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Aircraft instrument panel restoration

McDonnell USAF F-4C, RF-4C, F-4D and F-4E Phantom II aircraft cockpit layouts and instrument panels


The USAF F-4C Phantom

The USAF tested the Navy F-4B in 1961 to see if it could serve as its main tactical fighter aircraft and decided to approve of a USAF version that was designated F-4C. The first F-4C prototype flew in May 1963 and production deliveries began in November 1963. The aircraft was modified with larger tyres as compared to its Navy counterpart and  the rear cockpit was reconfigured so that the rear-seat crewman could also fly the plane. Tailhook, radome and hydraulic folding wings were retained. It used two J79-GE-15 engines and had a RAM air turbine. The radar set consisted of a AN/APQ-100 radar and there was a AN/APA-157 intercept computer. The production stopped in 1966 when 583 F-4Cs were built.

F-4C and F-4D general overview
General arrangement of the F-4C and F-4D.

Bob Dwyer's web site shows very nice and detailed images of an F-4C instrument panel. Another restored F-4C instrument panel is shown on Dale's aircraft instrument panel pages.

The images below show typical F-4C Phantom II cockpit layouts and instrument panels. Click on the images to view larger versions.
 

F-4C front cockpit instrument panel layout
F-4C Phantom II front cockpit layout and instrument panel.

F-4C rear cockpit instrument panel layout
F-4C Phantom II rear cockpit layout and instrument panel.

F-4C, F-4D and F-4E Phantom II high resolution cockpits for computer flight simulation

Streak Eagle has designed very nice high resolution F-4C, D and E cockpits, that are partly based on the images shown below. If you are looking for a high resolution F-4 Phantom cockpits for your flight simulator, check out his versions at CombatACE F-4C Hi-res Cockpit, CombatACE F-4D Hi-res Cockpit, and CombatACE F-4E Hi-res Cockpit. These cockpits are also available on AVSIM

RF-4C panel from Pierre

Pierre is restoring an RF-4C panel and would like to know in anybody has the indicator/warming lights that go next to the Camera control panel in the lower left corner of his main pilot's instrument panel.

YRF-4C prototype
Photo of YRF-4C Phantom II prototype as displayed in a McDonnell Brochure of the early 1960s (Kindly made available by Daniel Lehmann (see www.aero-lehmann.de).

Pierre's RF-4C main pilot's panel
Pierre's RF-4C Phantom cockpit main instrument panel.

F-4C panel restoration by Dave Garbe

Dave has completed restoration of the F-4C panel below and is now working on restoring a complete F-4D nose section. His progress is shown below in the F-4D section.

Dave's F-4C main pilot's panel
Dave Garbe's restored F-4C Phantom cockpit main instrument panel

F-4C cockpit project of Renzo Delnon

In Switzerland, Renzo Delnon has turned his home in Villars-sur-Glâne into an aviation museum that is open to visitors after making an appointment. He can be contacted through the Villars-sur-Glâne web site (in French, with telephone number and e-mail address). A newspaper article about his museum was published in La Liberté Journal (in French).

Renzo is working on the restoration of a beautiful F-4C cockpit section, which includes part of the windshield, the upper fuselage as well as the rudder pedals. Images of his project are shown below. He is presently wiring the instruments to get all systems lighted.

Renzo's F-4C cockpit section
Front view of Renzo's F-4C Phantom cockpit section with main instrument panel.

Renzo's F-4C cockpit section
Side view of Renzo's F-4C Phantom cockpit section.

USAF McDonnell F-4D Phantom

After gaining experience with the F-4C, the USAF decided upon modifications to the aircraft to enhance its air-to-ground capabilities without major structural modifications. These changes included a AN/APQ-109 radar set and in some cases an AN/APA-165 intercept computer, a different optical sight (AN/ASG-22) and an AN/ASQ-91 weapons release computer was added. The F-4D became involved in combat operations in Southeast Asia in May 1967. The USAF relegated most of the F-4Cs to a ground attack role, while the F-4Ds were used for air-to-air interception duties. Its weapons included the usual AIM-7 Sparrow and AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, but the F-4D could also launch the unsuccessful Falcon missiles. Both F-4C and F-4D did not have a canon. For more information about the F-4D please visit Joe Baughers F-4D web site.

