British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Discussions regarding historic aircraft, restoration and preservation etc
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BPAG
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

CJS wrote:Keep up the good work :up:


baz1962 wrote:Good job lads


peter wrote:A long road ahead, but at least she is in good hands now!


Malcolm McKay wrote:Oh that is impressive work. Keep up the fine job you are doing.


Many thanks to you all. Next working party is on the weekend of 21/22nd March, so stay tuned for more updates.
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Georgeconna
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by Georgeconna »

That looks pretty tough going and fair play to Volunteers cracking on with it too!
Cheers

George

Zero shows for 2018 Giving in a Rest.

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BPAG
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

Due to current circumstances, we have been informed by DFTDC Manston that the facility is closed to all external visitors for up to 12 weeks. The British Phantom Aviation Group and the 74 Squadron Association have therefore put the preservation effort of ZE360 on hold until further notice.

This new development will fundamentally change our planned timetable but this is obviously due to circumstances beyond our control and we would like to apologize to our volunteers who may have gone to considerable inconvenience to make themselves available for this weekend's cancelled work party. We will issue more updates as events unfold. Many thanks for your support and understanding.
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BPAG
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

In view of yesterday’s instructions from the Government, we have taken the decision to close the BPAG webstore until further notice. The new lock down rules mean that we cannot currently access the merchandise storage facility and- of course- we will not be expecting our volunteers to leave their homes to dispatch packages.

Closing the store will also save the BPAG a monthly standing charge, at a time when we are unsure when fundraising activities will be able to recommence. Thank you to everyone who has supported us so far by purchasing items. The store will return when the current emergency passes.

We can also confirm that the new Cold War Call Up event, due to take place at Newark Air Museum in May and which would have featured XV490, has now been cancelled. The inaugural Cold War Call Up will now take place in 2021.

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tc2324
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by tc2324 »

Hi all,

With the global situation as it is at present, it won`t be a major shock to you all to learn that all restoration work has been suspended until further notice with no access to ZE360 until the pandemic is over. The timing couldn`t have been worse as we were starting to make real progress towards removing `360` to a safe area at Manston ready for dismantle and removal from site.
So what to do in the meantime? Well...., this sounds like a good a time as any to give you all an update on the artwork situation. As can be expected, COVID19 means that signatures for the Limited Editions cannot be obtained for the moment which obviously throws a bit of a spanner in the works, however we plan to get this rectified as soon as we safely can.

“Tigers’ Lair” (Medium-Oil on canvas) by Rob Johnson depicts ZE360 and ZE359 over-flying Wattisham on their return from a training sortie.

Imagehttps://flic.kr/p/2iyz3rb

This `CO`s edition`, of which 15 will be produced, has measurements of 24 x 16 inches (Paper Size 27 x 20 inches). Each copy will be signed by Air Marshal Cliff Spink, Group Captain Dick Northcote and Group Captain Graham Clarke who were 74`s CO`s during the period the F-4J(UK)`s were operational with the RAF.

Each of these CO`s prints will be priced at £120. (Note - This does not include P&P).

We will also be looking to produce an number of other signed print`s from various 74 Tiger Squadron air and ground crews using the standard print below and we will supply exact details for these nearer the time of release. We are estimating prices for these to be around the £100 mark.

Imagehttps://flic.kr/p/2iyz3bg

You will of course be able to buy the standard unsigned versions in the size above and a smaller version at 15 x 10 inches, (Paper Size 17 x 13 inches). These will be priced at approximately £75 and £40 respectively.

Moving onto the “Once, I feared no Man” print by Marie Brown in Medium-Graphite Pencil, this depicts ZE360 as she was at Manston prior to any restoration work starting. This print measures in at 12 x 8 inches and comes in two forms. The `print only` will retail at £25, while a second version with colour co-ordinated mount as shown below, will retail at £35.

Imagehttps://flic.kr/p/2iyAjwr

There are still some final details to be worked out and once the world has got back to some kind of normal, I`ll be confirming those details and posting links of where you can get your hands one of these great looking prints and help towards the Phantom F-4J(UK) ZE360 project.

