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Aircraft instrument panel restoration

McDonnell Royal Air Force F-4M and Royal Navy F-4J(UK) Phantom II cockpit instrument panels


The British Royal Navy decided in 1964 to adopt the US Navy F-4J Phantom for use on their aircraft carriers. However, large modifications were made on the F-4J, both in equipment and in structure. The largest modifications were perhaps to replace the General Electric J-79 engines used on the American Pahntoms by British Rolls Roys Spey 202/203 engines. This required changes in the fuselage (engine bay, inlet duct, bellmouth control systems, etc.) as the engines were not of the same size.

RAF F-4M Phantom general arrangement
General arrangement of the Royal Air Force FG Mk1 Phantom (source: Ministry of Defence, 1969. AP-101B-0901-15A Phantom FG Mk1 Aircrew Manual).

In addition, the length had to be reduced to accomodate the lenght restriction of 54 feet for British carriers. This was done by changing the radome. Furthermore the nose landing gear was extended to allow starts at low winds. These modifications resulted in a 40% contribution of British Aerospace companies to building the Phantom. The modified Phantom became known as the F-4K or in the Royal Navy as the F-4 Phantom FG MK.1. Its first flight was in June 1966 and the 52 aircraft were produced until 1971.

RAF F-4M Phantom and Jaguar
Royal Air Force F-4M and Jaguar GR1 airplanes in flight (photo courtesy of Ad Jan Aldevogt)

In 1965 the Royal Air Force (RAF) also decided to adopt the F-4K as a multi-role aircraft, designating their version as the Phantom FGR.2. The F-4K design was hence modified and became known as the F-4M. The first F-4M was delivered in 1967 and by 1969 a total of 118 were produced.

F-4M Rolls-Royce Spey engine illustration
Advertisement for the Rolls-Royce Spey engine for the British Phantom versions as appeared in the Dutch Avia Magazine XV(6), 1966. This Avia issue and others from this period are for sale.

After the Falklands war in the early 1980s, 23 RAF Squadron, using Phantom FGR Mk.2s (F-4Ms), was transferred to Stanley to maintain air defense of the Falkland Islands Protection Zone. To keep British home-defense on strength the RAF purchased 15 Navy F-4J Phantoms. These Phantoms came from Navy storage facilities, such as the Davis Monthan Air Force Base. They were overhauled and modified at NASR North Island, where several US Navy systems (e.g. AN/ASN-54 Approach Power Compensator, AN/ASW-25 datalink and AN/ALQ-126 countermeasures systems) were removed and replaced by UK instruments. These F-4J Phantoms were then delivered to the RAF Base at Wattisham in 1984, receiving RAF serial numbers (ZE350-ZE364) and the designation F-4J(UK) Phantom II.

Flt.Lt. A.F. Parkinson (MBE RAF) once flew the F-4M and was the last pilot to fly the Phantom FGR with call sign XV489 in July 1991 before it was scrapped. He was with the 92 Sqn and flew this last flight of the XV489 with his navigator "Rolfie" Dunne. The Sqn flew a Diamond nine formation, of which five Phantoms went to RAF Wattisham, whereas the other four landed at Wildenrath to continue with 19 Sqn for a further 6 months. The XV489 had a red tail with the tail letter S. A sample of his log book with a record of this flight, a picture of him together with his navigator Rolfie and the F-4 Phantom FGR XV489 are shown below.

Log book entry of F/L Parkinson for flight with F-4 Phantom FGR XV489
Log book entry of F/L Parkinson recording last flight of F-4 Phantom FGR XV489 before it was scrapped (source: Flt.Lt. A.F. Parkinson).

RAF F-4M Phantom FGR XV489
Parky and Rolfie with the F-4 Phantom FGR XV489 before it was scrapped (source: Flt.Lt. A.F. Parkinson).

Main instrument panel of the RAF F-4M Phantom FGR XV489
Main pilot's instrument panel of RAF F-4M Phantom FGR XV489.

Rear instrument panel of the RAF F-4M Phantom FGR XV489
Rear instrument panel of RAF F-4M Phantom FGR XV489. This panel is now for sale, follow this link to view the images.

F-4M main pilot's instrument panel

The images below show typical F-4M Phantom II aircraft instrument panels. These images are pictures from collector's panels, as well as scans from F-4M flight manual pages. Feel free to contact me for higher resolution scans or scans of other Phantom instrument panels.

RAF F-4M Phantom main pilot's panel
RAF F-4M (FGR.MK2) Phantom main pilot's panel. Presumable radio call sign XV-398/CI (McDonnell F-4M-33-MC Phantom) operated by 228 OCU (Sqn. 64). Aircraft was scrapped in June 1993 at Wattisham. Images of this aircraft are shown here and at To complete restoration, I would need Take off / Landing checklist data plates and glareshields. Please contact me when you have any of these available.

RAF F-4 Phantom FG MK1 front cockpit
F-4 Phantom FG MK1 front cockpit (source: Aircrew Manual, 1969,

F-4 FG MK1 rear cockpit instrument panel layout
F-4 Phantom FG MK1 rear cockpit (source: Aircrew Manual, 1969,

F-4M front instrument panel
RAF F-4M Phantom main pilot's instrument panel (photo courtesy of Pierre).

