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Raptor to Phantom

Posted by Jolly on March 13, 2012


Coyote forwarded this article to me about a Raptor Driver taking the mighty F-4 Phantom for a lap around the flag pole.  It's awesome and full of fighter pilot humor. Enjoy!

Young Raptor Pilot gets a Double-Ugly Sortie

Written by a young F-22 pilot from the Virginia ANG.  He had the honor of flying a Phantom at Eglin 

I flew your jet a couple days ago.  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. 

FUF4JohnFleck.jpgGround 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 theFUF22AJoeyCollura.jpg 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 FUPhantom.jpggauges. 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.  IFUQF4EJohnathanDerden.jpg 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!

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Posted by Jolly on
from Morton:

What a smart-ass!

Evaluation of article by an old F-4 driver.....and I do mean old, as having first cranked the JUG!
Posted by surfisher on
Clever, but as fighter pilots know, it's the pilot, not the plane that usually makes the difference. The MIGs could turn inside the F-4, but we still kicked their ass in SEA on skill and weaponry
Posted by DuckPerry on
Soulds like the first time this kid flew a fighter that was not equiped with "Hamburger Helper". Sounds like his hands are still 'medium rare'.
Posted by Ruthmo on
A real fighter pilot - maybe?? Comedian - definitely not. Let's get serious, this guys an insult to real fighter pilots:(
Posted by Jolly on
Where's all the thick skin out there? It's very fighter pilot like to poke fun at airplanes other than the one your assigned to fly. We've all done it. Geez, let's not get our panties all up in a wad over some SNAP flying a Phantom and not appreciating how we got from Phantom to the Raptor. It was a bunch of Phantom, Viper, and Eagle guys that helped design the Raptor. That's what I take away from this. We fixed a lot of stuff from 1970 to today in our fighter design (except maybe the LOX thing, now that's just plain stupid).

However, if we lose our "Fighter Pilot" attitude to get the job done no matter what the odds we are doomed. I still think skirt raising with a Slammer is for pussies and I'm pretty sure a high Yo Yo still works. But try and tell that to a snap flying the Raptor who practices square corner and helmet BFM and and I'm pretty sure you'd be wasting your breath.

Austin Powers
Posted by SlapF16 on
Long ago, I jumped from the F-4E/G world to the F16, and had to listen to this crap always. I took some grief from a youngster before a 2v2 brief against F-4s (we were in F-16s). His words came back to me as I watched (in silence) as an F-4 swung his wingline and assholed him. Guess he wasn't showing on one of his hi-tech scopes. Ribbing stopped.

They also tended to shut up when I discussed the APR-47 capabilities and other after market add-ons that the F-16 is just now catching up with. The Viper had a good air conditioner, though.

Posted by pcutrer on
Hey Young Flash
It ain't about the cosmic machine your're drivin.
It's about the guy drivin the machine.
Old "Hun" and "Double Ugly" drivers know that for a fact.
Check six
Posted by harpers on
Iron plane, flown by Iron men.

Slick Harper
Posted by Scrape on
Ah, come on, this was funny as all get out.

When I was flying the F-15K with the Koreans, I used to point to an airplane on final and say to my 3-year old son, "Look Will, that airplane's on fire!" and he would say, "No Dad, that's just an F-4!"

Sure wish I'd talked the ROKAF into giving me a ride in one of their F-4s though...

Posted by usmcrio on
I just got two things to say....first, without a backseater in the raptor, who carries your bags? second, the f-4 that ended the vietnam war with the absolute lowest number of combat hours or missions (or both) is still way way ahead of the raptor with the highest number of combat hours/missions. and doesn't the raptor start with a key?
Posted by F4Gary on
Pretty funny from a guy that probably thinks Jack Daniels is a hard lemonade.

At least we could breathe.
Posted by Hyde on
Some of you old dudes are throwin around SNAP...when it seems that your being a little sensative. We all have our bias against the other communities.
Hogs=Slow as balls and really just attack pilots anyway.
raptors=computer nerds
Vipers= well......everyone wants to be a viper pilot
Posted by Dobs on
Don't crash on the Raptor Pilot...for the first time in his life he flew a real aircraft. No more "Siri, lock 20 left 60 miles and shoot him please"...I mean he had to lift his feet off the floor to actually use rudder for once...

Having gone F-4E to F-15E, their was a significant jump in technology....
Can't imagine going from F-22 TO F-4...

Thought it was pretty funny overall:)

As for the Fighting Falcon guy who thinks he's cool with both his bombs...aww nevermind, someone might attack our outer markers one day!
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