Of course you can catch up on all ZE360 related updates and history on the 74(F) Tiger Squardon Association`s ZE360 Restoration webpage at http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-restoration-page/

As always please feel free to view the Tiger360 webstore, (link on restoration webpage), where you can purchase if you so wish any of the following items and more.

Imagehttps://flic.kr/p/2iP8TtM

Imagehttps://flic.kr/p/2iPaw7R

Thanks for looking.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

Apologies in advance for the commercial nature of this post. Mods feel free to delete if it breaks the forum rules.

With the BPAG webstore closed due to the current circumstances and all our planned events for 2020 now cancelled, our fundraising efforts are scuppered. However, we still have some fixed costs to meet each month so must find income from somewhere. We are therefore offering these exclusive F-4 patches for sale direct to help us tread water until things get rolling again.

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Patches are £5 each +P&P (UK- £0.77/Europe £1.80/Rest of World £2.56). Payment can be made via PayPal to phantomerchandise@outlook.com (please confirm delivery address with your payment) or if you would prefer to pay via bank transfer, please email phantomerchandise@outlook.com and we will pass details on.

Many thanks.
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ZRX61
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by ZRX61 »

Looking at the corrosion issues, someone needs to send you a case of AeroKroil. Then you can just spray everything & walk away for a week while it does it's job :)

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BPAG
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

ZRX61 wrote:Looking at the corrosion issues, someone needs to send you a case of AeroKroil. Then you can just spray everything & walk away for a week while it does it's job :)


That process has been ongoing since Sept 2019!
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

Recently dug up from the archives by one of our members. A throwback to March 1966, when Flight magazine reported on the early days of the UK Phantom procurement. Many thanks to John Kendal for the pic.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

This isn't one of our projects but due to the unusual origin of the pic, its too good not to share. This photo of a 111 Sqn FG.1 was taken from the rear cabin of a Soviet TU-95RT during a QRA intercept at some point in the 1970's. Very rare to find shots taken by the other side. Original photographer unknown but the copy was kindly supplied by Dmitriy Ermolin. The aircraft in question is strongly suspected to be XV569.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

ZE360 UPDATE

While actual physical restoration work on ZE360 has had to be put on hold due to the ongoing COVID19 pandemic, this has given the team an opportunity to address other aspects of the campaign and make some choices that probably wouldn`t have been due until a little further down the road. One such decision was the aircrew names that would adorn the canopy frame of ZE360 once complete and restored. We can now share our plans in this regard, as we have opted for two sets of names- one set placed on each of the right & left sides.

Of the 15 F-4J(UK) delivered to 74 (F) Squadron only one aircraft (ZE358/H) was lost, during a low level interception training sortie near Aberystwyth, West Wales on 25th August 1987. Both aircrew- Ewan Murdoch and Jeremy Ogg- were unfortunately killed in the accident. In order to honour the memory of Ewan and Jeremy, their names will be placed on the right side of ZE360's canopy. We would like to thank our partners, the 74(F) Squadron Association (and Squadron Secretary Bob Cossey in particular) who retained contact with the relatives of the aircrew and has received their blessing to pay tribute to Ewan and Jeremy in this way. In addition, Paul West (BPAG member and ex-74 Sqn Air Radar) is in the process of restoring two flight helmets, sourced from original 74 Sqn new old stock by fellow ex-Tiger Richard Proctor. These will be complete with masks, bags and embroidered name tags, which will also feature Ewan and Jeremy’s names. Many thanks to Paul & Richard for their hard work and generosity. We believe both these methods will be fitting ways to honour the memories of two airmen who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the defence of their country during the Cold War.

Moving onto the left side of ZE360, this will display the names of Ian Hargreaves and Simon Hindmarsh, who delivered the aircraft to Manston in 1991. At that time both held the rank of Flying Officer and it was very rare to have the same rank as aircrew together. The original canopy markings reflect this joint status and will be replicated as a finishing touch at the close of the restoration, adding another unusual detail to the only F-4J(UK) to survive in RAF colours, anywhere in the world.

