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Douglas F3D-2 (F-10B) 'Skyknight'

Description
  Manufacturer:Douglas
  Base model:F3D
  Designation:F3D
  Version:-2
  Nickname:Skyknight
  Equivalent to: F-10B
  Designation System:U.S. Navy / Marines
  Designation Period:1922-1962
  Basic role:Fighter
  Crew:Pilot & Radar operator
  See Also:

Specifications
  Length: 46' 6" 14.1 m
  Height:16' 4.8 m
  Wingspan: 50' 0" 15.2 m
  Wingarea: 400.0 sq ft 37.1 sq m
  Empty Weight: 18,160 lb 8,235 kg
  Gross Weight: 26,850 lb 12,176 kg

Propulsion
  No. of Engines: 2
  Powerplant: Westinghouse J34-WE-36
  Thrust (each): 3,400 lb 1,541 kg

Performance
  Range: 1,200 miles 1,932 km
  Cruise Speed: 350 mph 563 km/h 304 kt
  Max Speed: 600 mph 966 km/h 522 kt
  Climb: 4,500 ft/min 1,371 m/min

Examples of this type may be found at
MuseumCityState
Air Force Flight Test Center MuseumEdwards AFBCalifornia
MCAS El Toro Historical FoundationIrvineCalifornia

F-10B on display

Air Force Flight Test Center Museum

MCAS El Toro Historical Foundation
   


 

