F4D Skyray Question

KJ_Lesnick

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Why did the F4D Skyray have a blunt nose? It strikes me as a rather odd design feature for a supersonic fighter (it produces a lot of drag, and I suppose all the turbulence, and energy reduction produced by the normal shock off the nose would reduce the efficiency of the inlets).


KJ Lesnick
 

Sundog

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It wasn't designed to be a supersonic fighter, it was designed as a subsonic fighter, hence, the blunt nose. The supersonic version of the Skyray, which was a much better aircraft, was the F5D Skylancer.
 

KJ_Lesnick

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Sundog,
It wasn't designed to be a supersonic fighter, it was designed as a subsonic fighter, hence, the blunt nose. The supersonic version of the Skyray, which was a much better aircraft, was the F5D Skylancer.

Really? I always was under the impression that it was designed for low-supersonic speed. After all, it had an excellent thrust to weight ratio.

It would explain a lot though...


overscan,
Don't forget that early radomes were often hemispherical; tapering radomes were much more challenging to design with satisfactory transmission characteristics.

I didn't actually know that. However, weren't there already fighters at that time that had pointed noses? (If I recall the F3H-1 flew around the same time...)


Kendra J. Lesnick
 

Sundog

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The high thrust to ratio in the Skyray, at the time, was for an excellent rate of climb. My understanding is that the Skyray's surprised many a high flying aircraft with their ability to gain altitude rapidly.

They also surprised many fighters with their maneuverability. Many people don't realize that the Skyray was unstable (In pitch) which made it very maneuverable for it's day, but also made it very tiring to fly.
 

Artie Bob

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Sort of off topic, but one of my most vivid memories was being number two behind a section of Marine Fords at NAS Forrest Sherman in 1960. When they went into burner with the brakes locked, they started sliding down the runway, really neat! BTW, one of my USMC instructors claimed contacts with MIGs over the mainland, with supporting photos, no combat, just visual.

Best regards,

Artie Bob
 

CJGibson

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Mere curiosity, but what is the store/sensor on the port intake trunking of all these F4D Skyrays? IRST?

I can't find a photo of a similar bit of kit online.

Thanks

Chris
 

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Foo Fighter

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Not a photo but a quote:-

"For whatever reasons, the entire Navy air-launched booster effort remained more or less secret for decades. Some sources claim "NOTSnik" was more or less an acronym for "Naval Ordnance Television Satellite", but though it is now possible to build a hand-sized satellite with a video camera in it -- the "CubeSats" being flown by various universities and startup companies come to mind -- that wasn't remotely possible with the TV cameras available in 1958. Other sources claim it had an infrared sensor, which is more plausible, but it certainly wouldn't have been one capable of providing an image with any detail".

  • THE ILLUSTRATED ENCYCLOPEDIA OF 20TH CENTURY WEAPONS AND WARFARE, edited by Bernard Fitzsimons, 1978 edition.

  • DOUGLAS F4D SKYRAY by Nick Williams and Steve Ginter, Naval Fighters Series #13, 1986.

  • THE COMPLETE BOOK OF FIGHTERS by William Green & Gordon Swanborough, Salamander Books, 1994.

  • "Beautiful Climber" by Carl Posey, AIR & SPACE, June-July 2006, 66:73.
 

Archibald

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I was wondering, why didn't the USMC tookover the F5D-1 Skylancer program circa 1956-57 ? They had Skyrays, and then they took Crusaders. Unlike so many "lost wonders", the Skylancer come very close from a quite large initial order - 4 to 40 aircraft.
The Skylancer was such an amazing aircraft ! Shame it went to waste...
 

CJGibson

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Given all these Skyrays have the kit, it must've been standard. The 'dome' doesn't look optical, but could be a cover. Does look like a window below the dome.

Chris
 

TomS

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Mere curiosity, but what is the store/sensor on the port intake trunking of all these F4D Skyrays? IRST?

I can't find a photo of a similar bit of kit online.

It sort of looks like a podded version of the AAA-4 infrared sensor on the F-4B. But the presence of the second window on the underside is different. (Edit: Or is that a ram air scoop? I think it is).

