OS-130: Competitors to the Vought F-8 Crusader

Mark Nankivil

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or here in the States :-(

Thanks for the "tease" though! Mark
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Well, the more people buy this issue, the more Air Enthusiast will look at running Unbuilt Projects articles I guess.

Just to be completely clear, no posting of images from this article will be allowed at this point.
 

hesham

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Hi,

In The American Fighter book there was 22 proposals from eight companies;
Vought
Northrop
Northamerican
Grumman
Lockheed
McDonnell
Douglas

and what was the eight,Convair or Republic ?.
 

Antonio

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I cancelled my subscrition to Air Enthusiast when, in my opinion, qualitity and went down and down again from 2001. I'm not interested on the subjects.

AE is not available near my hometown. When a good article is included, like that from Tony Buttler, I simply order it from Keypublishing's website. I think it's available from everywhere in the World. So everyone can purchase a copy if interested.
 

hesham

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By the way,

Some of the rival designs to F-8 had three engines and many were
tailless or canard (tail-first).
 

lark

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Hesham,

What is your source of this 'info' ...?
 

Antonio

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Some of the rival designs to F-8 had three engines and many were
tailless or canard (tail-first).

Lark, I can confirm this info from "Enciclopedia Ilustrada de la Aviación".1982. Editorial Delta (17 Volumes translated from original books in English published by Aerospace Publishing Ltd, London). I don't know the original tittle.
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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Guys - I posted this already

Among the profusion of submissions were canard (tail first) designs, one with variable sweep, and fighters with three or four engines

Source:

Bill Gunston, Fighters of the Fifties, PSL, 1981
 
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Overkiller

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Just got my copy of Air Enthusiast from my local WH Smiths, they haven't had AE in there for years and then I walk in this morning and there it was! Excellent article, and a nice teaser for the forthcoming book! :)
 

hesham

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My dear lark,

The source for that A-Z magazine,and we still don't know
the eight company,but I suggest it was Republic because
Convair didn't build a shipboard fighter.
 

lark

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Hesham , as far as I saw,no mention is made of a Convair or Republic contender
in Tony Buttler's excellent article.(AE.130).

Now it's wating for the book...
(maybe with an illustration with one of the Douglas contenders.)
 

overscan (PaulMM)

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According to Peter Mersky the requirement was officially issued to:

McDonnell
North American
Douglas
Convair
Lockheed
Grumman
Chance Vought
Republic

Source:

Peter Mersky F-8 Crusader Osprey Air Combat 1989
 

Mark Nankivil

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Well, picked up AE at the newsstand a couple of days ago and liked what I saw. Anyone know of a drawing of the Northrop 94C mentioned in the article/forthcoming book?

Enjoy the Day! Mark
 

Antonio

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I got my AE130 copy yesterday: what a surprise to discover that Lockheed's entry was the F-104!. I can hardly imagine anybody trying to land it on a carrier deck :eek:
 

elmayerle

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pometablava said:
I got my AE130 copy yesterday: what a surprise to discover that Lockheed's entry was the F-104!. I can hardly imagine anybody trying to land it on a carrier deck :eek:

Actually, it was more a derivative of the basic F-104 study, the L-246. There are dimensional changes between the two, though, as well as the expectable structural and equipment changes for carrier use. This design does appear to have the simple inlets of the original XF-104 and I wonder if it uses the same J65?
 

aim9xray

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After reading through the monograph, I am not entirely certain that I agree with the proposition that the "FJ-5" was a navalized F-107... perhaps "an up-engined redesign of the FJ-4 Fury utilizing concepts incorporated from the F-107" may be a better technical description (but a really poor subtitle).

Rather than a F8U or F4H competitor, I tend to evaluate this design as an evolution of the FJ-4 (read the monograph and see why) that probably was pitted against Grumman's F11F-1F Super Tiger - which actually flew with the J79-2 "phase 0" engine and had virtually the same Vmax. Starting out at 1.46 Mach, the Super Tiger however went through successive aerodynamic mods and installation of the uprated J79-2 engine that raised the Vmax to slightly over Mach 2.

