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Whiskey

F-22 Pilot’s Comments after Flying an F-4

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Posted (edited)

Not sure if it's been posted here before but it was too good to not let it see some attention.

 

Joe Lee Burns wrote in a February 2, 1012, email message:

A colleague who is F22 pilot for the Virginia ANG had honor of flying a Phantom at Eglin. He flew the aircraft we had at the reunion. Here is the F-22 pilot’s thoughts on flying the F-4:

I flew your jet a couple days ago (see attached). I had a little trouble getting the engines started, so I climbed out and shoveled some more coal in the back; after that she fired right up. Ground ops were uneventful, although I couldn’t figure out why the cockpit smelled like body odor, Jack Daniels and cigars…and that was BEFORE I got in it! By the way, what’s with the no slip crap on top of the intakes, it’s like you have permanent icing conditions due to that spray on rhino truck bed liner on top of the aircraft. It’s no wonder you needed so much coal (I mean thrust) to get airborne.

Take off scared the sh*t out of me. I lit the burners at brick one and 2 miles and 45 minutes later we were ready to rotate. After barely clearing the tree tops, the gear came up and I climbed away at a VERY impressive 2 degrees nose high. In case you don’t remember, “Trim” is your friend in the F-4 (pretty sure it’s also a good friend on the ground too). Once I got her up to speed and a moderate altitude, we were ready for the G-Ex. Two G-turn’s later and I’m sinking like a rock…the F-4’s energy seems to bleed like Holyfield’s ear in the Tyson fight! After the G-Ex it was time to do a little Advanced Handling Characteristics (AHC) and by “advanced handling” I mean the same crap the Wright Brothers were doing back in 1903…just trying to keep it airborne.

The jet flies much like my old man’s station wagon used to drive…You turn the wheel (push the stick) a few inches and nothing happens, then all of a sudden the steering kicks in, inertia takes over, and all HELL breaks loose! You’re pretty much along for the ride at that point and only gravity has a real say in your lift vector placement. “Checking 6” was really quite easy…. because you CAN’T! Scratch that off the list of “Sh*t I need to do to keep myself alive in combat today”. Breathing, however, was surprisingly easy in the F-4 when compared to that of the F-22 (thank you Lockheed)…LOX works, who knew!

I think I may have burned my legs a bit from the steam pouring out from behind the gauges. Where are my 6 mini-flat screen TV’s, I’m lost without my HD jet displays (editors note: actually, I’m an analog guy stuck in a digital world too…I really do like the “steam driven” gauges). After the AHC, I decided to take her up high and do a supersonic MACH run, and by “high” I mean “where never lark nor even eagle flew”; but not much higher, a foot or two maybe. I mean, we weren’t up there high-fiving Jesus like we do in the Raptor, but it was respectable. It only took me the width of the Gulf of Mexico to get the thing turned around while above the Mach. After the Mach run we dropped to the deck and did 600 kts at 500’; a ratllin’ and shakin’ we will go…. I though all the rivets were going to pop out. Reference previous station wagon analogy! Very quickly we were out of gas and headed home.

As I brought the jet up initial, I couldn’t help but think that the boys who took this thing into combat had to have some pretty big brass you know whats!

My first F-4 landing was a little rough; sub-standard really by Air Force measure… but apparently “best seen to date” according to the Navy guys. Did you know that there’s no such thing as an aerobrake in the F-4? As soon as the main gear touches down, the nose comes slamming down to the runway with all the force of a meteor hitting the earth….I guess the F-4 aerobrake technique is to dissipate energy via denting the runway.

Despite an apparently “decent” landing, stopping was a whole different problem. I reached down and pulled the handle to deploy the drogue chute…at which point a large solid mass of canvas, 550 cord, metal weights and cables fell out and began bouncing down the runway; chasing me like a lost puppy and FOD’ing out the whole runway. Perfect. I mashed down on the breaks and I’m pretty sure at this point the jet just started laughing at me. Why didn’t you warn me that I needed a shuttle landing strip to get this damn thing stopped?