Wouldn't it be the illumination kit for Sparrows?

There's no sign that F4D routinely carried Sparrow -- just the one or two pictures of a test installation.

I did come across this MSC about a hypothetical Sparrow installation, and it does not include a separate pod. However, given the source (Alternate Wars), this might be a work of fiction. Hard to tell.

 
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NUSNA_Moebius

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I was wondering, why didn't the USMC tookover the F5D-1 Skylancer program circa 1956-57 ? They had Skyrays, and then they took Crusaders. Unlike so many "lost wonders", the Skylancer come very close from a quite large initial order - 4 to 40 aircraft.
The Skylancer was such an amazing aircraft ! Shame it went to waste...
They already had Crusaders (faster aircraft) and the Phantom was on the way.

Skylancer was unnecessary.
 

Archibald

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Folks, this is the alternate history section. They got Crusaders in 1957 and Phantoms even later.
Since they already had Skyrays, I suggested
- to swap some Skyrays for Skylancers
- not to buy Crusaders later on

ok, there is next to no margin...
 

Archibald

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The Skyray never got Sparrow, not even Sparrow I AFAIK (beam riding, from memory ?)

Now, the Skylancer was to have Sparrow II a.k.a "AMRAAM in the 50's". Unworkable, it doomed, not only the Skylancer but the Avro Arrow. A poisoned chalice, really.

Sparrow III was the one used from Demon to Vietnam to F-15: SARH. A more reasonable endeavour, considering the 50's state of the art.
 

Tailspin Turtle

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Given all these Skyrays have the kit, it must've been standard. The 'dome' doesn't look optical, but could be a cover. Does look like a window below the dome.

Chris
My understanding/guess is that it was a scoring pod for the unguided rockets in the competition that was being held. I have not come across a designation for it. It may have been an USAF item given the color.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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There's no sign that F4D routinely carried Sparrow -- just the one or two pictures of a test installation.

I did come across this MSC about a hypothetical Sparrow installation, and it does not include a separate pod. However, given the source (Alternate Wars), this might be a work of fiction. Hard to tell.

No, that's a real study. All the SACs / MSCs on there are real - uploaded by @RyanCrierie.
 
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Fluff

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It might be an AAA-4 infra red sensor, used with early AIM 9 sidewinders....nitrogen cooled.
 

TomS

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There's no sign that F4D routinely carried Sparrow -- just the one or two pictures of a test installation.

I did come across this MSC about a hypothetical Sparrow installation, and it does not include a separate pod. However, given the source (Alternate Wars), this might be a work of fiction. Hard to tell.

No, that's a real study. All the SACs / MSCs on there are real - uploaded by @RyanCrierie.

Thanks. I can never tell.

Edit: I realize I was confusing Alternate Wars with another AltHist site I've seen that has some screamingly fictional but plausible-looking stuff on it. Sorry, Ryan.
 
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CiTrus90

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Mere curiosity, but what is the store/sensor on the port intake trunking of all these F4D Skyrays? IRST?

I can't find a photo of a similar bit of kit online.

Thanks

Chris
I've been looking around the net on and off for sometime for that piece of kit.

Looking at a F4D Skyray's manual that I've found online, I think it might be an external A-C and D-C electrical power unit.
In the second page I've uploaded, in the drawing, you can see a very similar looking object (but upside down) on a cart under the right wing that's been plugged into the aicraft.

Maybe during deployments they had to carry their own units around?
 

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starviking

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Mere curiosity, but what is the store/sensor on the port intake trunking of all these F4D Skyrays? IRST?

I can't find a photo of a similar bit of kit online.

Thanks

Chris
I've been looking around the net on and off for sometime for that piece of kit.

Looking at a F4D Skyray's manual that I've found online, I think it might be an external A-C and D-C electrical power unit.
In the second page I've uploaded, in the drawing, you can see a very similar looking object (but upside down) on a cart under the right wing that's been plugged into the aicraft.

Maybe during deployments they had to carry their own units around?
I think Chris was talking about the store/sensor on the outboard intake trunking, not the inner intake trunking.
 

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