F-4 Phantom Fighter F-4 ファントム 戦闘機

F-4 Phantom Fighter
F-4 Phantom Fighter

Length : 19.2 meters
Height : 5 meters
Wingspan : 11.7 meters
Mass : 26 tons

Powers / Weapons

Flight at Mach 2; nine hardpoints for bombs or missiles


The War in Space (1977)

Series // Showa

Sound Effect


A two-seat, twin-engine aircraft, the F-4 Phantom Fighter was built as a long range supersonic jet interceptor back in the 1958. Originally constructed by McDonnell Aircraft for the United States Navy, the jet first entered service for America in 1960. Many different variants of the aircraft were constructed overtime, including a model called the F-4B that saw service in the Vietnam War against MiG fighters.

By 1988, a new type of foe had surfaced, though. The Messiah 13 aliens, hailing from the Third Planet of Yomi, had set their sights on Earth as a new conquest. Using a combination of their Hell Fighters ships, elctro-wave disturbance and espionage, the extraterrestrials overpowered Earth's defenses. During their siege, the aliens learned of the Goten, a mammoth warship being constructed on Earth by professor Masato Takigawa. Seeing the warship as a potential turning point in the battle, the alien forces focused their efforts on destroying the Goten's base and halting its completion.

Part of this alien strike included hunting down any potential individuals who might aid in its construction and launch. One such member was NASA's Jimmy, who was frantically traveling from the United States to join his comrades at the Goten base. To make the journey, Jimmy piloted a F-4 Phantom Fighter. Despite the speed of the aircraft, though, a Hell Fighter spotted and caught up with the American ship. Realizing the hopelessness of staying onboard, Jimmy parachuted out of the craft. The escape came just in time, as the Hell Fighter used its Cosmo Laser Cannons to destroy the F-4 Phantom. Luckily for Jimmy, he was nearly on top of the base when he parachuted. Dodging Pulse Laser Cannon fire, the NASA worker leapt into the water below so he could swim to the base and join in the efforts to launch the Goten.

Powers / Weapons
Flight at Mach 2

Flight at Mach 2

The F-4 Phantom was capable of a maximum flight speed of mach 2.23 which could be achieved at 12,190 meters in altitude. The aircraft's cruising speed was 960 kilometers per hour, roughly mach 0.78.

Nine Hardpoints for Bombs or Missiles

Nine Hardpoints for Bombs or Missiles

The jet features nine hardpoints that can equip external weapons to the F-4 Phantom. These hardpoints could be used to arm the craft with bombs, including cluster bombs or laser-guided bombs, and air-to-ground missiles or anti-ship missiles. In combat missions, four AIM-7 Sparrow missiles and four AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles were common armament of the F-4 Phantoms.

During the Messiah 13 conflict, the craft did not appear to be using any of its nine hardpoints, or had already unloaded its payload by the time Jimmy had to parachute out.

Background and Trivia
  • Although in real life the plane is generally referred to as a F-4 Phantom II, the aircraft in the film drops the "II" and is known as the F-4 ファントム 戦闘機 (F-4 Fantomu Sento Ki). The literal translation of this would be "F-4 Phantom Fighter Aircraft". Special effects director Teruyoshi Nakano in an interview for the special features found on Toho's DVD release of The War in Space discusses the aircraft, choosing to use an American design for realism and also uses this name for it.
  • Many variants of the F-4 Phantom II exist. However, the design of the F-4 Phantom Fighter from the film most closely resembles a F4H-1 (F-4B) and is nearly identical to the aircraft found on display at the San Diego USS Midway Museum. In fact, that craft has the numbering of "102" while the one in the film is numbered "101". The surviving 102 F-4 Phantom can be seen on the museum's website here.