Ronald Hatcher.

Personal notes and projects.

The AIM-54 Phoenix is a long-range air-to-air missile developed by the United States during the late 1960s and early 1970s. It was primarily designed for use with the U.S. Navy's F-14 Tomcat.

The AIM-54 "Phoenix" Missile



The Phoenix has a particular appeal to me based on time frame if nothing else. The days of the F-14 and AIM-54 happened to be the days of my high-school years and subsequent service in the US Marines. The missile really has a fascinating aesthetic quality and brings on all of the complex technological engineering that only the 80s could generate.

AIM-54 Details

The Phoenix boasted advanced radar guidance and impressive range and speed, capable of engaging targets up to 100 nautical miles away and at altitudes exceeding 80,000 feet. While it was never used in combat, the missile served as a significant technological achievement and a deterrent throughout the Cold War, remaining in service until the retirement of the F-14 Tomcat in the early 2000s.

The Phoenix mostly flew as ballast

The majority of the images of the Phoenix show it with all blue bandings; effectively inert.

There are a few live images out there where the banding shows the striking difference between the blue and white stripes.


I'm planning to write a post on the colour bandings and their meanings. It's a topic that seems to always be a problem with scale models.