All kidding aside, VERY COOL jet! Must have been a kick to fly back when you were in Vietnam! Just kidding!

https://www.f-4phantom.com/f-22-pilots-comments-after-flying-an-f-4/#comments

 

 

Edited by Whiskey

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I'm not a pilot and never had the honor of serving, but this was funny. Even I got most of what he was talking about. Thanks for sharing Whiskey. :thumbsup:

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Funny story...

Ironically, that "coal burning" F-4 is faster than a F-22...

 

-Gregg

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3 hours ago, GreyGhost said:

Funny story...

Ironically, that "coal burning" F-4 is faster than a F-22...

 

-Gregg

Pretty sure the ole' coal burner can carry more ordnance too.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, GreyGhost said:

Funny story...

Ironically, that "coal burning" F-4 is faster than a F-22...

 

-Gregg

If one goes by Paul Metz comments ("it will do 1600mph"), F-22 is faster. That intake must be some dark arts.

Edited by Berkut

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6 hours ago, GreyGhost said:

Funny story...

Ironically, that "coal burning" F-4 is faster than a F-22...

 

-Gregg

with 2, 3 fuel tanks, or any operational loadout?

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7 hours ago, GreyGhost said:

Funny story...

Ironically, that "coal burning" F-4 is faster than a F-22...

 

-Gregg

I honestly can never see the F22 even slightly getting close to what the Phantom did in its lifetime.

glt

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Makes you realize how far we’ve come since the F-4.   Compare today’s fly-by-wire jets to the Phantom which had a few malicious tricks.   As an example, at high AOA, pilots had to roll using the rudder.  If they used the stick, the jet would go into a spin, which at lower altitudes, the recovery procedure was to eject!  

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, 11bee said:

[The F-4] at high AOA, pilots had to roll using the rudder.  If they used the stick, the jet would go into a spin, which at lower altitudes, the recovery procedure was to eject!  

 

Actually, the airplane would "adverse yaw" and then flip rapidly in the direction opposite the intended turn. Easy to recover, and far from a spin. 

 

Quote

 I honestly can never see the F22 even slightly getting close to what the Phantom did in its lifetime.

 

Amen, glt. The F-4 certainly wasn't a one trick pony -- did everything it wasn't intended to do.

 

Gene K

Edited by GeneK

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While the F-22 may have thrust and maneuverability the F-4 has payload, range and (most important of all) can take a punch. The F-22 is a glass tiger IMO, looks all flashy but has a glass jaw.

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I am a phantom phan, but the F-22 is the guy who can sneak up on you in the locker room and pull your shorts down.  😃

 

Geoff M

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7 hours ago, GW8345 said:

While the F-22 may have thrust and maneuverability the F-4 has payload, range and (most important of all) can take a punch. The F-22 is a glass tiger IMO, looks all flashy but has a glass jaw.

back in early 68, we used to walk thru the bone yard in Chu Lai while making our PX run. There were Phantoms in there that looked only slightly better than a B17 returning from Regensburg. Fist sized holes were the norm, and a few had holes in them big enough to stick your head in. How they go back is amazing. Ole Smokey was one tough bird!

gary

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8 hours ago, GW8345 said:

While the F-22 may have thrust and maneuverability the F-4 has payload, range and (most important of all) can take a punch. The F-22 is a glass tiger IMO, looks all flashy but has a glass jaw.

Ok, I’m bored today so I’ll play along:

 

Interesting conclusion about tolerance to battle damage.  How many F-22’s have taken hits and not made it home?    Compare that to an F-4, where you won’t have to walk very far in Vietnam without coming across an F-4 crash site.   If that’s your idea of an aircraft that could take a punch, good for you.   
 

Also, you are aware that if stealth works the way it should, the F-22 won’t have to demonstrate how it can or can’t take a punch, so it’s kind of a moot point anyway.   On the opposite side of the coin is the massive F-4, trailing black smoke for a few miles behind it.  

