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McDonnell F-4E Phantom II (8493)
The F-4 was the dominant Air Force fighter of the 1960s and early 1970s and was the tactical workhorse in Vietnam. It was originally designed as a Navy fighter. The Air Force adopted it in 1962. Air Force Phantoms retained the folding wings and tail hook of the Navy aircraft. This aircraft at Castle Air Museum was an actual member of the USAF "Thunderbirds" aerial demonstration team and is painted accordingly. The Thunderbirds present precision aerial maneuvers to exhibit the capabilities of high-performance aircraft. The F-4 carried air-to-air missiles, was armed with 20 mm cannon and could carry 16,000 pounds of external weapons. It had a maximum speed of 1,500 MPH, range of 1,050 miles and a ceiling of 57,200 feet. All of the Air Force aces and Navy aces of the Vietnam War flew F-4s.