As I understand it a QF-4 is a Phantom which is converted to a remotely controlled plane for use in weapons testing.
(Apparently in non-destructive runs, a pilot is still on board for safety, convenience etc, but in actual "really shoot down the QF-4" runs, it is flown as a remotely controlled plane.)
I'd be amazed to see what the remote operator station for a QF-4 looks like.
Is it just a ... RC unit?
Is it just an ordinary PC, perhaps? Fly by mouse/keyboard?
I'm wondering is there a video feed from the pilot viewpoint included with the telemetry?
Is it perhaps flown from another chase plane?
Is it "control control" (the remote operator uses something to actually move the control surfaces, i.e. exactly as actually when flying a plane) or is it "concept control" (you just tell it, go to this point, this altitude etc and the software does that).
Can you land it using the remote system?
Do the operators of these get a chance to make any training flights, or is it just too expensive? The only time you get to take off, get shot at, and perhaps land is during actual runs as a target?
Again, I'd love to see a photo of what the control system/bay/iPhone app whatever looks like!
- Footnote. I believe the QF-4 is retired? Question applies to a QF-4 replacement!