F2D Confusion


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13 February 2008
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Douglas did make an FD, an F3D, an F4D, an F5D, and a conceptual F6D. Whenever I do a search for F2D, I keep getting the Banshee, which was built my McDonnell -- one site even claims that McDonnell's letter code (H) was once -D, which is the same as Douglas, which makes no sense...

I'm totally confused. Where did the F2D go? Since there was an FD, F3D, F4D, etc... there must have been an F2D even if it was just a prototype right?

KJ Lesnick
There was, briefly, an F2D but it was produced by McDonnell, not Douglas. McDonnell's first Navy airplane, a jet, was designated the FD since it was produced a decade or so after the Douglas FD and it was apparently thought that Douglas wouldn't be building any fighters for the Navy. The follow-on was the F2D, but then when Douglas got a contract for a jet fighter (the F3D), the letter for McDonnell was changed to H and the McDonnell FD became the FH and the F2D, F2H.
Is there a reason why Douglas skipped one Navy design number when presenting the Skynight night fighter proposal to the Navy, given that the Douglas FD biplane fighter was built in 1933, 12 years before the McDonnell Phantom? Note that the Navy manufacturer letter "D" also denoted Frankfort and Radioplane aerospace vehicles (the Navy had the manufacturer's letter for Radioplane vehicles changed to R to avoid confusion with Douglas types), so it's possible that Douglas may have offered a version of the XP-48 fighter project to the Navy and reserved the F2D designation for it (Douglas had no experience building fighters except the XFD-1).
Douglas didn't skip it, nNavy did. F2H Banshee wasn't renamed yet when XF3D was contracted, so the Navy wanted to avoid any confusion. Switching from D to H for McDonnell helped, but that was later.

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