USAF F-4 markings question.. With a side of USN

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USAF F-4 markings question.. With a side of USN

  • finally, I feel confident enough in my skills that I am ready to tackle several F-4s i have been wanting to build for a long time- only to discover I am apparently the only person who wants to tackle said projects.

    I work in 1/48th scale and I have started aquiring the kits for these models.

    Does anyone make Decals for the F-4 flown by Robin Olds around the time of operation Bolo?

    What about the F-4 flown by Steve Ritchie with all the Mig stars on the intake?

    I did some poking around on greatmodels and a couple other places and managed to come up dry, I even searched by tail number with no luck.

    Also, A question about operation Bolo.. where did the F-4s involved hang the ECM pod that was pirated from the F-105s (The stock number escapes me) I have seen pictures of the ECM pod hanging from one of the forward Sparrow stations but I can't imagine giving up a Sparrow on a mission designed to ambush Migs.

    For the side of USN.. Anyone make markings for the F-4 flown by Cunningham/Driscoll on their famous flight? I know Monogram used to make a full kit with those markings.. But given Cunninghams recent legal problems they seem to have all but dropped off the radar.

    Also, does anyone make a sheet of USAF tail numbers and letters? I want to build a late F-4D from the 906th FG at Wright Patterson AFB in the mid 80s. They had one airplane with two Mig victories and I have the tail number somewhere (but I am not at home so my references aren't nearby).

    I know I am out of luck on such obscure markings (like the 906th FG) but I was thinking someone might have a sheet of numbers and letters to help out people looking to build the really obscure models. Once again, a search turned up nothing- but I might not be using the right search terms. I considered painting the stuff myself- but I am not that good, or that patient.

    If such a sheet exists for the USAF.. Does one also exist for the USN? I am building an RA-5C with RVAH-12 from the USS Independence and I need an AC tail code that I don't feel like painting myself.

    Excuse me.. Is that an Uzi?

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  •  I have Aeromaster 48-764 (1/48 scale) which includes the F4D flown by Steve Ritchie to get his first and fifth mig kills, the aircraft has 6 mig kill stars on the intake. Try Squadron, they might have it.

     I'd love to find decals for Robin Olds' Scat II but I haven't found any either.

     As  far as the ECM pods on Operation Bolo, from as far as I can tell from my research, the pod was carried in place of one of the wing tanks. But I can't determine which one. Another possibility would have been hanging it under the Sidewinders.

     

    Dave

  • Take a look at getting yourself issue #7 of Aerospace Modeler, there is a comprehensive article on building Robin Olds's F-4

    You can get this as a back issue direct from AMM.

    Gerald "Hawkeye" Voigt

    http://hawkeyes-squawkbox.com/

     

     

    "Its not the workbench that makes the model, it is the modeler at the workbench."

  • When Monogram first released their F-4C/D in 1/48 scale, the decals you are looking for was in that kit.  Give me a chance to go through my collection and I am sure I'll find them.

    The ECM pods carried by the F-4 were the AN/ALQ-76 and AN/ALQ-87 ECM pods.  The AN/ALQ-76 was carried very early in the war and was replaced by the AN/ALQ-87 which was used until the war ended.  On CAP missions the pod was carried on the inboard pylon.  For strike missions it was carried on the right forward missile well for the F-4C/D and left missile well on the F-4E.  The pylons were needed for ordinance on strike missions.  Only two AIM-7's were carried on strike missions and only on the aft stations.  The forward stations were not loaded as they could not be launched if any thing was loaded on the centerline station.

    During Linebacker two types of ECM pods were used.  The AN/ALQ-87 and AN/ALQ-101.  On CAP missions a -87 and -101 pod would be loaded on the inboard pylon.  We had to carry both pods.  Also depending on the type of mission, long range BUFF escort one aircraft would carry the AN/ALQ-87 pod on an inboard pylon and another aircraft would carry the AN/ALQ-101 pod.  Each aircraft in the escort package would have one ECM pod.

    During Operation Bolo the biggest threat was from MIG fighters and not SAM's.  I don't think Olds carried any ECM pods on those missions.  The ECM pods were not carried until around '68 when the SAM's became the biggest threat to strike aircraft. 

    Berny

     Phormer Phantom Phixer

    On the bench

    TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

    Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

    Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

     

  • The purpose of Operation Bolo was to trick the NV ground controllers into thinking the F-4s were far more vulnerable F-105s. They did this by modifying the ECM pod carried by the F-105s to fit on an F-4.

     

    If we want to get picky, I think the majority of the modifications were done to the F-4, not the ECM pod. Google has not been kind in yielding pictures of this configuration.Wiki is the fastest route that confirms it exists. Also, the recent History channel series "Dogfights" mentioned it- but never showed it. I want to say Old's F-4 which I have personally seen in the USAF museum might be in this configuration. However, I am a little thin on photographic proof. 

