Designation: F2H-2P

McDonnell F2H-2P

McDonnell F2H-2P Banshee

A picture of the McDonnell F2H-2P Banshee

The Banshee was developed as an enlarged version of the McDonnell FH-1 Phantom.  The aircraft featured more powerful engines and greater armament than the earlier aircraft.  The F2H-1 prototype first flew on January 11, 1947 and operational aircraft reached service in March 1949.  By the end of 1949 the F2H-2 version of the aircraft was in service.  It featured a longer fuselage and wings which allowed more fuel to be carried, increasing the plane’s range.  The F2H-3 and F2H-4 featured an even longer fuselage and more fuel as well as a search radar making them all-weather and night capable.  The F2H-2 was also modified into a photo reconnaissance version with a lengthened nose housing several cameras.  The Banshee was used extensively during the Korean War as both a fighter and a reconnaissance plane.  Banshees were also sold to Canada and served in the Canadian Navy from 1955 until 1962.  The last Banshees left the U.S. Navy’s inventory in 1965.

 

Service History:

Wingspan 44 ft 10 in.

Wingspan

Length 40 ft 2 in.

Length

Height 14 ft 6 in.

Height

Weight 22,312 pounds (loaded)

Weight

Max. Speed 532 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 44,800 feet

Service Ceiling

Range 1,475 miles

Range

Engines Two Westinghouse J34-WE-34 turbojets with 3,250 pounds of thrust each

Engines

Crew 1

Crew


Manufacturer
McDonnell

Markings
Marine Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron 2 (VMJ-2), Marine Corps Air Station Atsugi, Japan, 1958

Designation
F2H-2P

Serial Number
125690

Built by McDonnell Aircraft at St. Louis, Missouri and delivered to the U.S. Navy on October 12, 1951.

October 1951              To Bureau of Aeronautics Representative, Research & Development, St. Louis, Missouri.

June 1952                    To Naval Air Test Center, Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland.

March 1953                 To Composite Squadron 61 (VC-61), Naval Air Station Miramar, California.

March 1954                 To Overhaul & Repair, San Diego, California.

April 1954                   To Overhaul & Repair, Jacksonville, Florida.

October 1954              To Composite Squadron 62 (VC-62) Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida.  Deployed on USS Bennington, USS Intrepid, and USS Forrestal.

September 1956          To Overhaul & Repair, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina.

April 1957                   To Reconnaissance Squadron 61 (VFP-61), Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

December 1957           To Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 3 (FASRON-3) Naval Air Station Alameda, California.

February 1958             To Marine Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron 1 (VMJ-1), Marione Corps Air Station Atsugi, Japan.

June 1958                    To Naval Air Facility Advanced Base at Oppama, Japan.

October 1958              To Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 4 (FASRON 4), Naval Air Station North Island, California.

October 1958              To Storage at Litchfield Park, Arizona.

1958-2012                   Displayed at St. Louis, Missouri; Cherry Point, North Carolina; and Wings of Eagles Museum, New York.  At some point the aircraft’s original photoreconnaissance nose was replaced with the gun equipped nose of a standard Banshee fighter.

2012                            Loaned to the Pima Air and Space Museum by the National Museum of the Marine Corps.

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