McDonnell Douglas YF-4J Phantom II

A picture of the McDonnell Douglas F-4J Phantom II

The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II was designed as a missile-armed fleet defense fighter for the United States Navy.  The F-4B became the primary Navy and Marine fighter in the first half of the 1960s.  In late 1964 three F-4Bs were converted to test numerous improvements to the basic design and designated YF-4J.  Improved aerodynamics to lower take-off distances and decrease landing speeds, improved engines, upgraded radar, and better ground attack ability were the primary changes.  Over 500 of this version of the Phantom were built between 1966 and 1972.

Service History

Built by McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis, Missouri as a F-4B and delivered to the U.S. Navy on September 17, 1964.

September 1964          Retained at the factory and converted to YF-4J standards. 

October 1964              To Navy Program Office, St. Louis, Missouri.

April 1970                   To Naval Aeronautical Recovery Facility, Naval Auxiliary Air Station El Centro, California.

October 1970              To Naval Air Testing Facility Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey.

January 1975               To Davis-Monthan AFB, Arizona for storage.

October 1982              Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Naval Aviation Museum.


38 ft 5 in.


58 ft 3 in.


15 ft 8 in.


56,000 lb (loaded)

Maximum Speed

1,428 MPH

Service Ceiling

64,700 ft


1,750 miles


Two General Electric J79-GE-10 turbojets with 17,900 pounds of thrust each



McDonnell Douglas

Naval Air Test Facility, Naval Air Station, New Jersey, 1974


Serial Number

Pima Air & Space Museum

Creating unlimited horizons in aerospace education through the preservation and presentation of the history of flight.

Charity EIN: 86-6031135

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