The front and rear cockpit layouts of a typical F-4D Phantom are shown below, whereas images of an F-4D front instument panel and an F-4D rear instrument panel can be viewed on the TopFlight Imaging  web site of Henry Busch, as well as information on scale modelling, scale trains and a Martin Baker MKH7 ejection seat from the USAF.

F-4D front cockpit instrument panel layout
F-4D front cockpit instrument panel layout.

F-4D rear cockpit instrument panel layout
F-4D rear cockpit layout.

The system integration of the F-4D consists of the following avionics systems:

These systems are all inter-related and functioning together. (Source: McDonnell Product Support Division (1967). F-4D Aircraft TDDR-50 series trouble shooting manual, Vol. V).

Several F-4D Phantoms were equipped with a time-frequency Eliminate Range-zero (EROS) Collision Avoidance System (CAS), developped by McDonnell, which consisted of a CAS pod (installed in the left inboard forward missile cavity), an antenna and door assembly installed on top of the fuselage just behind the aft canopy (door 35) and an EROS indicator and control box in the main pilot's panel left of the HSI (see below). The system becomes active when another aircraft approaches within 25 seconds or to a distance of half a mile and then suggests changes of altitude to both aircraft carrying this system.

EROS CAS system in the F-4D
McDonnell EROS Collission avoidance system as installed in some F-4D aircraft (Source: McDonnell Product Support Division (1967). F-4D Aircraft TDDR-50 series trouble shooting manual, Vol. V).

Early F-4D panel restoration by Andy

After successfully completing restoration of several instrument panels, Andy from Canada has embarked on a new project, i.e. restoring an early F-4D panel. There was some confusion if this was an F-4C or F-4D panel, which was solved by Bob Dwyer, who is an ex-pilot with a lot of hours in F-4 Phantoms and displays F-4 instrument panels panels at www.topflightimaging.com. The restored panel is shown below. Andy still needs the TAKE-OFF CHECK placard to complete his panel. Click here to see a more elaborate request including a picture of the edge-lit placard. Please contact me if you have one of these available...

Andy's F-4D panel
Andy's early F-4D panel, shown with a F-4J radar scope.

Andy's earlier projects were a beautiful F-101B Voodoo front cockpit instrument panel and an AVRO CF-100 Canuck instrument panel (see below). These projects took him several years to complete.

Andy's F-101B panel
Andy's Canadian McDonnell F-101B Voodoo front instrument panel.

Andy's F-101 Voodoo cockpit
Andy's Canadian McDonnell Douglas F-101 Voodoo front cockpit instrumentation. It is 98% complete, missing the rudder pedals and top panel glare shields. A 3-year project almost completed...

Andy's CF-100 Canuck instrument panel
Andy's AVRO CF-100 Canuck instrument panel

F-4D nose section restoration by Dave Garbe

Dave Garbe in the USA is restoring an USAF F-4D Phantom cockpit-nose section (tail no. 65-0720) for static display. He is looking for instruments, ejection seat, other parts and especially technical manuals or references to complete his restoration (see images below for missing instruments). If you have any available, please contact me at aviation@watergeek.eu. More information about Dave Garbe's project can be found here.

Dave's F-4D cockpit nose section
Dave's F-4D Phantom II nose section.

Dave's F-4D front cockpit view
Dave's F-4D front cockpit view.

Dave's F-4D rear cockpit view
Dave's F-4D rear cockpit view.

Dave's F-4D front cockpit instrument panel
Dave's F-4D front cockpit main panel.

Restoration of F-4D pilot's panel by Jeff

Also in the USA, Jeff is close to complete restoration of his F-4D main instrument panel. He is still looking for an original USAF threat display indicator unit, which are always difficult to find. The image below show the panel as it is now.


Jeff's F-4D front cockpit instrument panel
Jeff's restored F-4D front cockpit main panel.

USAF F-4E Phantom

The first production F-4Es flew in 1967. The aircraft was powered by two General Electric J79-GE-17 high-trust, axial flow turbojet engines equipped with afterburner. Leading-edge flaps were replaced by two-position slats to improve stability at low airspeeds and armor plating was installed in later versions of the aircraft to protect the oxygen bay, hydraulic/engine fuel feed compartment and stabilator actuator. This aircraft also included a 20 mm internal nose-mounted cannon and retained the semi-recessed AIM-7 Sparrow missiles and external stores stations.

F-4E general arrangement

General arrangement of the F-4E.


F-4E in flight

F-4E Phantom II in flight (source: 1965 McDonnell press kit made available by Daniel Lehmann (see www.aero-lehmann.de).


