Designation: F3H-2

McDonnell F3H-2

McDonnell F3H-2 (F-3B) Demon

A picture of the McDonnell F3H-2 Demon

The Demon was the Navy’s first swept-wing, all-weather, missile-armed fighter.  Design work on the F3H began in 1949, but delays due to engine problems resulted in the prototype not flying until 1951 and the first production aircraft did not fly until 1953.  Despite the delays the plane’s Westinghouse J40 engine was very unreliable and failures resulted in several crashes.  The engine was eventually replaced with an Allison J71, which cured most of the Demon’s problems.  The first versions of the Demon were strictly interceptors, but the later F3H-2 model was a strike fighter that added air-to-ground capability to the design.  A total of 519 Demons were built and the type remained in front-line service until the mid 1960s when they were replaced by the F-4B Phantom II.

Service History:

Built by McDonnell Aircraft Company, St. Louis, Missouri and delivered to the U.S. Navy on July 17, 1958.

August 1958               To Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina for service modifications.

December 1958           To Fighter Squadron 31 (VF-31), Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.

Wingspan 35 ft 4 in.

Wingspan

Length 58 ft 11 in.

Length

Height 14 ft 7 in.

Height

Weight 33,900 lbs (loaded)

Weight

Max. Speed 647 MPH

Maximum Speed

Service Ceiling 42,650 ft

Service Ceiling

Range 1,370 miles

Range

Engines One Allison J71-A-2 turbojet with 9,700 pounds of thrust

Engine

Crew 1

Crew


Manufacturer
McDonnell

Markings
Fighter Squadron 13 (VF-13), USS Shangri-La, 1963

Designation
F3H-2

Serial Number
145221

February 1959             To Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14), USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.

February 1959             To Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 104 (FASRON-104), Naval Station Rota, Spain.

March 1959                 To Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14), USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.

August 1959               Unit returns to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.

September 1959          To Fleet Aircraft Service Squadron 9, Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.

November 1959          To Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, North Carolina for overhaul.

September 1960          To Fighter Squadron 14 (VF-14), Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.

February 1961             Deployed on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.

August 1961               Return to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida

August 1962               Deployed on USS Franklin D. Roosevelt.

November 1962          Redesignated as F-3B.

May 1963                    Return to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.

June 1963                    To Fighter Squadron 13 (VF-13) aboard USS Shangri-La.

May 1964                    Return to Naval Air Station Cecil Field, Florida.

June 1964                    To Litchfield Park, Arizona for storage.

May 1978                    Loaned to Pima Air & Space Museum by the National Museum of Naval Aviation.

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