Thanks, Jared - please keep up the good work!
 

Tailspin Turtle

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I just got my copy of the FJ-5 proposal. First, I urge you to buy a copy from Jared: it's good value for the money and it fills an empty square that I was not aware existed. He is to be commended for issuing it and encouraged to do more publications like this of virtually unknown proposals.

Now that I've glanced at this proposal, I'm pretty sure I understand what was going on. Both Grumman and North American had previously gotten contracts from the Navy for new day fighters - the original F9F-8 (then F9F-9, then F11F-1) and FJ-4 respectively - using the funds provided to the F9F-6/7 and FJ-3 production contracts for product improvements. Both were powered by the Wright J65, the same as the FJ-3 and A4D. In accordance with the vision of the then Fighter Class Desk officer, the FJ-4 did not have an afterburner and was optimized for low cost of acquisition and operation. It was, however, to be a great dog fighter, with excellent maneuverability at altitude and near-sonic speed and did in fact achieve those goals. Grumman managed to get an afterburner on the F11F but it was a new Wright design and disappointed in thrust and therefore supersonic performance.

Against all comers, Vought had won the competitive day fighter contract in accordance with a new specification that required an afterburner. Both J65 and J57-powered designs were proposed, with the Navy selecting the higher performance J57 design. At this point, Grumman and to an even greater degree, North American, were in a disadvantageous position if the J57 turned out to be as good as expected and the Crusader met Vought's performance projections. In November 1953, North American tried to end run the problem with a Super Fury proposal, which was a carrier-based derivative of the J57-powered F-100B (stretched fuselage, wing flaps, etc.) being proposed to the Air Force. Neither the Navy nor the Air Force bit. However, the Air Force proceeded with a more significant redesign designated the F-107.

Both Grumman and North American then turned to the new General Electric J79 engine which was not available for the competitors to consider for the 1952 day fighter proposals. Grumman apparently got to the Navy first and/or best, since BuAer began planning to buy a J79-powered F11F as the F12F. (One more time, the F12F was not the Grumman Design 118.) Unfortunately for Grumman, the XF8U went supersonic on its first flight in March 1955 and the F12F plan was dropped. However, BuAer did contract with Grumman for two J79-powered F11F-1Fs because they wanted to get some flight experience on the J79 before the F4H flew with it. Grumman was still hopeful that Vought would stumble with the F8U and/or the F11F-1F would be good enough to reinstate a Navy production program and/or be of interest to foreign buyers. North American's proposal didn't even get that far. Vought, of course, didn't stumble. The F8U was even faster than they guaranteed.

Strictly speaking, the "FJ-5" wasn't a navalized F-107, which was powered by the bigger J75. (In response to an earlier observation, the vertical fin did not have to be folded as on this design, it was well under the hangar deck limit.) The "FJ-5" also wasn't a general purpose fighter for the Navy as I speculated before. It was yet another futile attempt to provide an attractive alternative to the F8U.
 

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Tailspin Turtle

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zen said:
Finaly an explanation that makes sense!

Actually, I sort of stepped on Aim9xray's post which made the same argument in far fewer words and didn't require a picture. An illustration of his point is provided below. The F-107 was powered by the J75 and the FJ-5 to be powered by the smaller and lighter J79. The F-107 had a gross weight of about 40,000 pounds and the FJ-5, 20,000 pounds. The two roughly compared like the Crusader I and the Crusader III. The FJ-5 had a relatively bigger wing since it had to takeoff and land from aircraft carriers while the F-107, like the F-105, was to be flown from mile+ long runways.
 

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Abraham Gubler

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Is there any reasoning as to why NAA went with the dorsal intake for the FJ-5 like why they went with it for the F-107A? That is for better supersonic release of a semi-recessed ventral nuclear weapon?