Look out for more updates on the ZE360 restoration project in the coming weeks ahead.
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NigeF-51
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by NigeF-51 »

A fitting tribute to the "lost" crew I feel. I well remember that day. I was on 56 Sqn at the time and all of the airborne 74 Sqn jets were diverted to our HAS site on return, one of which I had to see-in. We had some rudimentary knowledge of what had happened to their comrades and that didn't make the see-in and interaction with those crews any easier, especially as they were curious as to why they had come to our site rather than their own.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

This weekend, XV490 should have been taking part in Cockpit Fest at Newark Air Museum. Unfortunately, like all other events in the UK this summer, this has been cancelled. So here's a quick look back to better times. XV490, still in 74 Sqn colours, arriving at Newark in 2011 and meeting the public at Cockpit Fest 2014. Restoration and repaint to its current 92 Sqn camo scheme would begin, with the help of the British Phantom Aviation Group, in 2015. Many thanks to Howard Heeley for the pics.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by NAM Updater »

Nice to see some of my photos posted on here :grinning: - but it's a shame that Cockpit-Fest was cancelled!
Howard Heeley - Newark Air Museum Trustee
http://newarkairmuseum.org

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by tc2324 »

While many on the BPAG team are dealing with upcoming technical, logistical and marketing issues of the Phantom F-4J(UK) ZE360 project, I`ve been spending a lot of my time researching the aircraft`s history and accumulating as much information as possible including the 14 years she spent with the United States Navy as `5574`. (This is still very much a work in progress). In reaching out to various USN squadron members, they have supplied some great additional information and have been absolutely fantastic and incredibly helpful as well as appreciative of the projects aims.

Looking at the main photo you will see the numbers `5574` on the rear fuselage of the front Phantom which means this is a rare, never been seen before shot of `5574` parked on the `Fly One Spot` when she served with VF-33 on the USS Independence in August 1974. This particular shot is courtesy of David A Peterson who was a RIO with `The Tarsiers` and logged a number of hours in `5574` at that time.

The other shots are of `5574` when serving with VF-103 `The Sluggers` from 1975 to 1980. `5574`s number during this time being `206`. Also note the Low Vis markings in the launch photo which were adopted circa 1980. A year or so later and `5574` was in storage at North Island. (These shots are courtesy of the USN).

If you have a bit of spare time and want to know more about this particular Phantom`s past including flight logs, images and a few stories from her days in the USN, click on the following links below.

http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-history/

http://74sqdn.tk/ze360-photo-section-un ... vymarines/

Also dont forget to view the 74 Sqn Webstore and consider buying something and help donate towards the Tiger360 project, link below.

https://teespring.com/stores/74f-tiger360-webstore


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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

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Sometimes, it's not just about the aircraft. There is also the support equipment and other less glamorous bits and pieces that play vital roles behind the scenes. Cornwall Aviation Heritage Centre recently contacted us regarding a piece of UK Phantom history that they had in their possession. What they were offering was the hydraulic systems trainer, which in its working life was installed in the Phantom Servicing School (PHSS) at Coningsby. This rig has been used to train countless numbers of airframe technicians in the complexities of the hydraulic system as fitted to UK Phantoms. As it's specific to the F-4K we can be fairly confident it's the only one in existence and as such is a unique and valuable addition to the group's collection.
So, on 2nd July 2020, BPAG members took a 700 mile road trip to collect the items and see them safely tucked away in our storage container. The British Phantom Aviation Group are extremely grateful to CAHC for contacting us and generously donating the rig and to Paul Wright and Matt Gilby for undertaking the journey. Special extra thanks to Matt, for the use of his trailer and towing vehicle and for doing all the driving (and sorry about the tail light Matt...)

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

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Further to our update of 9th of June, the refurbishment of the two ex-74 Sqn flight helmets is now complete. Paul West (BPAG volunteer and ex-74 Sqn Air Radar) and fellow ex-Tiger Richard Proctor sourced these two examples from unused old stock. They have been carefully restored with genuine components and are now mounted, ready for display alongside ZE360 when the time comes.
Each one is complete with mask, bag and name tag paying tribute to Flight Lieutenant Ewan Murdoch and Flying Officer Jeremy Ogg, who were both tragically lost in an accident involving ZE358 during a low level interception training sortie near Aberystwyth, West Wales on 25th August 1987.