Recent comments by our visitors
 Karl F. Gingrich
 Findlay, OH
I was with Terry "Goat" Dickerson at Atsugi in VMF(AW)513 in '56 - '58. I remember the bail out and the RO being hung up in a tree all night. I was on the night crews which did strip alerts with "Willie". Nice to see the pictures of the whale and I enjoyed looking at them. Any old VMF 513ers from the mid '50s out there? Give me an e-mail.
02/05/2010 @ 05:33 [ref: 25685]
 Jon Richardson
 Deer River, MN
In Sep 1952 I reported in to VMFN-542 at El Toro. I was a brand new Avation Ordinance man. At that time, 542 was split with half the flt line in F3D-2s and the other half with F7F3Ns. As I recall the Ordinance section was the only work center that wasn,t split in two sections, Jet and Recip. In Dec. 52 the F7F3-N people went to Fallon NV for cold weather training. One night they loaded all the troops that wanted to go in the back of 6X6s and we got to take in beautiful Downtown Fallon and the casinos. That was big time stuff for a hick kid from MN. Didn,t win anything tho. Enjoyed my time with Willie The Whale but it was to short. Got to El Toro in Sep. and left for Kanoehe Bay in Mar. Spent 3 years 7 months and 21 days in the Corp and they wouldnt take me back in unless I agreed to become a PFC and I was a buck Sgt at that time. So walked down the hall at the federal building in MPLS and enlisted in the Air Force where I spent the next 27 years.
12/30/2007 @ 10:52 [ref: 19090]
 Bob Burchardt
 Stillwater, OK
I trained as an RIO in the F3D-2T2 at Nas Glynco. I really enjoyed the plane. The "Drut" was underpowered but was a very nice cross country plane. We refueled at NAS Meridan and I had to stand there by the plane as the ground crew did not want to fuel it with eighty octane Avgas. Then dspite my warning, they opened the center main and gasoline went everywhere! Finally everything was right and old Poole Watson and I headed for NAS Corpus Christi.
08/25/2007 @ 15:10 [ref: 17756]
 Terry Dickerson
 Daytona Beach, FL
I also served in VMF (AW) 513 from Nov 1956 to Jan 1958 a very good possibility I served with Capt Wingrove. I was also a member of the night crew and spent many a night on strip alert in the shacks at the end of the runway. I was a plane captain and remember having to hook up the auxillary power units to the aircraft and installing wing covers on those cold nights. Perhaps Capt Wingrove remembers the two Master Sgt pilots of the F3D's, a couple of the last enlisted pilots in the Corps.
08/10/2007 @ 18:11 [ref: 17554]
 Capt. Flip Wingrove, USMCR(ret.)
 Port Townsend, WA
After all-weather training at Cherry Point in spring 1956, I spent 14 months with VMF(AW)-513 flying F3D-2s out of Atsugi. We were tasked with the night air defense of central Honshu, and had 2 airplanes with crew on hot strip alert every night. Lots of launches against intruders - many of whom turned out to be "friendly" fakers. After 512 hours in Willie The Great Blue Whale, I hated to leave it. Although not a speedy hot-shot, it was probably the most comfortable, safe, and forgiving jet fighter of its day. As to the escape system, one nasty night we had a crew who bailed out after losing all electrical power at 25,000 feet above an overcast, after cruising around for an hour looking in vain for hole in the clouds. They slowed to around 180 knots, flaps down, wings level, and slid down through the escape chute with no problems except for the RO hanging all night in a tree.
07/22/2007 @ 11:41 [ref: 17234]
 Lt Col \"Duke\" Duquette
 Kansas City, KS
I served as an Air Force Exchange Pilot with VMCJ2 at Cherry Point from Jul '56 to Oct '58. I flew the F3D, the AD, and mostly the F9F8P while with the Squadron. I "carrier qualified" in F9F8P aboard Saratoga in '57 and deployed with 2nd MAW and 2nd MARDIV aboard Valley Forge for Lebanon Crises of '58.
03/23/2007 @ 18:17 [ref: 16011]
 Jim Casad
 Everett, WA
I was with VF 121 at NAS Miramar from late 1961 through 1964. We had F3H's and F4A and F4B Phantoms and three F3D's. We used the F3D to ferry parts and build flight time and effectionately refered to it as the Drut.
02/26/2007 @ 14:13 [ref: 15683]
 Brian Webb
 Pomona, CA
My dad was a RIO in the venerable old F3D. I believe he flew in the mid to late 50's. I remember him telling me of some very exciting times with the early heat seeker shots.And the fact that the batteries that fired them cost more than a nice car at that time.With the missles costing more than a house!Good to see some things don't change. He met my mother while stationed in Japan at Atsugi.(1957 or 1958).His name was Jesse L.Webb. He passed away in 1998. I've always loved the F3D and go to visit the one in Miramar every couple of years. There is one on display in Tucson at the Pima Museum. I didn't know about the one at Edwards. Sure looks like she needs some love. I currently volunteer at the Planes of Fame museum in Chino,Ca.Thanks to all the cold war warriors that flew "The Whale". By the way the closest my dad came to a kill was over the northernmost island of Japan flying air defense. They were vectored to the bogey at night and were in firing position and ther guns froze.
02/03/2007 @ 00:23 [ref: 15389]
 don lewis
 mathis, TX
my very first jet ride of any kind was in the old drut (generally accepted name of this aircraft spelled backwards) we had one at naf el centro broken down so was flown from nas miramar over to repair it and then flew back to vf 121. seems as we had about 10 of these things and none matched the wiring diagrams so we usually had to take the a/c log books out to work on them to follow the incorporations of the many service changes. we finally gave them to vmcj-1 and they were thrilled to get them as they matched their books. seeing this page brings back many fond humorous stories of this old warrior.
02/02/2007 @ 02:53 [ref: 15379]
 Hank Bartholomew
 Rainier, OR
I served with Guided Missile Test Unit 4 (GMTU-4) at the Pacific Missle Range, Pt. Mugu, California from 1952-1955. GMTU-4 was attached to VX-4 in the Sparrow I (Sperry)development and field testing program. I was fresh out of Aviation Electronic Technician school and was assigned to maintaining and flying the on-board weapon control radar. As a 19-year old kid, I was absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the civilian engineers and fly with the Navy pilots, all of whom had served in Korea before their assignment to VX-4. The absolute high point of that time was when my pilot, a sharp Navy Lieutenant whose name I have long since forgotten, and I scored the first direct hit ever with a Sparrow I on a target drone. A near miss would have been great, but our bird tore off half the starboard wing of the F6F drone and it plummeted into the Pacific.

The F3D was the perfect plane for the job because there was plenty of room to stash the enormous volume (and weight) of electronics. Remember, this was the early '50s and there were scores, maybe even hundreds, of miniature vacuum tubes. This was before transistors or integrated circuits, and decades before digital processors and the other marvels of later years.

The only thing that ever bothered any of us was whether it would have been possible to bail out of an F3D in flight. It was difficult enough to wriggle around the cockpit with a full parachute pack, life jacket, and hardhat when we ran drills on the ground. In flight? Probably not practical.
10/12/2006 @ 19:21 [ref: 14436]

 

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