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Airmark Airguide #1 

McDonnell F-3H Demon 

By Andy Evans 


The F3H Demon was McDonnell Aircraft Corporation's first swept wing aircraft, providing the basis for development of the F-4 Phantom II. It was an infamously troubled aircraft; engine problems plagued the first version of the airplane, resulting in eleven crashes and the deaths of four pilots between 1952 and 1955. Later versions of the aircraft were designed for all-weather operations and could carry the AIM-7 Sparrow missile, yet the Demon never shook its troubled reputation. McDonnell hoped to advance its role building Navy jet fighters with a new design in response to a 1949 request for a short-range jet interceptor. The result was the XF3H-1 Demon, which first flew in 1951 Troubles with the Westinghouse J-40 power plant immediately threatened the F3H program. Between August 1952 and October 1955, eleven Demons crashed, killing four pilots, however, McDonnell stuck with the design, adopting Allison's J-71 engine, a move that allowed for a resumption of production and eventual delivery of 519 aircraft, including the F3H-2M designed to carry the AIM-7 Sparrow air-to-air missile. The improved Demon, however, could not escape its performance limitations, which included lack of power compared to Navy contemporaries, and high fuel consumption that limited range and required sparing use of the afterburner. Nevertheless, until 1964 the F3H-2 complemented daylight dogfighters such as the F8U Crusader and the F11F Tiger as a carrier all-weather, missile-armed interceptor. The Demon was withdrawn before it could serve in Vietnam where the F-4 Phantom II, itself conceived as an advanced development of the Demon, was a mainstay. Between 1956 and 1964, a total of twenty-three Navy fighter squadrons flew versions of the F3H Demon. The Airmark series are a smaller, one stop, full colour book of a specific aircraft, with background details, walk arounds, colour side profiles and model builds.

Airmark Range F3H Demon

SKU: 538
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