take a look next time I'm down there.  The tank fits very close up to the belly.


I was curious as to how it was fixed to the F-4 belly, was there a specific bracket or fixing unique to the F-4 when using this style of tank or was an F-15 mount used. I’m thinking I’ll order a Tamiya F-15 centreline tank and was wondering how I go about sticking it to the Phantom. I’ve ordered a couple of books on the F-4 so hopefully I can answer my own questions. However it seems that the out of production Wolfpack Design F-4EJ Kai set is rarer than Hens teeth in rocking horse pooh. Nobody is willing to part with one if they have one and there’s none in the dark corners of the Internet. So I may have to rethink this project. I want a 2 tone Blue F-4 but it looks like this scheme only applies to the Kai models. 

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A long time ago, I crawled up under a couple of F-4s and got some decent close ups of the mounts. I’ll post them the next time I’m at my computer. Probably tomorrow morning, if I manage to remember.
 

The forward mount looked like two vertical pipes and four screw-out sway braces, all grouped near the aux air intakes. There wasn’t any kind of fairing between the tank and the airplane. It was pretty easy to make on my Tamiya F-4E.

 

Ben

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Here are the pics I've taken of the two ex-Thunderbirds aircraft here in Tucson.  I wasn't aware that those two big pipes sticking out of the belly were part of the F-15 centerline tank mount.  Any idea how that worked??  That area is in deep shadow, so it's hard to see any details in period photos of F-4s carrying that tank.

 

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I’ve got Jake’s Modern F-4 guide, and those two large tubes are not shown in any of the photos of the underside.  They must have been for something unique to the T-birds F-4s and not related to the centerline pylon.  The Tamiya wing bottom has a trapezoidal area on the centerline between the aux air inlet doors.  From what I can see in the book, that area has the pylon/tank connections, retractable sway braces, fuel connections, and the ejector to jettison a centerline store.  The vertical pipes that Ben mentioned are located in-line on the centerline between the aux intakes.  The use of the F-15 tank required the addition of a mounting block to the underside of the aft fuselage.with a hole that takes the swivel bearing attached to the top of the tank rear fin.  This is the black block shown in the last photo the Jennings included.

 

This is a picture of the area.  The four round discs (two each side) are the retracted sway braces.  I believe the actual fuel connections are under that nice clean rectangular cover forward of the centerline mount.

 

http://data3.primeportal.net/hangar/shawn_antunes/f-4c_64-0673/images/f-4c_64-0673_106_of_167.jpg

 

A few more photos here.

 

http://www.primeportal.net/hangar/shawn_antunes/f-4c_64-0673/index.php?Page=6

Edited by Dave Williams

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