F-4 Phantom II (oz11304)
About this Plan
F-4 Phantom II. Sport scale model, tractor prop layout. Wingspan 58.5 in, wing area 844 sq in, for .61 - .75 engines and 4 - 5 channel radio.
Plan no F460. Discontinued kit from Great Planes, see http://www.greatplanes.com/discontinued/gpma0440.php
Quote: "The Great Planes F-4 Phantom is a high performance propeller-driven sport airplane that closely resembles the full size F-4 Phantom. In the air, the prop is invisible, adding to the realism. The smoothness and speed of this airplane allow you to experience the thrills of flying a jet-like airplane without the complexity and high cost of a ducted fan model. The F-4 Phantom is very stable and forgiving, allowing even intermediate skill level pilots to enjoy it."
Direct submission to Outerzone.
Note full kit manual (48 pages) is a free download from http://www.greatplanes.com/manuals/discontinued.php
Update 26/10/2019: Added kit review from RCM&E, May 1998, thanks to RFJ.
Quote: "Review. Ken Sheppard dons his pressure suit and builds the pseudo jet from Great Planes. F-4 Phantom II.
I've always liked the solid, menacing look of the McDonnell Douglas Phantom, it's so workmanlike and functional - but at the same time, those upturned wing tips and the anhedral tail introduce a graceful soaring element to it's considerable destructive capability A real devil clothed in angel robes, or so it seemed to me!
The Great Planes kit is a builders dream -plenty of wood, no foam, and the difficult, curvy bits moulded in ABS! Three full sheets of plans show the considerable thought that has gone into the design and ease of assembly of this beauty - from the interlocking formers I side panels of the fuselage to the slot-together wing jigs used to align the centre section and wing tips. The box is crammed with die-cut ply and balsa sheets, pre-shaped balsa block parts, a huge bag of hardware and those mouldings - it weighs a ton! Which leads me to my first comment - I now know where all the rock hard balsa goes! - personally, I thought the wood selection let this kit down. If I was building it from scratch and selecting my own wood, I would have discarded about a third of the thinner stock. The thicker bits were OK, but below 1/4 in they were hard and heavy.
It's a big aeroplane (and I knew from the start that I had little chance of staying within the manufacturers target of 9 lb. I wanted to air test the Sullivan 'Genesys' in-flight power system, with strobe, nav lights, warning beacon etc, further adding to the overall weight - so, with a mental wing loading getting up into the 30's, I decided to go to the top of the power range and fit a Super Tigre G75.
I also opted to flight test the full-house capability of the new JR XP-642 radio from MacGregor, by fitting retracts and mixing in flaperons - with the anticipated wing loading, I figured that the latter would be an absolute necessity! So, at last, with all the major decisions made, it was time to clear the bench and get down to work!
FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS: And you can't go wrong - well, it would be extremely difficult to, for anyone with a little experience of building - it's certainly not a beginners model, to build or to fly, as the instructions clearly point out. The very detailed step-by-step photo guide takes all the sweat out of the build sequence and is very thorough and logical in the way the model goes together. A great section of the 48 page manual is given over to the various techniques needed and handy tips required - excellent!
The one-piece wing is built in three parts and needs a large flat area for construction - luckily I have a full-size drawing board which doubles as a bench - one could use an internal ply-faced door as an alternative. The fuselage soon gets to be very long and again, a large flat surface is a necessity.
The decision whether or not to fit retracts, and if yes, which system - mechanical or pneumatic - needs to be made before starting the wing, so that the operating systems can be planned. Using the rib tabs and the liteply jigs (called crutches, in the booklet) make assembly of a true structure almost guaranteed (nothing's 100% foolproof). The tips are built separately, again with a root and tip crutch jig, which ensures built-in washout. The nose profile of the leading edges are sanded to shape and checked against a tip and root plywood gauge, this may sound a little 'twee', but they really do make it easy. Plywood braces at the main spar and at the trailing edge, position the tips at the right dihedral angle to the centre section - an extra bit of care is needed to accurately cut the slots in the rib faces to accept these braces so that the rib profile match and fit is good.
Another tip I would impart is not to make the retract wheel wells too small - if they are too tight, any distortion of the undercarriage leg could well jam them. On the full-size, the wheel well is almost square, giving plenty of clearance. On the model, oversize wheel wells aren't going to be noticed, even with the absence of doors.
One slight difficulty that I had with the fuselage was the final fit of the front bulkhead. probably because of the wood selection, again, the fuselage sides were very stiff and needed a lot of force to pull them together to form the nose taper. The front bulkhead is made from two laminations of 1/8 ply, the rear one has temporary 'ear' slots to fit the front of the fuselage sides, holding them in whilst the epoxy and glass cloth reinforcing (recommended) is curing. Unfortunately, the force required to pull the sides in, even with dampening the wood with a water spray pulled the ply 'ears' off of the former..."
Update 08/04/2020: Added kit review from RCM June 1998, thanks to RFJ.
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