F-4E weapons display

USAF F-4E Phantom II with a display of its weaponry: M61A1 nose gun, Raytheon AIM-7 Sparrow (white) and Hughes AIM-4D Falcon (white/red) air-to-air missiles. McDonnell Douglas photograph (D4C 48784) dated 8 Nov. 1967. Source: Daniel Lehmann (see www.aero-lehmann.de).

The modified radar set and intercept computer (AN/APQ-120) also required a new design for the nose of the aircraft, making the nose longer than that of the F-4D and F-4C. A seventh fuel cell was also installed and the RAM air turbine removed. The length was increased from 58 feet 3" for the F-4C and F-4D to 63 feet for the F-4E. For more information about the F-4E please visit Joe Baugher's F-4E web site. Several cockpit layouts for the F-4E front and rear cockpits are shown below.

F-4E instrument panel

Example of a Phantom F-4E front cockpit instrument panel from Pierre.

F-4E front cockpit instrument panel before MSOG and slats
F-4E front cockpit instrument panel layout before MSOG and slats.

F-4E rear cockpit instrument panel after maverick, tiseo and slats
F-4E rear cockpit layout after Maverick, TSEO and slats

F-4E Phantom mobile nose section for events

Joe from St. Louis or Bethalto, Illinois, has beautifully restored an F-4E Phantom cockpit section. This section has been mounted on a mobile platform and it is possible to have this F-4E Phantom cockpit on display for birthday parties, corporate events, school activities or otherwise. Joe's web site is www.littlepilots.com and you can contact him at littlepilots@charter.net.

Instrument close ups for the (R)F-4C, F-4D and F-4E Phantoms

Flight instruments particular to the F-4C, F-4D and F-4E aircraft are shown below. Please visit my F-4B/N (main panel) and F-4J/S Phantom II (rear panel) pages to view instruments common to most F-4 aircraft. Electrical connections for lighting the instruments are also given on these pages.