     

    I looked it up and the pod was a QRC-160. I am sure it was probably an unusual configuration so I will probably have to buy an F-105 kit (which I was going to do anyway) and pirate the QRC-160 out of it. 

    Excuse me.. Is that an Uzi?

  •  paintsniffer wrote:

    If we want to get picky, I think the majority of the modifications were done to the F-4, not the ECM pod. Google has not been kind in yielding pictures of this configuration.Wiki is the fastest route that confirms it exists. Also, the recent History channel series "Dogfights" mentioned it- but never showed it. I want to say Old's F-4 which I have personally seen in the USAF museum might be in this configuration. However, I am a little thin on photographic proof.

     There was definately some modifications done to the F-4 to use the F-105 ECM pod.  As far as I've read, some wiring was added and controls were added to the rear seat guy's panels.

     For the modeler, it's just a matter of stealing the pod from an F-105 kit or scratch building one. 

     I'll look at my books again to see if I can find where it was mentioned that they carried only one wing tank and one centerline tank on this mission. 

     

    Dave

  • The QRC-160 is a AN/ALQ-71 ECM pod.  The Google search of Operation Bolo is great reading, but full of errors.  The F-4's did not tangle with MIG-21's but with MIG-17's on the two missions flown during Operation Bolo.  Only one crew fired at a MIG-21 and missed, that pilot being Col Chappie James.  The NVAF had more MIG-17's with very few MIG-21's.  The MIG-21 didn't start appearing in large numbers until after 1968. 

    The aircraft flew low and slow, using call signs of F-105 crews.  They flew the route normally taken by the F-105 on strike missions.  CAP aircraft would take a more direct route and join up with the strike package just prior to entering the target area.

    What was not mentioned was the F-4's flew to a F-105 base the day before.  They took off and flew a normal F-105 profile all the way into North Vietnam.  This was done incase the NVAF had a radar tracker in the air which they often had.  That was one way they could track F-105 strike packages. 

    Also ECM pods did not come into full use until 1968.  F-105 crews did not want to carry the pods and had them removed prior to a mission.  In 1968 when the SAM threat was high, 7th AF made it mandatory that all strike aircraft would carry the ECM pod.  Prior to then, very few ECM pods were seen on any aircraft going north. 

    You can not identify the type of aircraft by the ECM pod it carries.  A lot of aircraft carried ECM pods and used in the jammer roll.  Two being the EB-66 and EB-57.  Some F-100, F-105 and F-4's were also used in the jammer roll and would fly along with the strike package.  The jammer aircraft would carry ECM pods as well as chaff and became known as chaff bombers.  F-105's were not the only aircraft flying strike missions at that time. 

    Yes, a mod was done to the F-4 prior to the mission.  They were equiped with RHAW and a RWR to detect any radar tracking.  None of these could be picked up by ground or airborne tracking systems.

     

    Berny

     Phormer Phantom Phixer

    On the bench

    TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

    Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

    Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

     

  •  dmk wrote:
     paintsniffer wrote:

    If we want to get picky, I think the majority of the modifications were done to the F-4, not the ECM pod. Google has not been kind in yielding pictures of this configuration.Wiki is the fastest route that confirms it exists. Also, the recent History channel series "Dogfights" mentioned it- but never showed it. I want to say Old's F-4 which I have personally seen in the USAF museum might be in this configuration. However, I am a little thin on photographic proof.

     There was definately some modifications done to the F-4 to use the F-105 ECM pod (which jammed SAM radars, and of course had a unique signature to fool the enemy into thinking the Bolo flights were F-105s instead of F-4s in fighter sweep configuration).  As far as I've read, some wiring was added and controls were added to the rear seat guy's panels.

     For the modeler, it's just a matter of stealing the pod from an F-105 kit or scratch building one. 

     I'll look at my books again to see if I can find where it was mentioned that they carried only one wing tank and one centerline tank on this mission. 

     

    The F-4C had the wiring to carry the ECM pod.  That mod was done in 1964 on all of the F-4C's.  The F-4D came out of the factory with that wiring installed.  The inboard pylons and forward missile stations were wired to carry the pod.

    As for carrying one 370 and one 600 gal tank, that wouldn't work.  The CL tank would have to be dropped before the forward missiles could be tuned.  Any ECM pod, if carried would be on an inboard pylon and not on an outboard pylon.  Trying to maintain take off balance of a fully loaded aircraft with one 370 removed would be very hard.  Also once the CL was jettisoned the drag on one 370 would cause the AFCS to disengage which would require the crew to fly with ailerons and rudder deflected to maintain level flight.  It would take a lot of weight to offset the difference and a ECM pod would not weigh that much.  This is experience talking and not just something I pulled out of thin air. 