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45 minutes ago, 11bee said:

Ok, I’m bored today so I’ll play along:

 

Interesting conclusion about tolerance to battle damage.  How many F-22’s have taken hits and not made it home?    Compare that to an F-4, where you won’t have to walk very far in Vietnam without coming across an F-4 crash site.   If that’s your idea of an aircraft that could take a punch, good for you.   
 

Also, you are aware that if stealth works the way it should, the F-22 won’t have to demonstrate how it can or can’t take a punch, so it’s kind of a moot point anyway.   On the opposite side of the coin is the massive F-4, trailing black smoke for a few miles behind it.  

I'm talking aircraft structures, the F-4 was built like an Abrams tank, the F-22 like a Ferrari, which one would you rather be in when 20mm starts heading your way?

 

As for stealth, it doesn't do anything for AAA and IR guided missiles, also, stealth does not make you invisible on radar, it only reduces your RCS.

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On 3/19/2020 at 9:08 AM, GreyGhost said:

Funny story...

Ironically, that "coal burning" F-4 is faster than a F-22...

 

-Gregg


Pretty sure that's not true, in terms of the official specs, the F-22 is listed as marginally faster, capable of Mach 2.25 vs the F-4's listed top speed of Mach 2.23. Now actual measured is hard to compare, as while we have good numbers for the F-4 from its career setting records (with a proven max speed on a closed course of 1604mph), no equivalent activity has been done with the F-22.

The reality is that both aircraft share the same basic speed limits, which are airframe heating from air friction and air intake geometry limits, otherwise the F-22 in particular would be much faster on sheer thrust (it has just about twice the thrust of an F-4E in full afterburner) plus the airframe is cleaner. 

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15 hours ago, GW8345 said:

I'm talking aircraft structures, the F-4 was built like an Abrams tank, the F-22 like a Ferrari, which one would you rather be in when 20mm starts heading your way?

 

As for stealth, it doesn't do anything for AAA and IR guided missiles, also, stealth does not make you invisible on radar, it only reduces your RCS.


In terms of structure, I'd bet on the F-22's being significantly stronger in fact. They're very similarly sized aircraft (the F-22 is ~1' shorter but has 6' more span) and the F-22 weighs around 12,000lbs more when empty. Some of that is the much larger engines and larger internal volume, but some is structure as well. 

And the F-22 is also stealthed from an IR perspective, one major reason for the design of its exhausts is reducing IR signature, and the leading edge design is also around that (it's actively cooled on the F-22), there's also a layer of undercoat on the paint which reduces IR emissions. All the 5th gen designs and many of the 4.5 gen designs have quite significant IR signature reduction measures.

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Posted (edited)
On 3/20/2020 at 9:01 AM, GW8345 said:

While the F-22 may have thrust and maneuverability the F-4 has payload, range and (most important of all) can take a punch. The F-22 is a glass tiger IMO, looks all flashy but has a glass jaw.


Payload is lower on the F-4 (F-22 is capable of a little over 22,000lbs max payload if all 4 external pylons are used, vs 18,650 for an F-4E) although the operational loads on an F-4 for strike are definitely higher as the F-22 has limited internal storage and rarely, if ever, operates with weapons externally. That's only in the strike role of course, air to air loads are basically identical (up to 8 AAM's normally, with 4+4 AIM-7+AIM9 for the F-4 and any mix of AIM-9X and AIM-120C for the F-22, although 6 AIM-120C's and 2 AIM-9X's would be typical)

Range is also lower for the F-4, in pretty much all configurations (even ferry range on an F-4E is around 200 miles lower than an F-22). That's unsurprising as the F-22 has an internal capacity of 2647 gal to the F-4's 1994 gallons internally, and while the F-4 can carry more externally (1340 gallons vs 1200) the 140 gallons advantage for the F-4 doesn't offset the 653 extra gallons the F-22 has internally).

