One of the most famous and easily recognized fighter aircraft of the post-WWII era was the McDonnell F-4 Phantom II. This aircraft was developed as a private venture by the aircraft company but was soon ordered by the USN as a carrier-based attack aircraft. Its first flight took place on May 27, 1958 and it entered active service in December 1960. It wasn’t long after the F-4B appeared that a fly-off was set up with USAF front-line fighters. It was no contest, the F-4 performed so well that the USAF ordered their own variant, the F-4C. As time went on, the F-4 evolved into well over a dozen variants.
In February 1962 an attempt to set time-to-altitude records the USN began as “Project High Jump”. F4H-1 aircraft used flying from NAS Brunswick Maine and Point Mugu California. Five pilots were involved in the project that set 8 time-to-climb records of which 2 were time-to-height records. Records were set for time-to 9,842 feet, 19,685 feet, 29,528 feet, 39,370 feet, 49,213 feet, 65.617 feet, 82,021 feet and 98,425 feet. Lt.Cdr. John W. Young set the first and second last records flying F4H-1 148423. Young became an astronaut and pilot of the first space shuttle.