American Combat Planes of the 20th Century is an incredible reference for anyone who is interested in any American Combat Plane History.   There are 758 pages and 1700 b/w photos in this substantial labor of love by Ray Wagner, who has been passionately researching and writing about aircraft for over 50 years.   Whether you are already familiar with his past works, or just discovering this accomplished author for the first time... This is the book that you've been waiting for!

If you'd like to see the book's   Table of Contents ... Click here.   You can also browse the entire   Index Section   to get an idea of the extensive amount of information that is covered within this book.

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A- 1 Eaton     A- 4 Skyhawk     A- 6 & A- 7     Air Weapons     AV- 8 to A- 10     A- 20 Havoc     A- 22 Martin Maryland     A- 23 Martin Baltimore     A- 24 Douglas     A- 26 Douglas Invader     Attack Planes     B- 2A, F-111, F-117 Stealth    B- 17 Flying Fortress     B- 24 Liberator     B- 25 North American     B- 26 Marauder     B- 29 Superfortress     B- 32 Dominator     B- 35 Flying Wing     B- 36     B- 47 Stratojet     B- 50 Boeing     B- 52 Stratofortress     B- 57 Canberra     B- 58 Hustler     Biplanes     Biplanes, Army Pursuits     Bombers, B- 70 to Stealth     Bombers, First Big     Curtiss Falcon     CO- 1     DH- 4 De Havilland     F3D- Douglas Skyknight    F3H- McDonnell Demon    F4D- 1 Skyray    F4F Grumman Wildcats    F- 4U Corsair    F6F Grumman    F7F Grumman    F7U Vought    F9F G. Cougar    F9F G. Panther    F- 16 Fighting Falcon    F- 84     F- 86 Sabre    F- 89 to F-94    F- 100 to F-108    First Fighters    Flying Boats    GAX    Iraq to Afghanistan    Martin Bombers    Missile Era Fighters    Navy Fighers    Navy Flying Boats    O- 2 Douglas     P- 35 Seversky     P- 36 to 42 Curtiss     P- 38 Lightning    P- 39 Airacobra    P- 40 Line    P- 47 Thunderbolt    P- 51 Mustang Fighter    P- 61 Black Widow    P- 63 Kingcobra    P- 79 to P-81    P- 82 Twin Mustang    SB2C Helldiver    TBF-TBM Avenger    Thomas-Morse    Torpedo Planes    V- 11 Vultee    XB -28    XP -48 / 77   

Douglas Skyknight

F3D-1, F3D-2

Page 1

The Navy’s first jet-propelled night fighter was the two-place Douglas XF3D-1 Skyknight. A mid-wing monoplane with a pair of Westinghouse 3,000-pound thrust J34-WE-22 jets low on the fuselage sides, the XF3D-l had the then usual four 20-mm guns with 800 rounds behind and below the nose scanner. Douglas XF3D-1 Douglas F3D-1

Three prototypes were ordered April 3, 1946, and the first XF3D-1 flew March 23, 1948, piloted by Russell Thaw at El Segundo. Twenty-eight F3D-ls were purchased on May 11, and the first flew February 13, 1950, with J34-WE-34 jets. They were operated by VC-3 at NAS Moffett Field and VMF(N)-542 at El Toro NATC.

Over 1,000 pounds of Westinghouse APQ-35 radar included a scanner dish within the fiberglass nose and a warning device in the tail cone. The radar operator and ­pilot sat side by side in a pressurized cockpit from which they could escape at high speeds by bailing out through a tunnel to the fuselage’s bottom. Fittings beneath the folding wings could accommodate two 150-gallon drop tanks or 2,000-pound bombs.

Larger 4,600-pound thrust Westinghouse J46s had been specified for F3D-2s ordered on September 26,1949. Since these engines were unavailable when the first F3D-2 flew February 14, 1951, the J34-WE-36 was substituted on the 237 F3D-2 Skyknights built by October 1953. Forward protection consisted of a 70-pound armor plate and a 105-pound flack-resistant windshield. Douglas F3D-2

While the faster single-seat Banshee was used on carriers, the Skyknight, except for test and training work, mostly served the Marines. One Korean-based squadron, VMF(N)-513 got F3D-2s to replace the F7F-3N, and beginning on November 3, 1952, downed six enemy aircraft -the best night fighter record of the war, although this was credited more to the APQ-35 radar than to the F3Ds modest agility. Night bombing attacks on enemy positions were added in 1953. Douglas F3D-2M

The Navy’s first intercept by a Sparrow I radar beam-riding missile was an F6F drone hit on December 3, 1952, by a Sparrow from an XF3D-1M modified from the second prototype. Two F3D-lM and 16 F3D-2M Skyknights, modified to carry APQ-36 radar and four Sparrow Is instead of guns, completed VX-4 missile tests at Point Mugu and VMF(N)-542 became the first Sparrow missile squadron in 1954.

Electronic countermeasures were added to 35 Skyknights modified to F3D-2Q configurations, redesignated EF-10B in 1962, and flown with a jammer pod in Vietnam patrols by VMCJ-1 from April 1965 to 1969. Other aircraft retired to trainers were designated F3D-2T. The last Marine EF-10B retired in May 1970.

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