USAF’s ‘Phinal’ Phantoms

The US Air Force brought 53 years of F-4 Phantom II operations to a close on December 21 with a retirement ceremony at Holloman Air Force Base. Joe Copalman reports from southern New Mexico.

WHILE THE USAF retired the F-4 from combat service in 1996, it selected the type to replace the Convair QF-106 Delta Dart in the Full-Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) role in 1997.

The FSAT mission saw the Phantom – as the QF-4 – used as an unmanned target drone by the 82nd Aerial Target Squadron (ATRS), part of the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group (WEG).

Become a Premium Member to Read More

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero subscription to view.

I’m an existing member, sign me in!

I don’t have a subscription…

Enjoy the following subscriber only benefits:

  • Unlimited access to all KeyAero content
  • Exclusive in-depth articles and analysis, videos, quizzes added daily
  • A fully searchable archive – boasting hundreds of thousands of pieces of quality aviation content
  • Access to read all our leading aviation magazines online - meaning you can enjoy the likes of FlyPast, Aeroplane Monthly, AirForces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, Aviation News, Airports of the World, PC Pilot and Airliner World - as soon as they leave the editor’s desk.
  • Access on any device- anywhere, anytime
  • Choose from our offers below