After 40 years in service with the German Air Force, the service is retiring the last of their McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom IIs. Reflecting the central role these warbirds have played in the defense of the country, the air force created the F-4F “Heritage Flight”, refinishing four F-4Fs in paint schemes reflecting each of the decades that the plane was in service as well as has organizing the intentionally misspelled Phantom Pharewell send-off in June.
The German Air Force’s F4F Heritage Flight has refinished four Phantoms:
38+10 – Wears the’Norm 72′ green and grey camouflage pattern of the early 1970s and large serial number emblazoned on the fuselage sides. Phantoms used these schemes during their first two decades of service when they were air to ground attack craft. This particular plane has 6,900 hours of flight time in service.
38+33 – Wears the ‘Norm 81′ grey color scheme better suited to the type’s air-to-air combat of the craft’s later duties. This plane has 6,500 flight hours on it.
37+22 – Wears the most recent and current ‘Norm 90′ color scheme that works for air-to-air and was applied to the line in conjunction with ICE upgrades in the 1990s. This plane has accumulated nearly 7,100 flight hours in its years of service.
37+01 – The very first F-4F to be rolled out of the McDonnell Douglas factory in St. Louis, Missouri, it has racked up nearly 7,400 hours in its extraordinarily long career. This plane has been painted in a special commemorative ‘Phinal Pharewell’ blue and gold livery and will serve as a gate guardian at Wittmundhafen Air Base now that it and its mates are officially retired.