Now what would be interesting is a naval version of the two seat F-107A for the medium strike program (Intruder)... The A4J?
 

Tailspin Turtle

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Abraham Gubler said:
Is there any reasoning as to why NAA went with the dorsal intake for the FJ-5 like why they went with it for the F-107A? That is for better supersonic release of a semi-recessed ventral nuclear weapon?

Probably not. The FJ-5 was strictly a day fighter with no ventral store. In any event, that the forward inlet caused airflow conditions affecting stores release sound dubious to me. North American reportedly did enough wind tunnel testing to convince themselves that pressure recovery of the overhead inlet at high angles of attack was not a problem. The chin inlet does cause problems with locating a radar while providing over the nose visibility. It also introduces a FOD problem and is a hazard to ground personnel.

My impression is that the F-107's overhead inlet represented a minimal modification to the basic F-100 configuration from which the F-107 was derived if the nose or chin inlet was not acceptable. It is also marginally better than side inlets from a hazard to ground personnel standpoint. (There may also be some frontal area and weight benefit of a single inlet compared to two side inlets.) The major drawback to it is that the canopy must be closed whenever the engine is running. In the case of the FJ-5, it provided over the nose visibility required for a carrier-based aircraft compared to a chin inlet and no risk of hazard to deck personnel.

There may be more on the justification of the overhead inlet in Steve Ginter's Air Force Fighters book on the F-107: http://www.ginterbooks.com/AIRFORCE/AFL203.htm

There is no doubt that the F-107's overhead inlet had few predecessors and fewer imitators so the advantages must have been minimal, if not dubious.
 

robunos

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The chin inlet ... is a hazard to ground personnel.

watching TV last night, i saw that clip of the navy guy who got sucked into the engine of an A-6... nasty, glad to say he was okay, though.

There is no doubt that the F-107's overhead inlet had few imitators so the advantages must have been minimal, if not dubious.

maybe it was just too 'different'?

cheers,
Robin.
 

cluttonfred

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Random question for Jared or the group....

Did the North American proposal address the very poor rearward visibility of this design thanks to the large dorsal inlet? Maybe a TV camera and monitor?

I have a tiny taste of air combat from online simulations, and the virtually nonexistent rear view of otherwise competent aircraft like the Grumman Wildcat and Hellcat is very disconcerting.
 

jzichek

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No evidence of a TV camera/monitor solution. In the documentation, the emphasis was on intercepting Soviet bombers at high altitude, not dogfighting with other fighters. I guess NAA felt that the FJ-5's performance would mitigate the rearward visibility issue.
 

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overscan said:
According to Bill Gunston in "Fighter's of the Fifties", as well as F-100B (NA-211) and F-107 (NA-212) a third version was designed for the Navy as "Super Fury" but was not assigned an NA- series designation.
Jared A. Zicheck has published in the series American Aerospace Archive Number 2: North American FJ-5 Fighter, a Navalized Derivative of the F-107A.
This mag can be found at http:aeroarchivepress.com
 

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Air Enthusiast last issue was #131 September/October 2007

http://www.airenthusiast.com/index.html?http://www.airenthusiast.com/current_issue/current_issue.asp

http://shop.keypublishing.com/acatalog/2007.html
 

frank

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That's what I was thinking. Talk about slow mail......... ;) You should recceve 131 in a couple of years, eh? ;)


pometablava said:
Air Enthusiast last issue was #131 September/October 2007

http://www.airenthusiast.com/index.html?http://www.airenthusiast.com/current_issue/current_issue.asp

http://shop.keypublishing.com/acatalog/2007.html
 

Pioneer

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pometablava said:
I got my AE130 copy yesterday: what a surprise to discover that Lockheed's entry was the F-104!. I can hardly imagine anybody trying to land it on a carrier deck :eek:

It would make a mockery of what the USN carried on about the proposed carrier-based (LTV/GD) F-16!!
About its decent rate and approach speed

Regards
Pioneer
 

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