Hobby Master HA1990B | McDonnell Douglas RF-4C Phantom II AF 80-573, 14th TRS, Udorn, Jan 1972 NOT AUTOGRAPHED

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McDonnell Douglas RF-4C Phantom II
AF 80-573, 14th TRS, Udorn, Jan 1972


Scale 1:72 / Diecast model 

General Background:

The first production RF- 4C flew in May 1964. The RF- 4C was an unarmed recon variant

designed for information gathering. This variant is quite easy to recognize from other F-4
variants because of the distinctive nose. The larger nose was designed to accommodate radar,
sensors and flat windows for cameras. During its years of service the RF-4C used two nose
variations. The original design was the angular version with a later design that had a smoother
rounded camera bulge. There were 503 RF- 4cs built with 499 being officially accepted by the

The Aircraft:

On January 20, 1972 while flying RF-4C 80-573 on a SAM locating mission they came across a

convoy of trucks hauling SAM launchers. The RF-4C was manned by Pilot Bob Mock and WSO
John Stiles who, despite 37 mm cannon fire immediately made a photo pass at 4,000 feet and
turned to make a second. At this moment the aircraft shook violently and began to spin to earth
but just seconds before crashing the crew managed to eject and as luck would have it they were
rescued by a CIA helicopter that was in the area. The official record showed 80-573 was lost to
37 mm cannon fire. However 37 years later in 2009 Dan Cherry, another F-4 pilot (replicated in
HA1938) met the MiG-21 pilot that he had shot down in April 1972, Lt. Nguyen Hong My
(replicated in HA0181). After some talking it was discovered that Lt. Nguyen Hong My had an RF-
4 victory on January 20, 1972 so with some investigating, the conclusion was that Lt. Nguyen
Hong My’s victory actually was RF-4C 80-573 flown by Mock and Stiles. When Dan Cherry told
John Stiles the facts, he was amazed to finally know the real story and in May 2014 John Stiles
returned to Vietnam for the first time since 1972 and met with Nguyen Hong My.

Specifications for the McDonnell RF- 4C Phantom II

Wingspan - 38 ft 5 in
Wing area - 530 sq ft
Length - 62 ft 11 in
Height - 16 ft 6 in

Engine – 2 X General Electric J79-GE-15 turbojets
10,300 lb.s.t. dry
17,000 lb.s.t. with afterburner
Maximum internal fuselage tanks
Up to block 40 aircraft – 1,260 U.S. gallons
Aircraft block 41 and on – 1,142 U.S. gallons
Maximum external tanks
Center-line – 600 U.S. gallons
On outer pylons – 2 X tanks (1/wing) 370 U.S. gallons