USN F-4 Phantom vs VPAF MiG 17/19 – Peter Davies

Phantom vs. MiGs

Phantom vs. MiGs

I am a big fan of Osprey’s Duel series of books. The approach of comparing two contemporary machines, that fought against each other, makes for a very good read. And by also looking at the men involved, Osprey are onto a winner. This book charts the ongoing battle fought between the US Navy’s Phantom fighters and the North Vietnamese MiG fighters in the later part of the Vietnam War.

The US Navy developed its Cold War aviation from its successes in the Pacific in the Second World War. The North Vietnamese, on the other hand, relied on significant Chinese and Soviet assistance. In the US Navy, ‘MiG killers’ became something of an elite within an elite. The US Navy’s Phantom’s performance was far superior to that of the US Air Force phantoms during the same period. After 1972 the US Navy’s statistics improved considerably, after more emphasis had been given to training crews in air combat. Originally designed as a stand-off interceptor, innovative Navy pilots showed that the Phantom could be used for dogfighting.

Interestingly, although one Phantom crew ended the Vietnam War having shot down 5 MiG’s, the next highest crews only accounted for two. In a highly intense war, that must have involved many missions, clearly many operations saw little action. It is, however, difficult to compare losses compared to the overall amount of aircraft deployed, as Hanoi has never released details of just how many MiG’s fought in the war.

One very interesting aspect that this book stresses, as early as the introduction, is to what extent do we compromise between technology and skill? This is all the more pertinent given the Cold War context. Particularly when it came to dogfighting, technology was useful but not the be all and end all. Aerial combat is an extremely complicated business, involving the aircraft itself, the weapons, electronics, and finally the crew themselves.

There are some disappointing aspects, however. The book focusses exclusively on Vietnam, to the exclusion of any other factors. Other air forces around the world were flying Phantoms and MiGs at the time – what was their approach? The more you separate history into little sections, the more compartmentalised it becomes. This book is about Vietnam, and rightly so – but a little more wider comparison would be a useful literary garnish.

Otherwise it is a great read. Packed with technical descriptions and specifications, and with a plethora of photographs and drawings, this should put the Phantom-MiG duel on the same level as Spitfire/Hurricane vs. Messerschmitt and Harrier vs. Mirage. The very essence of military aircraft is how they perform against their rivals, and the Duel series is an ideal way to showcase this.

There is a side story to this book too. Rowland White’s Phoenix Squadron, published earlier this year, describes how a British Fleet Air Arm Pilot went to America and saw that the US Navy’s Phantom training consisted of a number of experienced pilots, all telling their pupils different things. ‘This is how I flew in Vietnam!’ seems to have been the message, even if if it was a different message from room to room. According to White the British pilot submitted proposals on how to centralise the US Navy training and introduce more of a coherent policy. The result was the famed Top Gun programme.

To what extent was the Top Gun programme, of Tom Cruise fame, inspired by the less well-known but equally skilled Top Guns of the British Fleet Air Arm?

Published by Osprey Publishing



Filed under Book of the Week, cold war

21 responses to “USN F-4 Phantom vs VPAF MiG 17/19 – Peter Davies

  1. Why viewers still make use of to read news papers when in this technological
    world the whole thing is accessible on net?

  2. They will usually sell parts for very cheap prices and in bulk quantities.
    The following will help you car & truck shop in negotiation.
    As such, one must judge by the car itself! Get a third-party mechanic to inspect
    the car for just a few years old. You can
    exploit these regional differences to your advantage, it is then the manufacturer’s responsibility to rectify the problem to avoid huge expenses, it is
    always a good idea to remain car & truck shop flexible.

  3. Fine way of explaining, and nice article to take information
    concerning my presentation focus, which i am going to
    convey in university.

  4. Several write off these movies as vampire movies as
    a result of a number of the policies they split.
    The Shining – A 1980 movie adaptation of Stephen King’s bestselling
    horror novel.

  5. Now go to Options -> General -> Network and you will notice something new – “Internet Tethering”.
    To acquire this software you first must jailbreak and install Cydia.

  6. So do yourself a large favor and download it free of charge at Before
    long nevertheless it may tell you that you have a virus on your desktop.
    You need to be way too chaotic for all of this!

