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Neuburg Phantoms JG 74

Neuburg Phantoms JG 74 First Look

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2006 Title Neuburg Phantoms JG 74
Publisher Aerophoto Publishing Product Number RT003
Published 2006 Format DVD Region 0
MSRP (Euro) €15.90    
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First Look

Neuburg Phantoms JG 74
Neuburg Phantoms JG 74
Neuburg Phantoms JG 74
Neuburg Phantoms JG 74
Neuburg Phantoms JG 74

Here is a new resource (to me) that I will definitely be keeping an eye on in the future. It is Aerophoto Publishing from Italy and they are now publishing a series of the "Real Thing" videos covering a variety of military subjects. The principal behind this effort is aviation photographer Luigino Caliaro who has taken some excellent photography from a variety of cockpits from around the world. You can see some of his photo work and his biography on his website (listed below).

In this DVD entitled 'Neuburg Phantoms Luftwaffe Jagdgeschwader 74' the camera takes you out to Neuburg AB, the home of JG 74 and their F-4F ICE Phantom IIs.

The images to the right were captured from the movie and illustrate that this is up-close footage that has everything except the smell of good beer (Munich is nor far) and burnt JP-8. Ignore the note in the video frame saying 'Promo - Not For Sale' as this is an artifact of the review sample we received and shouldn't be on your copy.

This video is nicely edited and provides a good feel for a typical flying day in NATO. The Luftwaffe's Phantoms are a key part of NATO air defense until the Eurofighter replaces the type. That day is not far off as Eurofighters enter service and the Luftwaffe's 20th FS in the US terminated the training pipeline for new Phantom pilots..

The original F-4Fs delivered to the Luftwaffe were similar to late-block F-4Es in the USAF including the slatted wings, 20mm M61 Vulcan cannon, and AIM-9 Sidewinder capability. The F-model was intentionally left without a radar guided missile capability in those days. When the Luftwaffe put their F-4F through the Improved Combat Efficiency (ICE) program, their Phantoms became the most capable in the world. Gone was the simplified APQ-120 radar, in its place was the APG-65 from the F-15. The Sidewinder capability was upgraded to the all-aspect AIM-9L, and the aircraft received a radar-guided missile - not the old AIM-7 Sparrow, but the AIM-120 AMRAAM.

This video takes you through a typical flight cycle, from mission prep, pre-flight, start, taxi, through the arming pit, out to the active, the roaring full-burner departure, some nice air-to-air video sequences, and recovery. A section of the video also walks you through the maintenance hangar to look at various parts of the aircraft, including the APG-65 installation.

The only real narrative in the video is a short sequence of interviews with a flight crew, a GCA operator, an egress systems specialist, and a quick chat about the gun - all in German. The main part of the video is just the sight and sounds of flight ops.

As you can see below, the last two photos are from a video sequence where the flight of two Phantoms joins up with a Eurofighter with a close look at the aircraft in formation..

You can obtain a copy directly from Aerophoto Publishing and at €15.90 (approximately $20.50 USD), this is a great reference to have in your collection.

My sincere thanks to Aerophoto Publishing (www.aerophoto.it) for this review sample.

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