Two FG.1's operational squadrons were initially formed with the 52 aircraft purchased, 892 Sqn, who had been operating Sea Vixen's, on HMS Ark Royal, and 767 Sqn on HMS Eagle, the conversion required to the carriers proved to be prohibitively expensive and in consequence only the Ark Royal was converted and fourteen FG.1 Phantoms were transferred to the RAF's 43 Sqn at RAF Leuchars on the 1st of September 1969. NAS 892 Sqn's Phantoms were operated from HMS Ark Royal from 1969 to 1978, following the de-commissioning of the Ark Royal in 1978, the remaining aircraft were also transferred to the RAF to be used along side their own existing FGR.2 Phantoms.
The picture above depicts a 767 Sqn NAS Phantom FG.1 taxing at RNAS Yeovilton during July 1969, the Squadron was commissioned at Yeovilton on the 14th of January 1969 as the OCU (operational conversion unit) for all Royal Navy F-4 pilots and navigators and the initial group of RAF personnel, the unit remained operational until the 1st of August 1972, training responsibilities were henceforth undertaken by a section of the RAF's 11 Sqn.
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 Specifications:
- Crew: Pilot and observer/navigator
- Length: 58ft 3in (17.76m)
- Wingspan: 38ft 4¾in (11.7m)
- Height: 16ft 3in (4.96m)
- Maximum Speed: 1,386mph (2,230km/h - Mach 2.1) at 40,000ft (12,192m)
- Service Ceiling: 58,050ft (17,694m)
- Maximum Range: 1,750 miles (2,817 km) with under-wing fuel tanks
- Engines: Twin 12,250lb (20,515lb with afterburner) thrust Rolls Royce Spey RB168-25Rs engines
McDonnell Douglas Phantom FG.1 Armament:
- Four Sky Flash or Sparrow air-to-air radar-guided missiles plus four Sidewinder air-to-air infra-red guided missiles.
- Eleven 1,000lb free-fall or retarded bombs or 126 SNEB 68mm armour-piercing rockets.
- Single optional pod mounted 20mm Vulcan SUU 23 rotary cannon