The June issue of Combat Aircraft goes on sale today and it coincides with the flood of attention on tomorrow’s retirement ceremony for the last Hellenic Air Force RF-4E Phantom IIs.
Our latest issue features an exclusive report on the last flying days of the RF-4Es in Greece, including incredible low level photos, plus the App features some exclusive videos.
When it comes to rare beasts, few are closer to extinction than the photo-reconnaissance Phantom II. The Hellenic Air Force has operated these magnificent, chisel-nosed, RF-4Es since 1978, and in May 2017 was bidding a final farewell as 348 Mira Taktikis Anagnoriseos (MTA, Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron) ‘Eyes’ joined the history books.
Based at Larissa in northern Greece, in the shadow of Mount Olympus, 110 Pteriga Machis (PM, Combat Wing), 348 MTA was down to just three remaining RF-4Es when Combat Aircraft visited in March, during the squadron’s last weeks of flying.
The last commander of 348 MTA is Lt Col Dimitrios Papadimitriou. ‘‘[This jet] will remain deeply rooted in our hearts. It not only represents 15 tonnes of metal, it is our most faithful friend, the one that offered us unforgettable moments, it’s a piece of our lives. The last Hellenic RF-4E Phantom II will land for the last time on May 5, 2017. Goodbye friend…’
For much more on these amazing jets, see the new issue of Combat Aircraft, on sale now.