Many thanks to Paul and Richard for their generosity and hard work in preparing this tribute.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

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BPAG Chairman Paul Wright reports back on last weekend's resumption of activity at Manston.

"After 4 frustrating months away, a sunny Saturday finally saw the return of BPAG to Manston and our F-4J(UK), ZE360. The nature of the work needed, added to the short notice of access permission, meant that only two members were onsite, Clive Hammond and myself. We had several tasks lined up, with the principal one being to change the nosewheels. For as you can see, the ones that have been fitted for the last 28 years are past their best, to say the least. This job would have taken around half an hour ‘back in the day’ but owing to the bearings being corroded onto the axles, it took the best part of four hours and some creative engineering to achieve.

The next priority was to assess what else we needed to do before towing the aircraft out of its current position. The grass will need cutting, it has grown considerably since we already last here and the remnants of a Canberra are in the way, but easily moved. Both speed brakes will have to lifted up otherwise towing bridle will impact them. The LH one was moved quite easily, but the RH one is currently seized and an attack of bees stopped any further work there. The plan to pull the aircraft back using heavy duty strops was assessed and found to be sound. This is very similar to the procedure we used in the RAF, if an aircraft came off the runway or taxiway.

The final task would have been to remove the CL tank, but as it is currently resting on the ground, this will have to be done once the aircraft is out of the hole into which it has sunk. This tank is the property of Ulster Aviation Society and will be going to Belfast at their convenience.

One final curveball was thrown at us, when it was discovered that the R.H mainwheel, which was changed in February, has deflated during the time we have been away. Fortunately, we have a spare ready to go on as a replacement".

Many thanks to Paul and Clive for giving up their spare time.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

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Following on from our recent visit to ZE360 to change the nosewheels, BPAG Chairman Paul Wright decided to strip down one of the wheels to see how they had stood up to 28 years of inactivity. Thanks to them having been previously assembled with anti-seize grease, the wheel half bolts came out easily and the wheel separated cleanly. The internal o-ring seal is a little stiff but undamaged so we will happily reuse it, suitably greased.

Now for the bearings...not such a good story. Due to being sat in one place for so long and exposure to the salt laden air at Manston, some corrosion was inevitable. However, after a trip to the wash tank to scrub away the congealed grease, the moment of truth came and brought with it a happy surprise. The bearings themselves are in relatively good condition, they run freely and only a couple of rollers showed any surface corrosion, which polished off with 400 grit abrasive paper. Now repacked with synthetic grease and although not to flight standard, the bearings are fine for ground use.

However, the outer races have fared a little worse, as you can see. Using a Dremel and increasing fine emery cloth to polish out the damage, a point where they are good for static use was eventually reached. Replacement races is something to be investigated for the future. The cover (tyre) is only fit for scrap and replacements are on our ‘bits needed’ list. Final task will be to repaint the wheel halves and store it all away, protected from the elements, until the time comes to refit the covers and reunite them with the nose gear.

One further item for attention are the dust/grease seals from the outboard side of the bearing. These are completely gone, so we will have to source replacements.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by K5054NZ »

Congratulations, what a wonderful feeling it must have been to get back out there!

Those bearings look fantastic. Encouraging visual progress :grinning:
Regards, Zac Yates

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

K5054NZ wrote:
Fri 17 Jul 2020, 11:57 pm
Congratulations, what a wonderful feeling it must have been to get back out there!

Those bearings look fantastic. Encouraging visual progress :grinning:
Thank you. It'd be nice if the rest of the aircraft scrubbed up as easily...
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by BPAG »

BPAG Chairman Paul Wright was busy on wheel duty again last weekend.

