Germany bids farewell to the F-4 Phantom

On June 29th, the Luftwaffe retired its last F-4F Phantom jet fighters after flying them for almost 40 years.  To commemorate the occasion, one was painted in a special livery and labeled ‘Phantom Pharewell’.

Here’s a video clip of the specially-painted jet performing a flying display prior to the end of Phantom operations.

The Phantoms have been replaced in Luftwaffe service by Eurofighter Typhoons.  The F-4 is still operational with the Egyptian, Greek, Iranian, Japanese and Turkish air forces, and with the USAF as a radio-controlled pilotless target drone.


EDITED TO ADD:  Thanks to links provided by others, I’ve found some more photographs of the ‘Phantom Pharewell’, as well as some great shots of other Luftwaffe F-4F’s.  Click on the links to view them at Picasa.

‘Phantom Pharewell’ Image 2, with 4 Phantoms in all Luftwaffe paint schemes, 1024×682 pixels;
‘Phantom Pharewell’ Image 3, with air superiority gray F-4F, 1600×1067 pixels (wallpaper size)
Luftwaffe F-4F Phantom 1, 2048×1366 pixels (wallpaper size);
Formation of 4 Luftwaffe F-4F Phantoms, 2048×1365 pixels (wallpaper size)

The wallpaper-sized shots are great for screen backgrounds.  I’ve already put one up.


  1. Not just one special scheme but 4. The last remaining Phantoms were painted in the 3 major colours schemes worn by Phantoms during their service with the Luftwaffe, including khaki/grey, two tone grey and air superiority grey.

    Beautiful aircraft that will be missed by all concerned.

    Some more information and pictures here.

  2. Living proof that if you add enough power a brick can fly!!! 🙂 And he really didn't do much in burner, because he'd have had to land in about 9-10 minutes!!! Still the most prestigious flight orders in the JMSDF!

  3. Fabulous, simply fabulous!.
    At 1:38 and 1:51, I discerned the UNMISTAKEABLE sound of either a Packhard Merlin, or a Rolls-Royce Merlin, (I lean towards a Packhard, in a P-51D).
    Many, almost too numerous to mention stories, (will someone put them into a hardbound, lavishly illustrated with b/w and colour shots) are both the history, and still current words that the F-4 is yet to write.
    What a bird.
    The Tomcat is well named, but it's Daddy, the F-4 did it all before. F-4, F-14, nice Family.
    In both cases, in answer to the question, "How fast, High and Hard", the only answer is, "Balls to the wall".
    Nothing less was acceptable.

  4. My only up close encounter was with some Texas Air Guard F4's in the 80's. We were having a staff picnic in a meadow by the Guadalupe river. I heard them pass by a mile or so away….. Then a couple minutes later they blew over us at 500 feet or so…. The JP4 exhaust was like a blanket!!!!! Too funny! The sound was like a solid wall. I love American Airpower….

  5. @ Stuart Garfath

    You are right about the Packard Merlin. I was there that day and it's the sound of the Dutch P-51 Mustang 'Damn Yankee'.

    It was a suprise visit from the P-51 pilot and he made a few rounds before landing his plane.

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