Archive for the 'Flightdeck Friday' Tag

New era, new methods, new technology – new capabilities. How to bring them to the Fleet? Last week we saw that merely being one of the original or “core” companies arondn at the inception of a weapon system wasn’t enough to guarantee success. Neither was reliance on a perceived “game breaker” when there was a fundamental flaw at the core of the design (or as was the case then, flaws – and to answer Andy’s question, it never darkened a carrier’s flightdeck). Sometimes a bridge too far – is a bridge too far. But sometimes a new kid on the block, approaching the challenge with the right blend of convention and innovation gets it right, sowing the seeds of future successes

Presented herein , the McDonnell FD-1 Phantom:

YF2L-1 VF-171 FH-1


It began in December, 1943 with the delivery of the 8th and 9th YP-59 Airacomets (s/n 42-108778 and 42-100779) to the Navy for investigation of bringing jets to aircraft carriers. By all accounts, one wouldn’t have been surprised if the Navy had passed on the concept based on initial impressions from these prototypes (also designated YF2L-1). Seriously underpowered, poor cockpit visibility and a nasty tendency to “float” after the “cut” was given for landing (there were no speed brakes as the aircraft’s laggard performance didn’t merit as such), the YP-59 was less than impressive, and was outclassed by shore- and sea-based prop fighters. Fortunately, the Navy saw through the pile of – residue, and beheld the pony buried therein…

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