ARU-11/A ADI ARU-11/A Artificial Director Indicator, made by Lear Siegler.
ID-1411 HSI Horizontal Situation Indicator ID-1411, made by Collins.
ID-1090/APN-155 Radar AltimeterThe ID-1090/APN-155 radar altimeter made by the Radio Corporation of America. Located on the main pilot's instrument panel. The set is a pulsed range-tracking radar, that provides the pilot with accurate terrain clearance information from 0 to 5000 feet. The set consists of two identical antennas, a receiver - transmitter unit, an R-F switching unit and this indicator. The receiving antenna is on the lower left front fuselage near the left-inboard leading-edge flap, whereas the transmitting antenna is on the corresponding spot on the starboard side. The radar altimeter functions up to 30° bank angles and 50° pitch angles. A low altitude warning light is mounted. Displayed in USAF F-4D and F-4E flight manuals. Pinouts are (source TDDR-50D F-4D trouble shooting manual vol. 5): A= 115 V AC to receiver/transmitter, B= 115 V AC input from Aircraft supply, C= GND, D= self test signal to coax switches, E= +20 V DC reference, F= indicator drive signal to indicator counter in receiver/transmitter, G= indicator drive signal return, J= flag signal from search generator in receiver/transmitter, K= +28 V DC from aircraft supply, L= 0-5 V AC input from aircraft lighting bus, N= lighting GND, P= GND, R= +20 V DC from receiver/transmitter, S= error signal from indicator counter in receiver/transmitter, U= +28V DC to receiver/transmitter.
Mach/airspeed indicator
Pioneer - Bendix Corp. airspeed and mach number indicator.
Mode control selector
C-8160/A Flight director mode selector, made by Collins Radio Corp.
Mode control selector F-4E C-10311/A Control, mode selector panel. Later version used in USAF F-4D and F-4E aircraft. Lights with pin A to ground and pin D to 0-5V AC.
RF-4C Camera control panel Camera control panel from an RF-4C aircraft. Located on main pilot's instrument panel.
Light brightnes panel RF-4C
Flight instrument lights brightness control panel on an RF-4C instrument panel.
Standby Attitude Indicator
ARU-13/A remote attitude indicator, made by Lear Siegler.
ARU-3A turn and slip indicator
ARU-3A 4-minute turn and slip indicator as located on the RIO's instrument panel. Integrally lighted (5 V) and operating on 28 V DC.
Angle of Attack indicator
At least two different ARK-10A/A24G-8 angle of attack indicators with different pinouts were used on the F-4C/D/E. Both were made by Specialties Inc. (MFR code 10639). More information provided on my F-4B/N page. I have a spare AOA indicator available.
Abrams dual bomb timer, F-4E
Abrams Instrument Corp. (Lansing, MI) timer fire control bombing, dual. Used in the RF-4C - F-4E rear cockpits. Consists of a 115V 400 Hz motor, reduction gearing, a 28V DC clutch solenoid arrangment initiating the timers, two cam followers and and snap action switches that direct the 28V DC to the timer signal outputs T1 and T2. Pin connections: A= GND, B= 115 V 400 Hz, E= 28 VDC, G= T1 signal, J= GND, K= initiate 28V DC, L= T2 signal and M= 14/28 V AC lighting. Source TO 1F-4C-2-18.
True airspeed
AVK-14/A24G-8 True airspeed indicator made by Airesearch.
Bendix ground speed indicator
ID-1126/ASN-46 Ground speed indicator manufactured by Bendix Corp., Detroit, Michigan. Located in the F-4C aft cockpit instrument panel. On some early F-4D aircraft this indicator was also found next to the fuel gauge on the main pilot's instrument panel.
Rounds remaining counter
Rounds remaining counter mounted on the pedestal panel of the F-4E Phantom. Made by Veeder.Root, CW103103. Pin connections: A= +28 V DC, B= GND, C,D 14 V lighting.
Remote UHF Indicator ID-1311/ASQ Remote UHF Channel indicator, manufactured by Collins Radio Company (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). Pinouts are (TDDR-50 Series F-4D Trouble Shooting Manual, 1967): A,B,C,D,E,R,S = indicator control, F,H = motor rotation, G = Power GND, J = GND light, K = +5 V lighting, L = +28 V DC power, M,N,P = not connected.
Remote UHF indicator
ID2244/ARC-164(V) remote UHF channel indicator with LCD display that was presumably used in the F-4 to replace the older version shown above. This indicator was used with the controls radio set C-10832/ARC-164(V) and C-11099/ARC-164(V). It has lighting at pins j (ground) and k (0-5 V).
Landing checklist RF-4C
Landing checklist data plate on RF-4C, F-4C and F-4D panels. Andy is looking for a set of take-off and landing data plates to complete restoration of his F-4D panel. He would like to buy these or can swap them against a pair of F-4B take-off (see below) and landing data placards. Please check my Aviation Sales and Trades web page for details and do contact me if you have any available.
Take of data placard
Take off and feed tank check data placard used in the F-4D, and possibly other F-4 Phantom models.
RF-4C KY-28 Mode indicator lights
RF-4C KY-28 Mode indicator lights panel. Indicator light lenses are missing. These indicator lights are located on the center glare shield.
F-4C,D,E Wheels indicator light
Wheels indicator light as used on the F-4C and F-4D main pilot's instrument panels.
F-4E radar and other warning lights
These are the RADAR (green), HEAT (green), GUN (green) and ARM (amber) indicator lights (last two lenses missing) mounted next to the left side of the optical radar sight in the F-4E.
Wheels indicator F-4E
Wheels indicator of the F-4E. This indicator is mounted below the center glare shield on the port side.
F-4E velocity indicator lights
Velocity indicator lights of the F-4E, reading 5, 10, 25 and 50 in green. These lights are mounted below the center glare shield on the starboard side.
F-4E Angle of Attack indexer and SHOOT lights
Angle of attack indexer light and SHOOT light. These were mounted at both sides of the radar scope HUD and used to get the right angle of attack during approach and to indicate when to shoot.
F-4D bomb panel
F-4D Missile and Weapons Release control panel (Photo courtesy of Andy). Both Andy and Pierre are desperately trying to get such a panel and the rotary switch/knob for the restoration of their F-4D panels (see above). Please contact me if you have one available or have a contact who might have...


In addition to these gauges, indicator lights and switches, there are the following control panels on the main panel (list not yet complete).

