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- Publisher: Classic Publications
- Format: Hardback | 336 pages
- Dimensions: 216mm x 284mm x 26mm | 1,560g
- Publication date: 4 April 2014
- Publication City/Country: Manchester
- ISBN 10: 190653733X
- ISBN 13: 9781906537333
- Sales rank: 136,345
The McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II has always been an extremely popular aircraft with enthusiasts and historians, simply because of the type's iconic status, its extremely long and diverse history, and the huge variety of roles the Phantom has undertaken. Its international appeal--particularly within the US and UK--cannot be compared to any other aircraft. This title provides a comprehensive study of the development and history of the F-4 Phantom, from the late 1950s, tracing the service deployment of this iconic postwar aircraft, including full coverage of its service in the USAF, RAF, and the air forces of Australia, Egypt, Germany, Greece, Iran, Israel, Japan, South Korea, Spain, and Turkey, to its service today. The text is supported by hundreds of carefully selected photographs, including unpublished pictures, technical, performance and weapons data, line drawings and color artwork profiles. The F-4 Phantom is perhaps the most well-known and iconic postwar military aircraft. The author also covers the long and complicated story of the British Phantom.
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Tim McLelland is author of three Ian Allan-published works: "English Electric Lightning--Britain's First and Last Supersonic Interceptor," "TSR-2--Britain's Lost Cold War Strike Aircraft" and "Harrier." He is an established aviation writer and photographer with an interest in all aspects of aerospace, specialising primarily in post-war military subjects. He has authored a wide range of books on a variety of subjects. He has also produced numerous features for many aerospace magazines and journals and has been a contributor to "Aircraft Illustrated," "Air Extra," "Armed Forces," "Air Forces Monthly," "Flypast," "Aviation News" and others. Tim McLelland also edited "Air Forces International "magazine, and "Scale Models" magazine, in addition to the house magazine of the International Plastic Modellers Society (UK). As part of his photography and writing work, Tim McLelland has been afforded a great deal of direct access to military units around the world. He has talked to serving air crew and staff officers on all aspects of operational and training activities. He has also been given many opportunities to fly as passenger in a wide range of combat aircraft, enabling him to see first-hand what military flying is all about. His 'log book' includes types such as the Jaguar, Lightning, Harrier, Tornado fighter and bomber, Hawk, Hunter, F-4 Phantom (both in US and British service), Buccaneer, Nimrod, Canberra, Hercules, VC10, Chinook, and many others, as well as historical types such as the Lancaster and Shackleton and a number of flights with the world-famous Red Arrows, and the US Navy's Blue Angels team. He has flown all four key versions of the Phantom. Away from the world of military operations, Tim McLelland also worked with Channel 4 Television, as a stills photographer. His other published works include "Buccaneer," "Vulcan--A Complete History," "The RAF Manual," "Fighter Pilot," "Tiger Meet," "Flying Tankers," "Hunter--A Complete History," "Avro Vulcan," "Fight's On," and "C-130 Hercules."
By Takis Diakoumis 17 Apr 2014
If you are going to write a new book on one of the most covered aircraft of our time then it had better offer something different or something new. This does neither. This is my fourth book by Tim McLelland and the others stacked up rather well - this is a poor addition to the collection.
The chapters on German and British service are good and probably the best part. Additional coverage of such important and current Phantom operators such as Japan and Greece should have been expanded upon as these both get rather light treatment. The early chapters on US service offer nothing new. Most of the photos presented I have seen in other books over the years or more recently online.
Of interest is also the entry from around page 87 regarding the first MiG kills using the SUU-16 gun pod - it reads like a word-for-word 'copy' from the same story at 366fightergroupassoc-dot-org or from the original narrative from Aces & Aerial Victories, The United States Air Force in Southeast Asia 1965-1973.
One particular photo especially bothered me and probably sums up the care taken here by both the author and the publisher. Page 122 has a poorly photoshopped image of an F-4G with an early Soviet SU-7 in the background. This has been very badly captioned with: "The origins of this photograph are unclear, therefore its authenticity must be open to question. A 35th TFW F-4E over SE Asia with an enemy MiG streaking by. Even if the photograph is not unmodified it clearly illustrates the kind of engagement that the USAF Phantom crews encountered." If the origin of the image is unclear and [frankly] very poorly doctored - don't include it! The caption is so far off in every way it's plain absurd.
For the exorbitant price here we should be getting much more. The physical quality of the book is superb with glossy paper and mostly colour photos. That's all you're paying for though.
Both the publisher, Ian Allan, and the author have done better and both should be held to a higher standard. We expect better than a simple photo compilation and ripped-off text from the web.
DON'T BUY THIS BOOK. If you really want some truly new and interesting studies of the well published F-4 check out The Ultimate F-4 Phantom II Collection by Patrick Martin. Its an excellent new series on the F-4 and really does a great job with some great new content. Save your money - buy the Patrick Martin series. I don't think I'll ever buy another book by Tim McLelland.