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McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II

McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2018 Title McDonnell F4H-1 Phantom II
Author Tommy H. Thomason Publisher Ginter Books
Published 2018 ISBN 978-0-9993884-5-7
Format 186 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $49.95


The "Birth of a Legend" subtitle says it all.

McDonnell's pioneering progenitor, the F4H-1 Phantom II, gets full "Ginter treatment" in no.108 of the publisher's "Naval Fighters" range.

And in charting the legendary design's first iteration, author Tommy H. Thomason leaves no proverbial stone unturned.

That means hundreds of photos, dozens of illustrations, scores of tech-manual excerpts, scale drawings, and metaphorically mountainous measures of minutiae.

And what a wild, colorful ride it is.

After the real thing's somewhat bumpy assent phase, contents hit cruising altitude with astonishing amounts of early Phantom II details – before glimpsing main production variants on distant horizons. Coverage then prangs in concluding kit comments on, unfortunately, the piteous paucity of F4H-1 models and conversions.

Thomason surveys all 47 F4Hs. Trials. Production. Performance. Armament. And more. At least one photo of each packs this compendium's cargo bay. And literally thousands of details will keep AMS sufferers in perpetual project planning.

Trivia, too. Did you know that the original configuration specified four 20mm nose canon? And did you know that McDonnell distributed ballots to nickname its new design – and that "Satan" actually won? "Nevertheless", Thomason reveals, "BuAer had the deciding vote, which was for Phantom II"!

Who knows? Maybe Ginter's terrific tome will motivate an innovative kit manufacturer to release an F4H-1. With its penchant for prototypes, Modelsvit sounds like a perfect candidate!

Until then, return to the saga's start. Grab this picture-packed gem.


With thanks to Ginter Books!