F- 4 Phantom Hot Shots

The Phabulous Phantom

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LENGTH: Navy 80" Air Force "E" 85"
WEIGHT: 26-29 lbs
PERFORMANCE: 45-200 mph
or Single 25-35 lb thrust turbojet


The F-4 Phantom is truly a classic jet fighter of the 60's, 70's and 80's. Flown by the U.S. Navy, Marines and Air Force, it also saw service in many foreign countries such as England, Germany, Israel and Japan.
             Affectionately dubbed "The Rhino", its rakish lines and twin J-79 afterburning engines provided Mach 2.5+ performance - unmatched for its day.
F-4 Kit PartsBVM reproduced this fighter enthusiast's favorite in an all composite airframe and equipped it with a true-to-scale rugged landing gear system, large capacity fuel system and an efficient, cool running turbine engine installation.

F-4 Struts & Wheels F-4 Turbine Parts

The BVM Phantom is being enjoyed by numerous experienced scale jet modelers who have found that its airframe integrity and ruggedness has served them well for hundreds of flights.

The markings and nomenclature for each of these models (shown above) are available from Pro-Mark 618-524-2440.

Call for pricing


Most of the famous modelers have equipped their F-4's with the available options:

  • Detailed Cockpit
  • MGA Pilots
  • Belly Tank (600 gal - BVM #9561)
  • Wing Tanks - BVM #9562

The BVM Phantom has accumulated numerous scale contest awards including Top Gun, but it is primarily enjoyed by its owners at the jet fly-ins. It has a special sound and appearance in the sky that is a real spectator pleaser.

There are 27 primary airframe parts that are molded of epoxy glass, carbon fiber and Kevlar. All panel lines and other details are molded into the skin surfaces. Standard NAVY and USAF F-4C nose section shown on left. F-4E nose is mounted on fuse. Full size CAD drawings are specific to each version.

Internal structures that you install are accurately machined or laser cut to perfection.

Full size totally detail CAD drawings and a photo enhanced manual guides you through every step of construction, finishing, gearing up and flying.

The F-4 Phantom landing gear is true to scale in geometry and location in the model - features that are often missed in scale models. Its rugged construction has paid off for many F-4 drivers because they know they can execute carrier style landings without injuring the gear or the model. These main gear bolt directly to the two carbon fiber molded wing spars that are built into the composite wings.

The wide main gear stance of the F-4 makes it absolutely the best ground handling fighter in the business.

F-4 Turbine Installation Parts

Fiberglass inlet diverters and ducts direct the air into the Carbon Fiber Bypass system to feed and cool the engine. The hot gases then exit through the bifurcated Stainless Steel tailpipe and exit nozzles. This hot section is cooled by auxiliary air flow through the Carbon Fiber cooling shroud. All engine mounting hardware is included.


Cockpit Detail Kit


Flying the Phantom

An incredible feeling of power and fighter style maneuverability are characteristic features of operating a turbine powered BVM F-4.
The sound of twenty-seven pounds of roaring thrust from the turbine is enhanced even more with the bifurcated exhaust pipe - a unique resonance that most jet jockies really like. It's as close to the real thing as you can get.
The extra wide stance of the main wheels and dual nose wheels allows arrow straight take-off rolls when you punch the throttle to the "Go" position.
Barely 100ft of runway passes below the cockpit prior to rotation if you are operating "clean wing" - add 50-100ft more for carrying external fuel tanks and armament. Suck the gear up immediately and you are in for a model fighter pilot's dream flight.
With this much power, the climb angle can be severe, so just let it gain altitude and airspeed through the first turn before retracting the flaps. You can then reduce the throttle to about half power and pick up the flaps.
The C.G. and stabilizer positions shown on the plans proved once again to be perfect. Even with 6+ pounds of fuel on board in the early stages of the flight, the Phantom can execute huge vertical turnarounds, just advance the power lever and go for it.
Cruise power requires about 1/2 throttle producing a comfortable airspeed of about 140-150mph and it conserves the gas.
The rakish lines of the F-4 create a unique, relatively easy to see jet. Adding the external stores, especially the wing tanks, increases the visibility probably 25% or more.
Jet fighters are longer than they are wide, so anything that you carry under the wings really adds to the visual image and orientation.
If your goal is to execute perfect axial rolls - go with the centerline tank or leave it clean wing. If you prefer just to cruise, ala a recon mission, then the wing tanks represent the best configuration.
Bob Violett