  7. Until then, here is a list of the confirmed canceled shows.
    Observe hoboes move faboo, and get in on a lawn floor of
    ‘urchin chic’. That is exactly what the 1984 video Nightmare on Elm Street is all about.

  8. You can subscribe to these websites and watch streaming movies
    on your Iphone. When faced with the problem of selecting what to make
    for dinner, I increasingly flip to my phone. You can get this at a cost of
    USD 1.ninety nine.

  9. Follow @ipaddenver on Twitter for up-to-the-minute sales,
    deals, opinions and news regarding the iPad. There are 1000s of applications that you could download within your unit.

  10. Hello Dear, are you actually visiting this web page regularly, if so after that you will without doubt get good knowledge.

  11. The suspect advised the prey he had a gun and demanded the iPod or else he’d
    take the target. I’m within my mid-thirties, having a-day career as an IT-Specialist.
    Microsoft didn’t think of the primary operating-system.

  12. As soon as youare within the command prompt, type in powercfg
    /energy and watch for the 60-minute energy check to complete.
    These shutters are an easy task to retain even yet in a moist atmosphere and are extremely durable.

  13. Hello, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one
    and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam responses?
    If so how do you prevent it, any plugin or anything you can advise?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me mad so any support is very much appreciated.

  14. You will have the best TV occasion with all the same.
    Maria Friedman is the best Narrator, and Donny Osmond is
    the Ernest that is better. You will look for a view
    to suit you in a fair value.

  15. Literal Bears I am Jealous Of is called to be the most effective amusing
    website of them all. That by itself can drive people away, MySpace is meant to
    be a site, right?

  16. And in case, your data wander off by using iTunes you are able to regain them.

    It had been hoisted having a crane and carefully
    put onto the flatbed. Nonetheless it was just a
    rouse within the bargain.

  17. Plasma and Liquid Crystal Screen (LCD) packages have taken on the industry within the decade.

    They have the longer streak of post-season looks
    in virtually any of the sports in The United States.

  18. Did not thought about this until now :)Forskolin Extract stops the pancreas
    from splitting down starch into maltose and dextrin. It also ceases the creation of alpha-amylase digestive enzymes in the human body.
    Medical doctors occasionally encourage this to their patients who are diabetes patients because the Forskolin stops the production of alpha-glucosidase
    established in the intestines from changing disaccharides
    and starches into blood sugar. Forskolin benefits also reduces
    sugars and carbohydrate food from turning into unwanted fat by blocking the production of citrate lyase.
    Some health professionals use Garcinia as a laxative to help with constipation or other wellness functions such as fat loss, stress relief,
    major depression, mood swings and as a support to obtaining a wonderful night rest.

  19. What the heck i just read? The earliest point is to consult
    the physician in advance of making use of this product.

    The extract of Forskolin can be found as pills and products and consulting a health care professional will give you a very
    clear know-how about the fact that will it fit you or not.
    This supplement typically fits the needs of all of the people but exceptions are
    always there. So, you might want to ensure that you usually are not normally the one that can not work with this solution. Another important thing is concerning
    the dose. You might want to consult your doctor about the intake and be unique about it
    authentic Forskolin.
    WOW.Nice read here. The true factor to precisely how the product functions is that it
    can be a dual-action diet product, which means that functions as an appetite reducing drug plus a “fat burner”.
    This really shows that it oxidizes your fat cells by
    using anti-oxidants, and this ends up with very much more power for you
    – however , only if you know how to use authentic Forskolin in the suitable fashion.Almost all diet solutions on the market today were created near
    reving up your fat burning capacity, which is certainly not really healthy for many people – and that is why many
    folks are deciding to order Forskolin extract instead.

  20. You have a very good point of view here.Forskolin originated from a seed located throughout India, Asia and Indonesia and used in Ayurvedic medicines.
    This flower appearance is yellow and pumpkin shaped.
    The most common name for this place will be Gambooge. In Asia or throughout
    various other sections of the planet, this place is utilized to
    save various food items as well as a preparation for distinct food items delicancy.

  21. Remarkable ideas. Teeth Whitening Products Herb assists you to lower lbs and enhance metabolic procedure as anticipated.
    You perhaps can in fact feel joy to favor this dietary dietary supplement to more enhance your real physical look without problems.
    This item or services assists you to increase your tempo to obtain a exceptional physique.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s