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The Phantom II is a supersonic, long range, all weather interceptor with full ground attack capability. In
addition to service in our Navy, Marines, and Air Force, it was flown by the military of seven allied
countries. The McDonnell production line started in September 1955 and continued until August 1979;
5,057 were built.
The Phantom II's first flight was on 27 May 1958. Flying Qualities and Performance (FQ&P) Navy
Preliminary Evaluation (NPE) I took place in September 1958. Expanded envelope and carrier suitability
tests in NPE II occurred in July 1959. The first Phantom II catapult shot and carrier landing was on 15
September 1960. First deliveries were made as follows: Navy, 29 December 1960; Marines, 29 June
1962; Air Force modified F-4B, February 1963: Air Force modified F-4C, May 1963; s, Air Force June
1964; Marine reconnaissance version, May 1965; , Navy Blue Angels flight demonstration team (F-4J
model), 23 December 1968, and Air Force Thunderbirds flight demonstration team (F-4E model), 19
Many official records have been set, including world speed and altitude records of 1,606.48 MPH (Mach
2.3) and 98,556 FT respectively. On 28 August 1961, a low altitude speed record of 902.72 MPH (Mach
1.2) was set over a 3-KM course, at a maximum altitude of 328 FT.
Our display aircraft, F-4J BuNo 153071 (Salty Dog 100), has spent its entire operational life involved in
test and evaluation work. Its first flight was 28 June 1966 and it arrived at the Naval Air Test Center in
February 1967. Over the years, it was specially instrumented and served as one of the primary aircraft
carrier suitability testing and automatic carrier landing system development aircraft.
The Skyhawk is a light attack aircraft conceived during the Korean conflict. It was designed as a
successor to the propeller-driven AD (A-l Skyraider) with Ed Heinemann heading up the Douglas design
team. The Douglas production line started in September 1953, and continued until 27 February 1979;
2,960 were built (2,405 attack and 555 trainers) in 21 versions. Skyhawks were bought by six other
nations. It's first flight powered by a Wright J-65-W-2 turbojet engine was on 22 June 1954 and it joined
our operational fleet in October 1956. The single seat version served as one of our prime Navy and
Marine attack aircraft during the Vietnam conflict. The two seat trainer version was used extensively in
the training command, here at our United States Naval Test Pilot School, in many other activities, and in
some instances, is still being flown today. The A-4F version was flown by our Flight Demonstration Team,
the Navy Blue Angels. The Douglas Company developed the self-contained inflight refueling pod that is
carried externally under the aircraft and enabled it to operate as a flying "tanker". On 15 October 1955,
the Skyhawk set a world speed record of 695.163 MPH for a 500 KM closed circuit course. This record
stood for nearly five years.
Our display aircraft NA-4M BUNO 155049 (Salty Dog 300) spent its entire operational life involved in test
and evaluation work. It was built as a A-4F, then converted to a prototype A-4M the same year, and
immediately instrumented for A-4M development flight test and structural demonstration
requirements. After conversion, its first flight was on 14 May 1970. This A-4M aircraft commenced flight
testing at Patuxent River in February 1971 as the Board of Inspection and Survey (BIS) Trials aircraft.
Flight testing continued until its retirement to our museum in November 1990. Over the years, this
particular aircraft was involved in many tests and evaluations. Primarily, it was instrumented and utilized
the test aircraft for the Pratt & Whitney J-52-P-408 turbojet engine Component Improvement Program.