Monday, November 25, 2013

Last Phantom back in service

QF-4 lands at Tyndall last week. AF photo
TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. -- The 82nd Aerial Target Squadron received the last of the "new" QF-4 aerial targets last week. The Vietnam-era Phantom, Aircraft 68-0599, spent more than 20 years in the Air Force "Boneyard" at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. before being brought back to life for this new role. The supersonic, reusable QF-4 provides is a full-scale target for air-to-air weapons system evaluation, development and testing. It was converted to unmanned capability by BAE Systems. Since the QF-4 replaced the QF-106 in 1998, more than 300 idle planes have been converted.  Ultimately, 250 of the Phantoms succeeded in their missions and been successively destroyed over the Gulf of Mexico and the ranges near Holloman Air Force Base, N.M. The QF-4s will eventually be replaced by QF-16s. The 82nd ATRS is part of the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group, which falls under the 53rd Wing at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. (Source: 325th Fighter Wing Public Affairs, 11/22/13) Previous: QF-16 makes unmanned flight; Tyndall target drone crashes; Drone destroyed after malfunction;