Mortal F-4 Phantom Remains in Essex Scrapyard

hanningfield-stock-f-4-phantom-scrap(All images by Alan Allen, reproduced with permission)

Many of RAF Wattisham’s retired F-4 Phantoms were purchased by Hanningfield Metals and moved to their scrapyard at Stock near Chelmsford, Essex – the final resting place of many British military jets awaiting the shredder.

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In 1992, their empty shells were chopped on site to make transportation easier, and are seen here piled one on top of the other or simply dumped on mounds of earth.

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Several of the less damaged cockpit sections were put to one side, their more manageable size and internal restoration potential making the cockpits of many military aircraft types collectible.

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But regulations governing the post-service life of the F-4 Phantom were rigid, with the majority of UK examples being broken-up to satisfy arms treaties. It’s likely many of these cockpit sections went the same way.

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Perhaps the most famous example of an RAF Phantom to fall foul of the regulations was an FGR.2 model F-4, serial number XV404, which was painted in a stunning tiger scheme to commemorate the disbandment of No. 74 Squadron in 1992.

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Hanningfield Metals planned to restore the aircraft as their gate guardian, but a year after the Phantom arrived at the yard, its destruction was reportedly monitored by a group officials. Twenty years later, a part that got away, XV404′s tail, made an appearance on eBay along with that of F-4J (UK) ZE351.

Read Part One – visit these same F-4s, parked in the scrapping area at RAF Wattisham

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