David Willis explores the development and evolution of one of the greatest ever combat aircraft
Several facts point towards the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II being the West’s greatest Cold War combat aircraft. Uniquely, it was the only fighter of the period to equip the squadrons of the US Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force, being equally at home operating from airfields and the decks of aircraft carriers. It also served with the armed forces of 11 other countries. The seven major variants produced gave rise to more than 50 sub-types over the years.