Friday, February 1, 2013

F4H-1 Flush Canopy

Revised 26 March 2003 to add an illustrated comparison of the production F-4A and F-4B inlets.

Revised 25 March 2003 to add another picture of the structure between the pilot and RIO.

I hadn't noticed it before, but it looks like there was little or no view forward from the aft cockpit of the flush-canopy F4H-1s. Note that there are no ejection seats installed.

There was an opening but it was all but blocked by the RIO's instrument/switch panel (see the bottom of

The question has also been raised about what was in the aft cockpit of the first F4H, BuNo 142259. Your guess is as good as mine. It looks pretty empty except for maybe the structure of the left side console and the support structure for the ejection seat rails (the aft bulkhead of the aft cockpit was vertical or pretty close to it, not canted).

The dark area behind the aft canopy is a panel over the ADF antenna.

The inlet development resulted in several different configurations between first flight and production of the operational F4H-1s. The interim and modified inlets were created by literally cutting off the upper portion of the original inlet lip and replacing it with one that eliminated the "hood" over the intake.

The production F-4A inlet was basically the same as the interim modified inlet in the illustration above.
In addition to the F-4B fixed ramp being wider, it also extended farther forward by about an inch, requiring the aft side of the lower kick-in step to be angled forward.


  1. Also, photo 3 is the best shot I've seen yet of the upper intake vents.

    If it's not too mundane Tommy, an exhaustive post on F4H-1 intake configurations (including
    ramp'n'vent evolution) would be most welcome.

  2. As it happened, I was already working on that. At the moment, I think the vent change occurred with the production inlet implementation.

  3. Another difference is that the early intakes (narrow fixed ramp) had a 5 degree angle to the leading edge and the production (wide fixed ramp) had a 10 degree angle.