    Edit

    I just checked the Dash one for the F-4.  The only time a single 370 tank can be carried is when the left outboard pylon is loaded and a Dart Tow Target System. The aircraft is prohibited from carrying only one 370 tank at any other time.  If ordinance is carried on the outboard pylons, the load will be of the same weight and drag coefficient.

    Berny

     Phormer Phantom Phixer

    On the bench

    TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

    Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

    Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

     

  •  berny13 wrote:

    The QRC-160 is a AN/ALQ-71 ECM pod. 

    *Smacks head* 

    I am in the early stages of research and I work nights so I don't often function at my best when I get on the internet from work.

    Ok that does make the search a little easier.

    So the inboard pylon under the Sidewinders would have been the most probable place if I am digesting all this correctly. I am guessing the side doesnt really matter. Was there a preference or was it mostly arbitrary? 

    I am still a few weeks from completing the kits currently in the work area and moving the first of the F-4s into the work area. 

     

    Also, DMK.. Thanks for the heads up on the decal sheet but it appears to be out of production or something. Squadron doesn't have it either. I will start shaking a few other trees tonight when I get bored at work to see if I can locate one. 

    Excuse me.. Is that an Uzi?

  •  paintsniffer wrote:
     berny13 wrote:

    The QRC-160 is a AN/ALQ-71 ECM pod. 

    So the inboard pylon under the Sidewinders would have been the most probable place if I am digesting all this correctly. I am guessing the side doesnt really matter. Was there a preference or was it mostly arbitrary? 

    It doesn't matter which side you hang it on.

    Berny

     Phormer Phantom Phixer

    On the bench

    TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

    Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

    Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

     

  • Take a look at the painting on this page. It shows the ECM pod on the starboard outboard pylon.

     Not disagreeing with Berny13, just pointing out that there seems to some widespread confusion about this.

    http://user.icx.net/~arlisk/bolo.html

     

     This page also shows that they did get Mig21 kills:

     http://www.acepilots.com/vietnam/olds_bolo.html

     

     This PDF is a great read about Olds' career and operation Bolo. He was a very interesting officer.  

     

     

     

     

    Dave

  • That is it, a painting, not an actual photograph.  The author of the painting made several mistakes.  He painted a F-4D, not a F-4C.  He could paint very well but wasn't accurate in many of his paintings.

    I did go back and do some research on the type of aircraft shot down that day.  You are correct that they did engage MIG-21's on that mission.  I made a mistake and got my mouth (or typing fingers) ahead of my brain.  I am sorry for any confusion I caused.

    However, I can't believe that the ECM pod would be carried on an outboard pylon when the inboard pylons were wired for them.  I have never seen an ECM pod loaded on the outboard station in all of my years working on the Phantom.  Let me go back and check my tech data on configuration. 

    Yes Col Olds was quite a man.  I had the pleasure of meeting him when I was in SEA.

    Berny

     Phormer Phantom Phixer

    On the bench

    TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

    Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

    Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

     

  • Accurate Minitures is producing an F-4 kit in 1/48 scale that they say will have markings for Robin Olds F-4 durring Operation Bolo. The Monogram 1/48 Pro Modeler F-4E kit does have the markings for Ritchie's F-4. As for Cunningham and Driscol, you have two options,,, you can get the Tamiya 1/32 F-4J which has the decals for "Showtime 100" OR you can opt to go to ebay and get the Monogram or Revell 1/48 F-4J Mig Killer Kit also comes with decals for the same but you will need an after market decal set for the walkways.

    Rand

    30 years experience building plastic models.

    WIP: Revell F-14B Tomcat, backdating to F-14A VF-32 1989 Gulf Of Sidra MiG-23 Killer "Gypsy 207".

  • TCTO 1F-4C-521, replace all Navy style pylons with USAF style pylons (1964).

    TCTO 1F-4C-523, Install ECM pod control panel in rear cockpit.  Install ECM pod wiring to the inboard pylons and forward missile wells. (1964)

    Information from F-4 Phantom TCTO (Time Compliance Tech Order) listing found in the 1F-4C-4-1.

    Berny

     Phormer Phantom Phixer

    On the bench

    TF-102A Delta Dagger, 32nd FIS, 54-1370, 1/48 scale. Monogram Pro Modeler with C&H conversion.  

    Revell F-4E Phantom II 33rd TFW, 58th TFS, 69-260, 1/32 scale. 

    Tamiya F-4D Phantom II, 13th TFS, 66-8711, 1/32 scale.  F-4 Phantom Group Build. 

     

  •  Berny, I trust that you are correct more than the painting. And I have never seen an ECM pod on the outboard pylons in any pictures I've seen either.

     It was mentioned in a few places that for Olds' Fighter Sweep mission, the F4s did have 4 Sparrows and 4 Sidewinders, so I guess the F105 pod would have to have been mounted on one of the inboard pylons under the sidewinders.

     

    Dave