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McDonnell Naval Jet Fighters

McDonnell Naval Jet Fighters Book Review

By Michael Benolkin

Date of Review October 2009 Title McDonnell Naval Jet Fighters
Editor Jared Zichek Publisher American Aerospace Archive
Published 2009 ISBN -
Format 60 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $14.95


American Aerospace Archives is back with another interesting look at designs that didn't make it off the drawing board. Well that isn't quite accurate in this title as one of the designs actually did fly but more on this later.

This latest installment from American Aerospace Archive takes a look at some of the proposed designs for the US Navy between 1945 and 1957. These look at several key projects that were submitted to the Navy for a variety of their carrier-based fighter requirements. For example, the title takes a look at the different configurations of the Model 40 which was proposed and lost to the Vought F7U Cutlass.

TheModel 40 is followed by several approaches to a swept-wing F2H Banshee, including an all-weather radar-equipped interceptor. One success story that is covered in this discussion is the Model 58 which was pitted against what would become the F4D Skyray. Even though the Douglas design won the competition, McDonnell was also given an order for the Model 58 as a back-up to the Skyray, this aircraft becoming the F3H Demon.

The delta-winged Cutlass-looking fighter in these images is the Model 60 which was another design submitted against the F4D as well. The design was ambitious as McDonnell claimed that the aircraft could achieve Mach 1.5 and still have a stall speed of only 104 mph.

Coverage switches back to the F3H as McDonnell did get an up-engined version into limited production, but was cancelled because the engine used was prone to explode or be otherwise unreliable. With this coverage, there are some great photos of the development mock-up cockpit, ejection seat, and gun bays, avionics bays, and even one of the aircraft being deck-handled aboard ship.

If you want to see some forgotten aviation history, American Aerospace Archive has really done a nice job compiling the different designs that McDonnell engineers developed in their quest to expand their fighter pedigree for the US Navy.

This title is recommended!

US customers can order this title here for $14.95 plus postage. International customers can order their copy here.

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