Published on April 3rd, 2008 | by Chris0
McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II (2008)
If ever there was a definitive workhorse of a fighter jet, then the F-4 Phantom II was it. This documentary explores, in great detail, the history of the Phantom.
Actually, even though this DVD was just released, it appears from watching it that the material was produces sometime in the mid to late eighties. That's where the references to the Phantom stop, sometime after the British Falklands War. Not that it matters.
Truthfully the hour long documentary is dry. Desert dry. Chewing on a handful of cotton dry. Like government training material dry. It's chock full of monotone voice-overs on top of tons of government stock footage. Indeed a lot of it appears to actually be either training film, or some other kind of government film.
But I guarantee you will learn more about the Phantom than you really want to! Like down to the model number of the radar units installed in each successive version of the bird. Some of it actually is quite interesting, and revealed some facts I wasn't aware of, such as the over-wing air injection system, and the little pop-up air-powered electric generator. Pretty neat stuff.
For you Air Force aficionados, you'll be somewhat disappointed though. The film spends most of its time documenting the Navy version of the jet, and detailing carrier-based operations involving the Phantom during Vietnam. It isn't until near the end (and *after* the Marines get their mention, *hmph!*) that the Air Force's Phantom squadrons get a mention, and then seemingly only the boys at Camran Bay. I was hoping for at least a brief mention of Ubon (in Thailand) where my dad was stationed as an F-4 mechanic and weapons tech.... but no luck.
Then the last several minutes go into the other deployments of the fighter, from the Blue Angels/Thunderbirds, to foreign governments usage.
Eh, I guess I'm a little more informed now, but I was hoping for more. Like interviews with pilots and ground crews, maybe some generals involved with the design and deployment phases, I dunno. Some footage with actual people going over the jet and explaining "oh yeah, this thing here is the X39 doohickey!" Instead of 40 year old stock....
It would have been a trivial matter to add a lot of extras on the DVD as well. Still photos, maybe some one-off of in-plane camera footage, lists of deployments and locations. I wanted more!
Have to give a thumbs down overall for "McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II", unless you're a true hardcore F-4 fan, or have a lot of hands on with the plane. It'd probably bring back a lot of memories.
here's some F-4 eye candy
Mcdonnell Douglas - F-4 Phantom Ii
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The carrier-based F4 Phantom II won its spurs in Vietnam. This DVD covers the first development of the type and its powerful engine and includes a walk-round of an F-4B. The Phantom then joins the fleet and U...
DVD InformationBinding: DVD
Audience Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Brand: Ryko Distribution
Original Release Date:
- Mcdonnell Douglas
- Factory sealed DVD
Summary: Have to give a thumbs down overall for "McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II", unless you're a true hardcore F-4 fan, or have a lot of hands on with the plane. It'd probably bring back a lot of memories.