“As mentioned previously, during our recent visit to Manston we found that one of the mainwheels on ZE360 had deflated during the time that the facility was closed to visitors. Fortunately we have another wheel, which wasn't fitted originally as it wouldn't hold pressure. A couple of hours work saw the inflation valve removed, cleaned, tested and refitted resulting in the unit now holding pressure correctly. Attention then turned to the wheel bearing and outer race. The captive bearing was inspected and re-greased, nothing further needed. The outboard bearing race required slightly more work however, with surface corrosion being removed by the tried and trusted method of increasingly finer grades of emery cloth, then protected with a coat of synthetic grease. The actual outboard bearing for the wheel is fitted to the brake pack backplate and is still on the aircraft. The anti-skid exciter ring was removed just to keep it safe from damage. All this was a purely functional servicing task, the wheels will receive a full overhaul at a later date”.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by ZRX61 »

If you call up the local bearing shop for new ones be sure to state they are for a "farm trailer". I've found that as soon as you mention aircraft they have a tendency to hang up.

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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

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The first day of August saw the biggest working party the BPAG has assembled so far recommencing work on our F-4J(UK), ZE360. The weather promised to be clear and sunny and didn’t disappoint.

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First surprise of the day was discovering that the RAF crew from Manston had moved the remnants of a Canberra which was previously just behind ZE360 and cut all the long grass from around and behind the aircraft. This saved us several hours work. Our aims for the weekend were the removal of both outer wings, the fuselage tailcone, replacing the deflated RH mainwheel and progressing access to the internal structure, which needs to be removed to separate wing and fuselage.

One of the major challenges of this project is the fact that the aircraft has stood outside, fairly close to the sea for nearly 30 years, which means that almost every single part is corroded and stuck- fasteners, panels, connections and hinges. For example, it took a couple of hours of concerted effort to remove the RH outer wing as it involved lowering the leading edge flap to gain access and removing the hinge pin (using the hinge pin puller kindly loaned to us by the Ulster Aviation Society- many thanks to them for helping us out). The process was also complicated by the fact we can't get hydraulic pressure on to lower the flap. The successful removal of the first wing gave a big boost to the team, who by now had an increasingly hot day to contend with. The LH outer wing, which presented some additional challenges to the RH one, came off relatively easily despite the corrosion on the hinge pin. Both outer wings off is a major milestone in the project.

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While these tasks were going on, team members were tackling several other jobs around the aircraft. Panel removal is a tedious, unloved but vital task and is made exceptionally difficult owing to the aforementioned corrosion issues. We estimate that around 75% of all the screws have had to be drilled out in the panels we have removed so far, although in the worst cases the only option has been to cut the panels away (corrosion would have meant replacement anyway, so no loss).

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Underneath the aircraft, the team continued panel removals and stripped out a bay containing one of the hydraulic reservoirs and subsequently removed the reservoir itself and a lengthy process of jacking and trestles had the RH side raised enough to lift the landing gear out of the hole to allow the replacement of the deflated wheel.

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Transportation restrictions mean that the stabilator has to be removed, a process which firstly means removal of the tailcone. Once again, many screws to drill out, some in the most inaccessible positions and all achieved under the full glare of the sun while perched on a stainless steel surface that you could have cooked eggs on…however, a combination of the stoicism of our volunteers and some professional head scratching meant that it was eventually off and on the floor.

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Finally, Sunday saw us visited by two of the remaining RAF personnel from Manston. This included the base commander himself, as he is taking a personal interest in the project and reiterated his continued support and encouragement. Our thanks go out to all the staff from Manston, for their help and assistance. Our appreciation and thanks and appreciation also go out to all our volunteers for all their hard work over the weekend.
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Re: British Phantom Aviation Group (Official Topic)

Post by T_J »

Is this 5574? 206 in the foreground.
VF-103 Sluggers F-4J Phantom IIs USS Saratoga VF-103 Sluggers F-4J Phantom II BuNo 155858, AC-213, BuNo 155852, AC-204, and BuNo unknown, AC-206, in-flight, circa 1970-1976. Photographer unknown.


https://www.flickr.com/photos/skyhawkpc/8686792648/

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