Edited by mawz

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wrt payload and effectiveness you can’t go strictly by weight. One smart bomb can do what several dumb bombs might if they are lucky. Compare B-52 carpet bombing in the same era (as F-4) to what a B-2 can do with PGMs. Even if you loaded an F-4 with PGMs the jet didn’t  have the avionics to support their guided delivery. 
 

Still it was great in its time and had a long service life. 

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I'm surprised that he failed to mention only moving the stick fore and aft in the landing pattern because of adverse yaw--all the turning was done with rudder.

 

As far a structure goes, walking across the wing of an F-4 is like walking across the parking lot--no give at all. I had the opportunity to walk on the wing of an F-15 and immediately started looking around to see if I was in a "NO STEP" area! It felt like walking on a styrofoam egg carton! Don't know what the Raptor is like, but you can bet the structures folks didn't use one ounce of material more than needed to meet the requirements.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, habu2 said:

wrt payload and effectiveness you can’t go strictly by weight. One smart bomb can do what several dumb bombs might if they are lucky. Compare B-52 carpet bombing in the same era (as F-4) to what a B-2 can do with PGMs. Even if you loaded an F-4 with PGMs the jet didn’t  have the avionics to support their guided delivery. 
 

Still it was great in its time and had a long service life. 


I'll freely admit that as a modeler, I'd rather build F-4's than F-22's. Boring grey jets are not my thing. But the F-22 as an aircraft is a real beast.

Note that some F-4's were PGM capable since 1969, modern US PGM's are developments of the PAVE KNIFE program on the F-4 and A-6 which pioneered the use of LGB's in combat.

Edited by mawz

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1 hour ago, mawz said:


I'll freely admit that as a modeler, I'd rather build F-4's than F-22's. Boring grey jets are not my thing. But the F-22 as an aircraft is a real beast.

Note that some F-4's were PGM capable since 1969's, modern US PGM's are developments of the PAVE KNIFE program on the F-4 and A-6 which pioneered the use of LGB's in combat.

Just as importantly, F-4’s were the first to be able to effectively ID and engage enemy aircraft from BVR ranges, with Combat Tree equipped F-4D’s and “dogfight” Sparrows back in 1972.  This was just as revolutionary as the use of PGM’s.   

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Posted (edited)

Ok, for structures I'm talking about how the aircraft is built. While the F-22 is heavier it doesn't mean it's built with greater structural integrity than the F-4. The F-22 has more avionics than the F-4 and avionic weigh a lot, the F-22 engines are bigger = more weight, the RAM coating adds weight, all the crap for the weapons bay add weight.

 

As for payload, once you put weapon/store out on the wings of a F22 say good bye to any stealth capability, so how many bombs/missile can you put in the weapons bay of an F-22?

 

You also have to take into account how much stuff is crammed into the aircraft. The F-22 is crammed full of all kind of stuff so basically any hit will hit vital areas where as for the F-4, there's a lot of room in the airframe so there is a lot less likely hood of hitting something vital. The F-22 is FBW/Computer controlled, the F-4 is good ole rods/cables, if the F-22 loses it's flight computer(s) you're screwed, if you hit one of the rods/cables in the F-4 it will still keep flying.

 

Also, think of this, the F-4 (and to a lesser extent even the USAF ones) where built to land on an aircraft carrier, was the F-22 built to land on a carrier?

 

Now I'm not saying the F-4 is better than the F-22 but each aircraft does have it's distinct advantages and disadvantages in certain areas, the F-22 does have stealth but at a cost of load carrying capability. The F-22 maybe faster but you also have to take into account weapon limits, you don't release weapons at mach 2. You have to take into account the limits of the weapons you are carrying and not focus solely on the aircraft's capabilities. You can have an aircraft that is capable of Mach 2 but if you have a weapon that can only be carried/released at 600 knots how useful is that mach 2 capability?

 

Edited by GW8345

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