by Tommy H. Thomason

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

F-4 Phantom Outboard Pylon and MER

A recent post on a modeling website describing an F-4 Phantom build stated that the inboard bombs had been left off the MER on the outboard pylons because of an interference with the main landing gear doors. Knowledgeable respondents pointed out that the MER was angled outboard for just that reason. That was news to me, although as it turned out, it shouldn't have been.

The MER (Multiple Ejection Rack) was the end result of a Marine A-4 pilot wanting to make the Skyhawk more than a one-trick pony. His relatively crude creation allowed him to carry several more bombs. However, it came into being after the F-4 outboard pylon location became established and as it turned out, was a bit too close to the landing gear doors. The solution was to angle the pylon outboard. As usual, the Navy and the Air Force, although forced to have a common designation for the Phantom, elected different solutions.
The Navy MER was mounted on an adapter to the original outboard fuel tank pylon*, which was mounted vertically.

The Air Force pylon was angled outboard starting at the lower wing surface, allowing a slightly smaller angle outboard to provide the same clearance.

* See

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