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RF-4X

 
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dashvii(at)hotmail.com
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 5:09 am    Post subject: RF-4X Reply with quote

Buzz and all else interested,
I was recently reading in International Air Power Review, Volume 19, page
164-173 of a proposed aircraft and mock-up for a variant of the F-4 Phantom.
The new jet would take on a recon role and be called the RF-4X. It was to
be utilized by Israel. The changes made to the airframe were interesting,
but performance was even more so.

Changes included a reshaped nose, bigger intakes, a water injection system,
conformal tanks to hold the water on the top rear of the fuselage, and of
course the associated recon equipment.

Performance was to be spectacular. The water injection would give 150
percent increase in engine thrust. It had a crusing speed of Mach 2.7 and a
top speed of Mach 3.2! The USAF was afraid to export such a plane as it
could be used as an interceptor for the SR-71. (it would've been a much
cheaper plane to maintain as well) Eventually the US pulled out and the
program died off.

This project reminds me of the Mig 25 Foxbat which was a high speed
fighter/interceptor. The performance is very close to the same, but I have
a feeling the F-4 platform would've been much more versatile and have much
better manueverability.

Do you know anything about this particular project Buzz? Just found that
article very interesting.


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N1BZRich(at)aol.com
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:14 pm    Post subject: RF-4X Reply with quote

Hi Brian,
I have not heard of this specific program, but it certainly sounds reasonable. The Israelies made several nice mods to their Phantoms and I am sure they had other ideas on the drawing boards.  The RF-4 was faster than the fighter version because it was cleaner. The
F-4C was the fastest (and oldest) of all the Phantom models that I flew and I remember seeing Mach 2.32 on one ride. Mach 2.2 was achievable on most mach runs. The much higher drag of the later F-4E with the slats had a tough time getting just over Mach 2. The key for the speed of the Phantom was the variable intake ramps. If the ramps did not program properly to keep the sonic air out of the intake you would get really big (and multiple) compressor stalls, sometimes resulting in a complete flame out. 
As long as I am remembering the past, once over Thailand (when much younger and not so wise) while on a functional test flight due to a double engine change, I decided to see just how high I could get the F-4D to go. Without getting into specific climb techniques I finally managed to get to 63,000 feet, shortly followed by a double engine flame out. Had to glide to much lower altitude (and thicker air) before I could get one to relight. After the fact I found out that Air Force regulations required a full pressure suit for flights over 50,000. I had on my cotton camo flight suit. And had I lost cockpit pressure I would have been toast - or at least boiled my blood. Crazy but true.
Blue Skies,
Buz
[quote][b]


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