Threat warning display panel
AN/APR-36(V) Threat Display control indicator unit produced by Applied Technology, Division of Itek Corporation, USA. Used in F-4D, F-4E and F-4F Phantom aircraft before TO 1F-4E-591.
The ID1902/APR-46V Threat Display control indicator was used instead of the APR-36V unit shown above after TO-1F-4E-591C (Source: TO 1F-4E-4-4 Technical Manual. Illustrated parts breakdown. USAF Series F-4E Aircraft. Volume IV: Instruments, electric, and electronic systems).
Threat warning display panel
Threat warning display panel produced by A.E.L. Israel Ltd Electronics Industries in 1983. Used in Israeli Air Force F-4E Phantom aircraft.
Missile Status panel
The lights in this unit read "selected" (green), "ready" (amber), "selected" (green), "ready" (amber), "sw/sw" (green), "selected" (green) and "ready" (amber). Lighting for the edge light panel: A ground, E +28 V AC
USAF missile status panel from Master Specialties Co. California, USA. Manufactured in September 1965. This panel is used in Air Force F-4Es and some export models that came out after 1966. It was retro-fitted into F-4C/D aircraft when Navy versions used earlier (see below) needed replacement and was on production F-4E's prior to the re-design of the front cockpit for air-to-air optimization.
RF-4C pedestal panel
Typical RF-4C pedestal panel. Houses a bomber timer and the various oil pressure gauges for the engines and hydraulic system (Image courtesy of Pierre). Pierre is looking for an edgelit data placard for this pedestal panel as the current one is broken. Please contact him send him an e-mail if you can help him...
F-4D Pedestal, front cockpit
F-4D pedestal panel located below the main pilot's instrument panel. Contains the master armament switch, weapon selector switches, HOBO/Shrike band switch, bomb release mode switch, Maverick arm switch, etc., as well as the hydraulic, pneumatic and oil pressure indicators. The rheostat below is for setting instrument light brightness. The rudder pedal adjust gear is missing.

Left hand side warning lights and control panels.

F-4E Oxygen Regulator pressure Demand control box
F-4E (and F-4F) Regulator Oxygen Diluter-Demand Auromatic Pressure Breathing control box. This one is made by Drägerwerk (West Germany) under license from Bendix Corp. USA.

Right hand side warning lights and control panels.

F-4C warning lights right sub-panel
Right sub panel with warning lights. This panel is for an early F-4C aircraft. These were replaced later by the four-column panel with less wide light cubes as used in the Naval F-4B and later versions of the F-4. A few light cubes were different to reflect differences in Air Force and Navy equipment (thanks Bob for information).
External lights and utility panel
F-4E External lights and utility panel. Has switches for different lights (fuselage, wing and tail) and also a switch and rheostat to regulate the intensity of the formation lights.

Rear cockpit instruments, warning lights and control panels.

F-4E Navigation computer control box Navigation computer control box CP-723B/ASN-46. Made by the Navigation and Control Division of the Bendix corporation. This control box was used in the rear cockpit of the F-4E and operated by the radar intercept officer. This unit is part of the Inertial Navigation System. The RIO (Navigator) can dial in the Latitude and Longitude of up to two different targets, TGT1 and TGT2. After the first target is reached the switch is turned to the 2nd target and the heading to the next target is instantly displayed. At this point the RIO may dial in the co-ordinates of a third target and momentarily turn the switch to reset. This method of target selection is called leapfrogging. The Inertial Navigation System (the Gyro Stabilized Platform of the INS System) also supplies signals to the weapons release computer system and the radar unit (pers. comm. Ron Stone).
F-4C Radar Antenna Control stick
C-4455/APQ-100 Radar antenna control stick used to control the radar antenna direction by the RIO and housed in the rear cockpit, left side panel.
F-4E Radar voltage control monitor panel
F-4E radar voltage control monitor panel used to control and monitor the voltage supplied to the radar unit by the RIO. Housed in the rear cockpit, center console.
F-4C/D Landing gear - flap indicator panel
Landing gear - flaps - slats indicator panel mounted in the rear cockpit of F-4E Phantoms, which were fitted with slats (Photo: Effy).
AN/ALE-40 control panel
AN/ALE-40 Chaff and Flare control panel used in the F-4E after the late 1970s.
F-4E rear cockpit ECM panel
F-4E rear cockpit electronic counter measures (ECM) control panel
Data display panel ID-1942/A
Lear Siegler ID-1942/A data display panel as mounted in the rear cockpit of later versions of the F-4E Phantom.
C-6481A/ASQ-91 radar cursor control panel Litton C-6481A/ASQ-91 radar cursor control panel, located on the right console in the rear cockpit. Used in F-4D and F-4E aircraft.
Nuclear store consent switch panel Nuclear store consent arming switch, located on the left console in the rear cockpit. Used in F-4D and F-4E aircraft.

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