F-4B/N Rear cockpit familiarization

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Rear Cockpit familiarization


The rear cockpit houses the RADAR controls as well as the INS. The Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) is responsible for target search, acquisition and tracking, using the AN/APQ-72 RADAR. Additionally, he is responsible for the proper operation of the Inertial Navigation System (INS) and aiding the pilot in navigation.

The rear cockpit is split into three areas:

  • Forward panel
  • Instrument panel: contains basic navigation instruments along with controls for the rear cockpit's lighting.
  • RADAR controls: consists of the RADAR scope in the middle, control panel on the left and control stick on the right.
  • Left console: contains the radios and INS panel

Rear cockpit layouts

In the package we are simulating two different variants of the rear cockpit. The left picture shows an early F-4B layout and the right a late F-4B/F-4N layout. The differences are apparent. In the late variant:

  • The forward panel is dominated by the RADAR homing and warning equipment
  • The lighting and compass controls have been moved from the forward panel to the left console
  • The intercom panel is under the instrument panel
  • The ALE-29 ICP and PCP are on the right cockpit wall

Instrument panel

The instrument panel is common in both early and late F-4B aircraft. It contains the basic flight and navigation instruments:

  • True airspeed indicator
  • Barometric altimeter
  • Attitude-direction indicator
  • Airspeed/Mach indicator
  • Bearing, distance and heading indicator
  • Clock
  • Warning lights
  • RADAR stick stowing lever
  • EJECT light

Left console panel

On both cockpits, the left console panel contains the aft cockpit oxygen and pressurization panel and the radios.

The oxygen and pressurization panel allows toggling the oxygen supply of the RIO on or off, and contains an oxygen quantity gauge and a pressurization gauge. Radios are covered in the systems chapter.

The F-4N console contains the lights and compass panel, which was moved there from the front panel to make room for the dataling and RHAW equipment. Operation is the same as in the F-4B variant, covered in F-4B forward panel.


RADAR controls

RADAR controls operation is covered in Air-to-Air weapons. Top

F-4B forward panel

The F-4B forward panel contains the lights control panel and intercom. The intercom is not simulated. On the lights control panel:

  • EQUIP LIGHTS knob: adjusts the intensity of the flood lights and backlighting of the consoles
  • INSTR LIGHTS knob: adjusts the intensity of instrument backlighting
  • COCKPIT FLOODS switch: limits the maximum intensity of the rear cockpit floodlights
  • WARN LIGHTS: This is switch is spring loaded to the OFF position. When held to TEST the rear cockpit warning lights will illuminate
  • NAV COMP switch:
    • Up: BDHI needle No.1 will indicate bearing to the selected ADF station and No.2 bearing to the selected TACAN station
    • Down: Relays TARGET or BASE coordinates to the BDHI, depending on INS setting. Needle No.1 will indicate bearing and No.2 will indicate track to the selected waypoint.


F-4N forward panel

The F-4N Forward panel contains the RADAR Homing and Warning equipment controls, covered in the Electronic Warfare equipment and Countermeasures chapter.


F-4N ALE-29 panel

Operation of the ALE-29 panel is covered in the Electronic Warfare equipment and Countermeasures chapter.


Instrument descriptions

As most of the instruments have been covered in the forward cockpit page, only the new ones will be indicated here.

Bearing, distance and heading indicator

Rear cockpit Bearing, distance and heading indicator

The intrument consists of:

  • a rotating compass drum, indicating magnetic heading
  • two dme drums in the center
  • two rotating needles. The arrow-shaped needle is No.1, while the B shaped needle is No.2

Indication of No.1 and No.2 needles is controlled from the NAV COMP switch in the rear cockpit..

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