F-4 Top-Side View

F-4 Diagram

Click for a larger version

F-4 Phantom
Airframe Directive (A.D.)
And other helpful notes

Large Fuel Cell Transfer Tubes
Replace Brass with Stainless Steel

There has been one case where the brass tube that transfers fuel through a hole in the fuel cell baffle experienced a razor saw-like cut. The engine flamed out because the remaining fuel below the tube was unusable.
The most likely cause of the brass tubing failure was many miles of trailer transport of the model with the fuel cells empty.

The Fix

BVM now supplies Stainless Steel tubes with the large baffled fuel cells i.e., KingCat, F-100, F-4, Rafale, F-86 (80"). Retrofit parts are available. Ask for part #PSTU003 (quantity 2) price $5.00 for the pair mailed within the USA.
To be honest, we don't know how many travel miles the brass tubes will withstand. It could vary quite a bit. BVM is converting our factory demo models as time allows. Our prototype F-100D is 6 years old, has at least 300 flights and more trailer miles than we can count. We inspected the brass tubes and found minimum wear. We changed them to the Stainless Steel variety anyway.

Wing Pylon Mounting

  • Locate drill locations per plans.
  • Drill pilot holes with 1/8” bit. be sure to align drill vertically with respect to ground stance of model. (not surface of wing skin).
  • Re-drill with 3/16 bit, then with 13/64” bit. (hole size is critical for proper installation of brass insert.)
  • Install brass insert onto 4-40 socket head bolt. Slowly thread insert into hole. Maintain vertical alignment to avoid breaking maple block loose in wing.
  • Remove bolt from insert, if insert does not release, place a drop of water into hole to swell maple block around insert. Wait 10 minutes, then try to remove bolt again. If needed, a drop of ZAP can be used to hold insert in position in block.

Landing Gear door control - improved operation.
The micro switch trigger system currently shown on the plans can be improved upon. Recently we deleted it in the "Blue Angel" because of unreliable operation in a crosswind and the difficulty in properly adjusting it.
We installed a set to the "non-sequencing" mode. This assures that system air pressure continues to hold the door firmly open until the gear are up and provides ample time for all gear to be completely up before the doors are signaled to close.
Center of Gravity
The plans show 12-1/4” measured outboard along the leading edge. Change it to 12-3/4”.

Stab Servo Control
This photo shows (2) 8411 servos in tandem. The Blue Angel has been flying with this setup at speeds up to 200mph. I have a lot of confidence in the digital JR 8411 servos.

I have been flying the Blue Angel F-4 quite a lot lately and have taken the time to analyze and experiment with the C.G. and control travels. I believe that the following changes enhance the general flight characteristics, especially the axial roll.

Aileron differential – accomplish by rotating the servo arm forward about 20° from vertical and putting a slight bend in the 1/16” control rod (about 10°) to clear the servo shaft. Measure the aileron travel at the outboard end.

Up aileron = 1.3”
This is with the rate switch in the center position.
Down aileron = .9”

Engine access compartment
enhanced photo

16oz Start and Taxi tank not necessary for competition flying

I flew the Blue Angel (clean wing) in "Fun Scale" at the AMA Nationals 2000 just to enjoy the event and display the Phabulous Phantom to many who have not seen it go.
As it turned out I was landing with too much fuel remaining - I actually had to do a few extra maneuvers to burn off the extra weight.  Conclusion:  The extra 16oz round tank that I called the "start and taxi" fuel is not required with the Pegasus engine.  This space could be used to add a smoke system if desired.

For those F-4E customers, here are a few photos of how Craig Gottschang arranged the front end of his Phantom.  All charging, air servicing and starting functions are performed with the nose cone removed.  Fueling is accomplished through the main engine access as per the "S" nose versions.


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