The Phantom was developed for the US Navy as a long-range all-weather fighter and first flew in May 1958, before becoming operational in 1961\. The US Air Force then realised that the Navy had an aircraft that was far better than any tactical aircraft in their inventory and ordered 543 F-4C variants. There then followed a spate of orders from around the world. In Britain, it was ordered for the Navy and Air Force, but was modified to take the Rolls-Royce Spey turbofan. One of the Royal Navy's Phantoms stole the record for the fastest Atlantic crossing, a record that stood until taken by the remarkable Blackbird. Phantoms have been used in combat in many conflicts throughout its long service history. It was one of America's most utilised aircraft during the long Vietnam War and has been flown in anger in the Middle East by a number of different air forces. This is the perfect book for the general reader, enthusiast or modeller wishing to find a succinct yet detailed introduction to the design of the aircraft that has made history.
It features a multitude of stories as relayed by USAF and Israeli airmen who actually flew this remarkable aircraft in wars in SE Asia and the Middle East, detailing just what it was like to fly the F-4 in combat. Many of the dozen or so chapters include combat testimonies of the Phantom design and durability in SE Asia and in the wars fought between Israel and her surrounding Arab enemies throughout the 1970s and beyond. The book also features a wealth of technical data along with stirring images that supplement the text perfectly, enhancing its visual appeal.
Martin Bowman is one of Britain s best-known Second World War aviation historians and authors. His previous books have included works such as Legend of the Lancaster, Confounding the Reich, Duxford and the Big Wings, Clash of Eagles, Lost Wings of World War I and numerous titles in the exhaustive Air War series providing extensive coverage of operations carried out on D-Day and during the Market-Garden offensive at Arnhem. He lives in Norwich.