McDonnell F3H Demon

The McDonnell F3H Demon ( Demon dt ) was an all-weather carrier-based fighter aircraft of the United States Navy. It was the successor to the McDonnell F2H Banshee and was used by the U.S. Navy from 1956 to 1964. The F3H was the first all-weather fighter of the U.S. Navy with AN/APG-51-Radar.


The development of the Demon began on September 30, 1949, when the U.S. Navy two slightly modified prototypes for an interceptor ordered after inspection of a dummy at McDonnell, the land-based aircraft should be equal. The Navy issued a specification for it had already in May 1948, when McDonnell with his design model 58 prevails over ten other designs. The aircraft was designed under the direction of Richard Deagan a Westinghouse J40 engine around. This was with 6,350 kp about three times more thrust than the McDonnell F2H. The F3H was the first swept-wing design of McDonnell and the first American aircraft with missiles as weapons.

The prototype XF3H -1 first flew on August 7, 1951, the second in January 1952. Prototypes and their drives showed numerous technical flaws, making the tests frequently interrupted and had to be made ​​some modifications. Flight testing of the first production aircraft began on 24 September 1953. The prototypes flew with the still nachbrennerlosem XJ40 -WE -6 engine ( in the second series machine in January 1953 by a 46.7 kN strong J40 -WE -8 replaced), for the production version was, however, provided the J40 -WE -24 with a much higher thrust. This engine was never built and the 56 F3H - 1N series aircraft were equipped with the J40 -WE -22. This reached just half of the required power, otherwise it was too hot. Eight out of 35 delivered F3H -1N crashed, where three pilots died. The first prototype was gegeangen already lost in March 1954 at a power plant explosion. The machine was then given curfew until a new engine was available. The choice fell on the 63.4 kN strong Allison J71 engine. 29 more F3H -1N were converted to the J71. In addition, the ejector seat by Martin -Baker models has been replaced. The F3H -1N remained from July 1955 on the ground and were never put into service. 239 newly delivered with the J71 were designated F3H -2N. A prototype of the 2N flew on April 23, 1955 for the first time, the first production aircraft followed in June 1955. These also received a larger wing area by 18% compared to the 1N. All F3H -2N were standard, equipped with the Hughes AN/APG-51-Radar instead of the AN/APG-30 and armed with four 20 -mm cannons. The F3H -1 was a pure interceptor, the F3H -2N can also be used with four underwing pylons and two droppable auxiliary tanks under the fuselage as a fighter-bomber.

The U.S. Navy was still 95 F3H -2M, which starts its maiden flight on 23 April 1955, and was equipped with radar-guided AIM -7C Sparrow I missiles. For this purpose the radar for a semi-active radar guidance was modified to AN/APG-51B. The first F3H -2M was passed in February 1956 at the Navy Missile Center at Point Mugu in California. In March 1956, the first use squadron was equipped with the F3H -2N with the VF-14. This version was limited all-weather capable and equipped with four infrared -guided AIM -9B Sidewinder. Alsletzte version was produced (without additional letter) from the September 1956 tested F3H -2. This could AIM -7 Sparrow III and Sidewinder AIM -9B missiles and rockets, however, was optimized for the fighter-bomber role and could carry 2722 kg external loads. From this version, 236 units were produced, the last of which was delivered in April 1960.

The machines were to September 1964 in the fighter squadrons of the U.S. Navy ( eight in the Atlantic, 14 in the Pacific Fleet and five for test and training units ), but saw no combat. However, they were flying over Lebanon and Quemoy in 1958.

As 1962, the designation system of the U.S. armed forces was unified, it was the F- 3 from the F3H. As last season VF -161 Chargers, was converted in September 1964 on the McDonnell F -4B Phantom II.




F3H -2M the squadron VX -4 with Sparrow missiles

Start a F3H -2N with afterburner from the USS Hancock

Decommissioning of the last F3H -2 1964