Thanks to its two General Electric J79-GE-8 turbojet engines, the F-4 Phantom II was characterized by its powerful thrust during flight. This allowed its pilot to engage and disengage from a dog-fight any time he deemed convenient. Being introduced in 1961, it established sixteen speed, altitude and climbing rate records. It was equipped with advanced avionics, which enabled the aircraf to carry out missions day and night, with an overcast sky. The F-4 was designed to take off from an aircraft carrier and to shoot laser-guided missiles beyond visual range. However, it lacked a gun for the dog-fight and the ground-attack roles. Another disadvantage was that this big and heavy fighter aircraft did not have the maneuverability of its Soviet counterparts of the time and was prone to adverse yaw, which means to turn in the opposite direction of the banking the pilot tried to perform. In order to reduce this desadvantage, in 1972, the Phantom II was fitted with leading edge slats on the wing, which improved the high angle of attack maneuverability, but at the expense of reducing the aircraft top speed.
Phantom II characteristics (video)