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F3H Demon

F3H Demon Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review December 2014 Title F3H Demon
Author Tony Buttler Publisher Guideline Publications
Published 2014 ISBN n/a
Format 52 pages, softbound MSRP (GBP) £15.00


Had the Cold War turned hot during 1962's Cuban Missile Crisis, the McDonnell F3H Demon "would have played its part as the primary fleet defense fighter".

Thankfully, that didn't occur.

Endowed with excellent handling qualities, the nevertheless underpowered, unreliable Demon was the largest and heaviest US Navy fighter in production during the mid-1950s.

Now it's the subject of the 99th – yes, 99th – monograph in Guideline's popular "Warpaint" series.  And author Tony Buttler tells the whole terrific tail in 52 pithy pages.

"The Demon's operational life fell between the Korean War and before the conflict in Vietnam had begun to build up momentum."  Unfortunately, engine troubles would, as the author notes, ultimately "prove to be its Achilles Heel".  Without afterburner, "it had barely enough power and was a slow aeroplane".

Flame-outs, icing and component failures also plagued Demon service life.  And the aircraft suffered correspondingly high attrition rates.  Out of a total production of 519, a shocking 140 – over one in four – were lost in accidents.  Retired in September 1964, only three survive today.

Format follows Guideline's proven prescription.  Color and B&W photos tincture text.  And 30 color profiles and a page of multi-views from Richard Caruana – who also drafted the book's superb, 1:72-scale plans – provide plenty of modeling inspiration.

Extended captions, tables, dimensions, performance specifications and BuNos lists also augment the account.  And a spread of close-up shots – followed by page of kits, decals and accessories – neatly tie things up.


My sincere thanks to Guideline Publications for this review sample!