Air & Space Museum
McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II
McDonnell initially created the F-4 Phantom II for the US Navy in 1958 to provide defensive “top cover” for the fleet, however, the F-4 went on to serve with the Air Force, Marines, and 15 other nations around the world. It has served as an interceptor, a fighter, a bomber, a close-support attack aircraft, a reconnaissance aircraft, an air defense suppression platform, and as a target drone. As of 2022, four air forces are still flying the Phantom, 64 years after the first F-4 flew.
Like other interceptors of the time, the F-4 was designed around an all-missile armament system with the expectation that air combat would take place at a distance. American pilots learned in the Vietnam War that air-to-air combat quickly degenerated into close-in dogfights, where the Phantom was at a disadvantage because its missiles had to fly a certain distance before they were armed. To make the F-4 more effective in these dogfights, the Air Force had McDonnell Douglas design the F-4E model with a multi-barrel 20mm rotary cannon in the nose.
In addition to the Vietnam War, Phantoms saw combat in the Middle East with the Israeli Air Force, in the wars between Iran and Iraq, and in Operation Desert Storm.
The F-4E Phantom II at Wings served with the US Air Force in several testing projects at Edwards, Wright Patterson, and MacDill AFBs before being transferred to Lowry AFB in 1982 for use as a munitions loading trainer. It is on loan from the National Museum of the US Air Force.
Wingspan: 38 ft 5 in (11.7 m)
Length: 63 ft (19.2 m)
Maximum speed: Mach 2.23 (1,473 mph; 2,371 km/h)
Maximum weight: 41,500 lb (18,824 kg)
Engines: two GE J79-GE-17 turbojets
Total thrust: 35,690 lb (with afterburner)
Join Wings Over the Rockies Exploration of Flight for monthly fly-ins featuring planes, pilots and breakfast!
On the first Saturday of every month, enjoy breakfast from a local food truck, watch aircraft fly in and explore interactive exhibits and simulators.
Food Truck: Cruz In & Eat
Please note: Food purchases are not included in admission.
Pilots – Fly in for free breakfast! For tie-down space, contact Flight@WingsMuseum.org or 303.360.5360 ext 160.
Round Engine Roundup with an Eclipse Encounter
Join us at Exploration of Flight for a roundup of round engine aircraft, featuring the Sea Fury. Plus, view the 2023 Annular Eclipse from Centennial Airport! Build your own telescope and create a moon phase calendar at our learning stations, followed by an educational talk about the eclipse from Wings Over the Rockies Curator Chuck Stout.
Arrive early for prime eclipse viewing, as the eclipse is expected to be visible in the area around 10:30 a.m. The first 100 people will receive free eclipse glasses to safely view the eclipse. Additional glasses will be for sale.
Food Truck: Colorado Coney Company
Teachers Only | Professional Development: Nose Art
Teacher Workshop: Nose Art
Teachers are invited to join us for this online workshop and learn a unique aerospace lesson to bring to your classroom!
As aviation developed, especially as the result of World War I, many pilots chose to decorate their aircraft with designs intended to intimidate their opponents, or to remind the pilots of easier times at home. During this unique program, participants will have a chance to review some of that remarkable history and develop their own insignia and learn how to generate the image on a square of aircraft aluminum.
Register below and you will receive a confirmation email with the online meeting link.
Get updates and special offers
Sign up for our newsletter, and stay up to date with all of the latest exhibits and events at Wings Over the Rockies.