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North American FJ-5 Fighter

North American FJ-5 Fighter Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review November 2008 Title North American FJ-5 Fighter
Editor Jared Zichek Publisher American Aerospace Archive
Published 2008 ISBN -
Format 36 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $9.95


When we had a look at American Aerospace Archive' first release covering a proposal to build a commercial version of the JRM Mars flying boat, I thought it quite interesting that they were publishing conceptual proposals that most folks would never see. Little did I know what would come next!

This second release arrived and covers an interesting aircraft that I had seen mentioned in various places, but I really thought it more urban legend than serious concept. Strike that misconception - check this out!

The North American FJ Fury series were based upon navalized F-86 Sabres, with the FJ-4B Fury being the last production variant in the series. Nevertheless, North American tried to interest the Navy in adopting the next generation of fighter designs with the FJ-5 (not an official Navy designation), which is a navalized F-107A that was being proposed to the USAF against the F-105 Thunderchief. The F-107A itself was previously designated the F-100B Super Sabre which would have given the Air Force their first supersonic radar-equipped fighter, but neither the Air Force nor the Navy adopted the designs. While the lines of the aircraft were beautiful, there's just something not right about the idea of ejecting with that big honking intake located just above and behind your head...

As with their previous JRM Mars title, American Aerospace Archive has reprinted North American's proposal to the Navy for this unique aircraft. They've reprinted many of the conceptual drawings showing different configurations of the aircraft, airframe cross-sections, interior airframe layouts, air boss layouts for FJ-5s on the decks of different aircraft carrier classes, and much more. The drawings are accompanied by selected narrative from the proposal which outlines the concepts of operation, technical specifications, expected performance, etc.

As an F-100 fan (and the webmaster), this aircraft definitely hits home. Did you know that this aircraft was supposed to be powered by a new engine called the J79? That's the same engine that would later power the F-104, F-4, B-58, Kfir, and other aircraft. One variant of the proposed design even had a rocket engine mounted at the base of the tail for augmented power, when needed.

This title is definitely a gap-filler in the history of aircraft that didn't get far off the drawing boards, and with the drawings and details in these pages, modelers can finally have a great starting point to create their own versions of the naval F-107A/FJ-5.

This title is recommended!

US customers can order this title here for $9.95 plus $1.40 postage. International customers can order their copy here.

My sincere thanks to American Aerospace Archive for this review sample!