Question for you Phantom Phanatics (or anyone else)…

  • 8 posts
  • Last reply 1 year, 5 months ago
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  • Deleted User said 1 year, 6 months ago:

    I’ve noticed all manner of colors on the nose(s) of F-4’s (black, white, tan, gray – even red on the prototype) …yet there’s a warning stencil on the nose that states “do not paint”. Any rhyme or reason for the variations in color? Inquiring minds wanna know. 🙂

  • Robert Royes said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    If your talking about that little red or black circle found on either side of the radome on B.C,D,J,K, and M variants, the circle surrounds a static vent for the radome. I don’t know if the RF and E and F have them.

  • Deleted User said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    Oh….I coulda sworn it was a “do not paint” warning (I’ve seen ’em on other radomes) – anyhow, any idea on why they come in so many different colors (and for what reason) – ?

  • Robert Royes said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    It is a do not paint warning ,not to paint the vent which was about the size of a fifty cent piece [the circle surrounds it]. As far as the color goes usually you’d see a red circle stencil with white lettering stencil. I guess the color variations has to do with the color scheme such the tactical greys.

  • Deleted User said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    Certainly don’t mean to be argumentative, Robert, but I’ve seen Navy Phantoms (with an all gray fuselage) with nose cones painted Tan, White AND Black. Just wondered if there was any significance in which color was chosen. Thanks.

  • Robert Royes said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    Now I think I get it, They didn’t paint the radomes early on because the paint would interfere with the radar. the tan was probably the unpainted color of the radome, the choice of black or white later on was I think a squadron level decision, how it looked best with the squadron markings.

  • Erik Gjørup said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    @craigindaytona there are as you say different colours, but as far as I know it is not paint, it is the colour of the material used to make the nosecone, as they need to be easy for the radar to penetrate. Same goes for all fighters with a radar. Sometimes, often late in their career they could get painted in some special colours, like the last two RAF Phantoms to patrol the east-west german border – they were painted all blue. In 1972 the Royal Navy FG.1’s made a farewell tour in the states with the radomes partly painted (and 001 got “tagged with ROYAL NAVY replaced by COLONIAL NAVY, and the brit roundel got changed, the white part extended to make a star, resembling the early USAAF markings! – sorry straddled away a bit – so back on track; another exception was FGR.2 XT853 that had the radome replaced with one in unpainted steel for some trials in connection with the Concorde, robbing them the use of their radar. A quick search in my library did not reveal the text, but it is obvious that the ring – as described by Robert – is for a static port. So in conclusion, yes the radomes were left unpainted Black, Grey, White or Tan in operational service with the exceptions of special use and special colors. The color used more or less depended on the camo – like the Falklands grey ones having tan/light grey radomes. Do also note that radomes (most notably the black ones) faded in use, and repairs are very visible.
    (On another note, Xtradecal has just issued a set of markings for the “COLONIAL NAVY Phantom today! – just saw it on hannants under new arrivals)
    Hope this helped – and it is all open to further comments as I do in no way claim to be an expert on the matter, so this is just my pennies worth.

  • Deleted User said 1 year, 5 months ago:

    Ah Ah….I hadn’t considered the fact that the radomes were fabricated in different colors rather than painted. That makes sense. Thanks to those who cleared this up.

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