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McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom 2 (N80735)
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McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom 2 (N80735)

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Alan Macdonald
Why does this site insist on prefixing any serial number of numeric digits with an 'N'. Is it just out of ignorance or a procedural necessity.
BTW it's an F-4E Phantom II no such being as a Phantom 2
Greg Byington
Nice shot, King! More info from Joe Baugher's website:

McDonnell Douglas F-4E-67-MC Phantom, 78-0735, (MSN 5059) for RoKAF as 80-735. Still serving with ROKAF as 80-735 in February 2023 with 153rd Fighter Squadron/10th Fighter Wing

It is a mystery (to many of us) as to why FA does some of the things it does. How it displays the tail/registration number is a great example. In my experience, it seems that any entry there of five or fewer characters automatically gets an "N" placed at the beginning regardless of whether it should be there or not. It assumes it is a U.S. civilian registration. If you enter six (or more) digits it will normally assume it is military and put a "-" after the first two digits with no "N". In the case of this photo, if King were to enter the full SN of 780735 it should show up without the "N" as 78-0735. But since the RoKAF SN is only five digits you can try to 'fool' the system by entering a "0" at the beginning of the SN to give it six digits. Then it should appear as 08-0735, without an "N". Sometimes if you enter a "-" at the beginning of the number (such as: -80735), or in the middle of the number (such as 80-735), that might work, as well. In any case, you might have to play around with the SN when you enter it into FA to get it to display correctly, or at least as close to correct as you can get.

As for Phantom II versus Phantom 2, it shows up both ways depending on where you look. I think officially you're correct, Alan. But, for example, if you look at the ICAO site for Aircraft Type Designators it shows them all as Phantom 2. So, six of one, a half dozen of the other. But that brings up another problem with FA. Even when you enter the correct ICAO aircraft type designator FA will display whatever name it wants to for that aircraft type regardless of whether it is the most common name or whether it accurately depicts the photo, or not. So, all you can do is get the correct ICAO code, enter it, and hope for the best.

Thanks again for the pic, King!
King F HuiPhoto Uploader
FYI this photo was taken in Sept 2023. ROKAF will retire the F4s in June 2024. I would be there for the ceremony.
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