RF-4B Phantom / VMFP-3Item Number: 688
RF-4B Phantom VMFP-3 airplane model. In the initial Model 98 package that was submitted to the Navy, McDonnell had included a Model 98P, which was a photographic reconnaissance version of the basic design. The Navy initially expressed no interest in the Model 98P proposal, since they were perfectly happy with the F8U-1P reconnaissance version of the Crusader. However, the F8U-1P lacked the night reconnaissance capability that was being planned in early 1962 for the Air Force's RF-110A reconnaissance version of the land-based Phantom. This caused the Navy to take a second look at the Model 98P, and in February 1963 the Marine Corps agreed to acquire the first 9 of an eventual 46 RF-4Bs.
In initial proposals and in pre-contract negotiations, this aircraft had initially been referred to as F4H-1P. However, this was changed to RF-4B in September 1962 when the new unified designation scheme came into effect.
The RF-4B was quite similar to the much more numerous RF-4C of the USAF. Like the RF-4C, the RF-4B was unarmed. The fighter's radar-equipped nose was replaced with a special nose specifically designed for reconnaissance applications. This nose was 4 feet 8 7/8 inches longer than the nose of the armed F-4B. The AN/APQ-72 radar of the F-4B was replaced by the much smaller Texas Instruments AN/APQ-99 forward-looking J-band monopulse radar which was optimized for terrain avoidance and terrain-following modes, and could also be used for ground mapping. There were three separate camera bays in the nose, designated Stations 1, 2, and 3. Station 1 could carry a single forward oblique or vertical KS-87 camera, Station 2 could carry a single KA-87 low-altitude camera, and Station 3 normally carried a single KA-55A or KA-91 high-altitude panoramic camera. The much larger KS-91 or KS-127A camera could also be carried. Unlike the cameras of the Air Force's RF-4Cs, the RF-4B's cameras were fitted on rotating mounts so that the pilot could aim them at targets off the flight path.
Mahogany Wood. Scale 1/48. Wingspan 10 inches, Length 15 1/2 inches.