Today in History – August 7, 1951 – First flight of the F-3H “Demon”

Development work on the F-3H Demon began in 1949, using a swept wing from the start rather than adapting a straight-winged design as was done with the Grumman F9F Panther. A competing contract was also awarded for the delta wing Douglas F4D Skyray. The Skyray, with a top speed of 722 mph (1,162 km/h), would become the Navy’s first fighter to fly supersonic in level flight, while the Demon would never reach that level of performance.

Of 35 F3H-1N aircraft flown with the J40 engine, eight were involved in major accidents. The first production Demons were grounded after the loss of six aircraft and four pilots.[3] Time magazine called the Navy’s grounding of all Westinghouse-powered F3H-1 Demons a “fiasco”, with 21 unflyable planes that could be used only for Navy ground training at a loss of $200 million.[4] One high point of the J40 was the 1955 setting of an unofficial time-to-climb record, in a Demon, of 10,000 feet (3,000 m) in 71 seconds.[3] The proposed F3H-1P reconnaissance version was never built. The J40 program was terminated sometime in 1955. (A)

Source: (A) Wikipedia

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