Sunday, July 8, 2018

McDonnell F-110A “Spectre”

149405 F-110 AF-4B-9-MC 62-12168  Some photos and info on the initial Century Series designation of the F-4 Phantom.

The F-110A was the USAF designation for what was to become the F-4C. On 18 September 1962, the USAF and US Navy aircraft designation systems were combined into a single scheme resulting in the F-1 to F-11. The USAF F-110A and US Navy F4H-1 became F-4C and F-4B respectively.
Operation High-speed, a fly-off competition between the USAF F-106A and the US Navy F4H-1 (F-4B) resulted in a convincing win for the F4H-1. The USAF was loaned two US Navy aircraft (BuNo 149405/406) for a 120-day extended evaluation on 24 January 1962. Twenty-seven more F-4Bs were eventually loaned to the USAF for service evaluation, most of which were returned to the US Navy after the F-4C entered production.

From Wikipedia: The F- series number sequence used in USAF was a continuance of the pre-USAF pursuit aircraft (P- series) numbering, stretching back as far as to the 1920s. The numbering would continue sequentially up to the F-111, and after this number the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system restarted the numbering back from 1. Notably, the fighter-bomber briefly known as the F-110 Spectre was renamed F-4 Phantom II. The USAF continued the naming convention with the CONSTANT PEG program as an OPSEC measure. The last known aircraft with a "Century Series" designation is the F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighter.

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