May 302010

In support of their Model 225 fighter design, an entry into the VFX program (eventually to become the F-14), McDonnell built a test rig mounted to an F-4 Phantom II. Their Model 225 carried the Phoenix missiles semi-submerged; missile ejection was carried out by pnematic “ramps” that, at full extension, served as doors to cover the holes left by the missiles. Thus the missiles were carried in an aerodynamically clean configuration, and left an aerodynamically clean surface behind them after they left. To prove out the concept, the centerline tank from an F-4 was modified to carry a single missile and the associated pneumatics and doors and such. Without the radar system used on the F-14, the F-4 would have been a poor carried for the Phoenix; this was simply a test program to demonstrate the missile ejection system. Sadly all the info I have on this comes from a brief writeup early in the process, and the two attached photos. I don’t know if any ejection tests were carried out.



 Posted by at 12:47 am
  • Michael Holt

    Doesn’t someone with lots of gold braid have to approve changing airplanes?

  • Jim

    I’d really be curious to see what was involved in loading a Phoenix, particularly the early ones with the fluid connections.

    Also, Michael: It depends on what is being done; figure on Colonel-type officers running the programs, and people above that deciding what and when.


  • ed

    Somewhat Related: NASA was going to use the Aim-54 on a Phoenix, for research-

    project since canceled, I think before first drop.

  • Mhoupt

    This phantom survives! It us currently in a museum in Lincoln, IL. For years we have been looking for photos, now we have them. Thanks for sharing.