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A Twist to Radio Controled Aircraft (aka: KillaThrill video); the F-4 Phantom II (part 2) | Broken Wing

A Twist to Radio Controled Aircraft (aka: KillaThrill video); the F-4 Phantom II (part 2)

Posted on 17. Nov, 2008 by in Featured

Part 2.

Charlie 1(the chase pilot in his own Phantom) transmits; “Good burners.” Very important, because the nose wheel steering cannot be used to guide the QF-4 on takeoff roll and neither can the foot brakes. The tires are so thin that any brake pressure could blow one. So, the only way to initially control the Dog (drone) is to modulate the afterburner (after thrust in the UK): if the QF-4 starts to drift right the UCC operator would ease the left throttle back to mid range or minimum burner, using the thrust differential to straighten the aircraft. Once the QF-4 reached an adequate speed (approx 100 knots) runway line up could be controlled with the rudder. Bottom line if one burner did not light off it would be bad!

Dropping to an altitude of 100 feet, Charlie 1 takes position on the QF-4’s wing as it leaves the runway and then reselects his own after burners as the Dog accelerates. Climbing up through cloud layers flying formation off of the wing of an aircraft with an empty cockpit is an eerie experience. Once all the checks are complete and a belly inspection is done, looking for any hydraulic or oil leaks, Charlie 1 would detach.

His fun was far from over however. Now free from the Dog, Charlie 1 would rendezvous with the shooter an F-14 or F/A-18 normally. Charlie 1 also usually had a photographer in the rear cockpit to record the weapon separation. Once the QF-4 reached its station and the range was called clear, both the shooter and the soon to be shot at flew their pre-briefed profiles.

3 QF-4N Phantom II's and 1 F-14D Tomcat

3 QF-4N Phantom II's and 1 F-14D Tomcat

As the countdown built to a crescendo the final clearance from range safety would be transmitted; “cleared weapons free.”
“Fox 1!” would be transmitted by the shooter and a sleek AIM 7 Sparrow leapt from the rail, its rocket booster firing propelling the missile toward the target at super-sonic speed. Quickly, Charlie 1 would give the shooter a belly check, looking for any possible damage. After passing a thumbs up to the shooters pilot he’d slide out wide on his wing looking for the tell tale fire ball or smoke trails.

Smoke trails did not mean fire; it meant the QF-4 had survived and its smoky J-79 turbo jet engines were powering it. Once the Charlie pilot got a tally on the smoke trails finding the large QF-4 Phantom II at the end of the black smoke was easy. He’d then detach, jamming on the burner and running down the Drone.

Most of the time the shooter’s missile was a telemetry missile. That meant the war head was removed and the telemetry head would transmit how close the missile came. If the shooter program achieved a kill they would be charged 1.5 million dollars, if it missed 50,000. So they only went for a kill when they had to.

Telemetry would not be needed today; a large hole had been blown through the outside panel of the Phantoms wing………….

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