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The F-4 Phantom may still be considered the best fighter-bomber ever built and a great success for the American aeronautical industry. The F-4 was also the test bed for using electronic, instead of manual controls.
The F-4 held fifteen world speed, altitude and time-to-climb records.
During Vietnam the F-4 downed 280 MiGs.
The payload of and F-4 was three times that of a B-17 Flying Fortress.
In the 1970’s the ‘J’ model received a complete upgrade of its wiring, plumbing, engines, systems and structures. The notorious black smoke trail was alleviated by the new J79-GE-10B smokeless engine. These upgrades would extend the service life of the F-4.