F-4J(UK) Phantom rear instrument panel

Several F-4J Phantoms that had been taken out of active service and were stored at the Davis Monthan Air Force Base were bought by the RAF to replace aircraft lost during the Falkland war in the early 1980s. One such aircraft was F-4J with tail code 155894, which received the RAF tail code ZE364. The image below shows the rear instrument panel from this aircraft.

Royal Navy F-4J(UK) rear instrument panel
Image of Royal Navy F-4J(UK) Phantom II ZE364 (Previously F-4J, BuNo 155894) rear instrument panel.

RAF F-4M and Royal Navy F-4K Phantom II instruments

Only those flight instruments particular to the British Phantoms aircraft are shown below. Please visit the F-4B Phantom page to view instruments common to most F-4 aircraft.

Kollsman MK.30 master altimeter servo encoding
MK.30(B) master altimeter (servo encoding, -1,000 - 60,000 feet) fitted in the rear F-4M cockpit. Provides an electrical output to operate the pilot's MK.29 altimeter when in servo mode, and to the IFF/SSR transponder. Power requirements: 115 V AC, 400 Hz and 28 V DC. The output is via a cable leaving the instrument. Pinouts of the connector at the end of this cable are (source B. de Groot): A= AL6, B= 115 V 400 Hz ETH, C= chassis ETH, D= Rotor out to slave MK.29 A, J= common xpdr, M= C4 Mode 'C' xpdr, R= synchro out to slave MK.29 pin C, V= C2 Mode 'C' xpdr, W= C1 Mode 'C' xpdr, X= B4 xpdr, Y= B2 xpdr, Z= Rotor out to slave MK.29 pin B, a= B1 xpdr, d= A4 xpdr, e= A2 xpdr, f= A1 xpdr, g= D4 xpdr, k= synchro out to slave MK.29 pin D, m= synchro out to slave MK.29 pin E.
Kollsman MK.29 altimeter
MK.29(B) slaved altimeter (-1,000 - 60,500 feet) fitted in the front F-4M cockpit on the main pilot's panel. In normal mode servo operated from the MK.30 master altimeter in the rear cockpit, but reverts to pressure capsule (standby, with vibrator running) operation in case of power 115 V 400 Hz power failure failure at master MK.30 altimeter. Pinouts are (source B. de Groot): A= rotor to master MK.30 pin D, B= rotor to master MK.30 pin Z, C= synchro to master MK.30 pin R, D= synchro to master MK.30 pin k, E= synchro to master MK.30 pin m, H= +28 V DC to vibrator, N= chassis ETH, N= altimeter test out, R= altimeter test out.
F-4M Radio altitude indicator
F-4M Radio altitude indicator. If you have information on the instrument and its pinouts, please let me know...
RWR Display indicator
Radar Warning Receiver (RWR) Digital Display indicator, Unit 7 Ref Design Prefix 7. Made by the Government Systems Division General Instrument Corporation. It detects the radio wave transmissions of radar systems and can identify what type of radar it is and if the detected radar type forms a threat to the aircraft, such as a radar-guided surface to air missile. For more details visit If you have information on the pin connections, please let me know...
F-4M standby attitude indicator
Standby attitude indicator, manufactured by Ferranti Ltd., Manchester, UK. Type FH-16B. This model also has the gyro inside and was used in the British RAF F-4M models. To light the instrument, connect pins E and F from the PLA connector on the left hand side (looking towards the back of the instrument) to a 5 V power supply. As the gyro is inside, the dimensions of the hole are slightly larger than for the remote version at 6.0 x 6.0 cm.
Fuel flow indicator
Flow rate (fuel flow) indicator type No. 7802-12000 of the F-4M. Manufactured by Elliot, UK.
Exhaust gas temperature indicator
Turbine gas temperature indicator of the F-4M. Uses a Cr/Ni - Al/Ni thermocouple. Manufactured by Smiths, UK.
ILS indicator
F-4M ILS indicator with course/glideslope needles.
F-4M grip Grip on the flight stick of the F-4M, the same grip was used on the F-4J and F-4S aircraft. The grip has a 17 pins connector on the bottom.
PV1756B remote uhf indicator
PV1756B Remote UHF Channel indicator manufactured by Plessey Avionics & Communications.
Left engine fire/overheat warning light
F-4M Left engine fire/overheat warning light. Text: FIRE/OVHT and <ENG.
Camera and weapons control panel
F-4M Camera and weapons control panel, located on the main pilot's instrument panel.

The following instruments and controls are found on the side consoles of the British RAF F-4 Phantoms.

F-4M left hand side console control panels
Fuel system panel
Fuel system panel of the F-4M Phantom. Mounted in the starboard side console.
Inter Communication control box Inter Communications Sytem (ICS) control box from the British FGR-MK.2 Phantom. Mounted in the left console in the rear cockpit.
F-4M right hand side console control panels
Lepus flare control panel
Lepus flare control panel with left/center and right counters and height setting switch. This panel controls ejection of an illumination flare that floats down on a parachute over the target.
Generator and master caution light control panel
Generator and master caution light control panel with generator out warning lights.
External lights control panel
External lights control panel with switches for taxi lights, wing lights, fuselage lights, tail lights, etc. as well as a MAN KEY button for signaling using flashing lights.
TACAN control panel
F-4M Phantom II TACAN control panel.
Utility receptable and spare lamps panel
Utility receptable and spare lamps panel, located on the port side console.
ILS control panel
F-4M ILS (Instrument Landing System) control panel and volume adjustment knob, located on the port side console.

Links to other F-4 Phantom sites

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