Hobbymaster 1/72nd scale HA19012 McDonnell Douglas QF-4E Phantom II 53 WEG, 82 ATRS, 2016 USAF Farewell. Only 600 produced. RRP £84.00
The 82nd Aerial Targets Squadron is a United States Air Force unit. It is assigned to the 53rd Weapons Evaluation Group and stationed at Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida. The 53rd Group is responsible for conducting the USAF Air-to-Air Weapons System Evaluation Program flying both sub-scale and full-scale drone targets for weapon testing. The 82nd ATRS was the last USAF unit to fly the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II, flying the QF-4E,-G, and QRF-4C versions in the role of aerial targets. In 2013, the squadron commenced acquisition of the first batch of QF-16 aircraft to replace the QF-4 in the Full Scale Aerial Target (FSAT) role. On December 21, 2016, QF-FE #74-1638 was one of four Phantoms flown from Holloman AFB for the final time before the type was permanently retired from service.
The F-4E variant was an improved version of the C/D with an elongated nose and compact radar. These two things made it possible to install a 20mm M61A1 6 barrel 640 round Vulcan gun pod in the nose. The F-4E was the most produced variant with 1387 aircraft being made over its 12 year production period. The “E” also equipped more air forces than any other variant of the Phantom II.