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Killer Rays: Story of the Douglas F4D Skyray & F5D Skylancer

overscan (PaulMM)

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Product Description
Killer Rays is the definitive work on the history of the U.S. Navy's only operational delta-wing aircraft, the revolutionary Douglas F4D Skyray, and its more advanced variant, the F5D Skylancer. Author Mark Frankel unlocks secrets of delta-wing design and covers the intense rivalry between the Navy's F4D and Air Force F-102 in the 1950s. This book chronicles the development of the Skyray from concept to first prototype, flight testing, carrier qualifications, and operational history. It also explains how initial engine problems nearly caused the failure of the F4D, and how it was ultimately saved. The author accessed a wealth of Douglas Aircraft photos, models, artwork, engineering drawings, and related material, including transcripts of conversations with Chief Designer Ed Heinemann and Configuration Engineer R.G. Smith. As a result, Killer Rays covers in vivid detail all aspects of F4D production, flight testing, world speed and time-to-climb records, plus new, never-before-seen aspects of NASA F5D operations, giving the reader the inside story on two significant Cold War U.S. Navy interceptor designs.
About the Author
Mark Frankel s life-long interest in aviation began as a flying-aircraft modeler in early childhood. As a teenager, he competed in American Model Association meets at the Nationals level which led to his interest in Naval Aviation. After completing law school, Mark served as a trial lawyer in Navy JAGC and earned his FAA Private License as well. Today, Frankel remains an active pilot flying both radio-controlled models and his own Piper PA-28 Archer. He has written numerous articles on flying models, and authored a book on the Navy Temco TT-1 Pinto. KILLER RAYS is Mark s first book for Specialty Press, and is the ultimate outcome of his initial fascination with the Douglas F4D Skyray from his days flying radio-controlled models at Naval Air Station, Willow Grove.
Product Details

* Hardcover: 240 pages
* Publisher: Specialty Pr Pub & Wholesalers (August 15, 2010)
* Language: English
* ISBN-10: 1580071554
* ISBN-13: 978-1580071550
 

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Antonio

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Let's see if there's new stuff about design origins ans variants. And also about unknown projected variants
 

AeroFranz

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Good stuff on the Ford in Ed Heinemann's biography too, of course. Recommended read, by the way.
 

Sundog

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Oh, I'll have to get this. Two of my favorite designs.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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August has been and gone. Anyone picked a copy of this up?

Some sample pages:

http://specialtypress.com/specialty/contentfiles/523.pdf
http://specialtypress.com/specialty/contentfiles/524.pdf
http://specialtypress.com/specialty/contentfiles/525.pdf
http://specialtypress.com/specialty/contentfiles/526.pdf
 

Antonio

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Anyone picked a copy of this up?

Not interested. Think I'm not going to find neither comprehensive info on early design work nor unbuilt variants or related designs. Seems a "colour photo lover book" to me.
 

cluttonfred

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I've always loved the early U.S. Navy jets, but this book starts off on a sour note for me when it says, "the U.S. Navy's only operational delta-wing aircraft." Really?!? Last time I checked, Heinemann's Hot Rod, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, had a delta wing.
 

Mark Nankivil

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The latest issue of Air Classics magazine has an excerpt of the book titled "When Skyrays killed the USAF" (or something like that) which covers VF(AW)-3 when they flew in NORAD, the only non-USAF fighter squadron to do so. My Father flew with the squadron at that time and Mark Frankel interviewed him for the book - part of that is in the article. The photo for the book cover is one I have held onto which my Father took 53 years ago while with VF-23 on cruise aboard the USS Hancock. Pretty neat to see that photo and others that I have passed onto Mark for use in the book.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Tailspin Turtle

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Mole said:
I've always loved the early U.S. Navy jets, but this book starts off on a sour note for me when it says, "the U.S. Navy's only operational delta-wing aircraft." Really?!? Last time I checked, Heinemann's Hot Rod, the Douglas A-4 Skyhawk, had a delta wing.

Good point. But while the A4D wing has a truncated-delta planform, strictly speaking it is not a delta-wing aircraft from an aerodynamic standpoint because it has a horizontal tail. Note that the F-16 wing has a similar truncated-delta planform—swept leading edge and straight trailing edge—but nobody calls it a delta-wing aircraft. However, it could also be argued that the F4D is not a true delta-wing aircraft, because the trailing edge is swept, although not as much as the F7U's relative to the leading edge. It might have been more precise to say that the Skyray was one of only three U.S. Navy carrier-based airplanes (F4D, F5D, and F7U) to be "tailless" (more precisely empennage-less but generally understood to have no horizontal tail) and one of only two that were operational.
 

Hammer Birchgrove

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Does the book tell anything about the F5D Skylancer's weapon of choice, the ill-fated Sparrow II missile?
 

Mark Nankivil

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Greetings All -

Just got my copy of the book and I am quite pleased with what I see between the covers. The book touches on the development of the planform and its eventual evolution into the F4D, covers as a source of comparison the F-102 and F-106 (a good idea to me), does an excellent job of covering Westinghouse jet engine development and the eventual downfall of Westinghouse as a supplier, notes the use of the Skyray as a satellite launcher (NOTS-EV-1/Project Pilot & NOTS-EV-2/Project Caleb) and in the development of Sparro-air. With the assistance of Tommy T. (aka "Tailspin Turtle), there's excellent coverage on the F5D Skylancer. I don't see anything on the Sparrow II development but it may be there. Funny you mention it though as I recently acquired a photo of the Sparrow II under the wing of a test Skyray and at first did not realize what I was looking at as the photo caption describes the missile as a Douglas Nike. I'll post that later this evening. GE's use of the Skyray in the development of the J-79 and its civil variants is covered too. NACA/NASA use of the Skyray and Skylancer is well detailed - the use of the Skylancer in the development of the X-15s "Q-ball" was a new one to me.

Unless you're a pure "Luft '46" kind of guy, I think you'll find the book to be an excellent resource on the F4D & F5D.

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Mark Nankivil

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Here you go Hammer - enjoy! Mark
 

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