Aeroplane Monthly 1977-05
H.Andrews - Douglas F4D Skyray /Fighters of the fifties/
XF5D-1 (F4D-2) Skylancer prototype aircraft
F4D-1s of VF(AW)-3, operating as part of North American Air Defence Command (NORAD), over Southern California in 1959.
An early production F4D-1, 134752, with its intake modified to include the splitter plate but as yet unpainted. The pod contained navigation avionics.
The first XF4D-1, 124586, touches down on the USS Coral Sea during initial carrier trials on October 20, 1953. A white finish with red trim replaces the original glossy sea blue, and a movie camera is carried beneath the fuselage.
The fourth F4D-1, 130743, was rolled out at El Segundo in December 1954 with glossy sea blue finish, and initially had a production radome nose.
Another view of 130740, showing the production Skyray’s distinctive plan-form, two-section elevons, pitch trimmers and revised tail cone.
The second XF4D-1, 124587, shows off its planform over the Californian desert in October 1953, the month it set two world speed records after an afterburner-equipped J40 engine had been installed.
F4D-1 134819 of VF-101, one of the early East Coast Skyray squadrons, carrying a tow target in 1957.
With its afterburner lit, F4D-1 130746 rotates for take-off at the Naval Air Test Center, Patuxent River, in January 1956, during build-up to carrier trials.
Skyrays of VMF(AW)-115 pose for their portrait with personnel and ground equipment in 1960.
Further shots of 124587 over California in October 1953. This aircraft had a sliding cockpit canopy instead of the clamshell type of the first machine.
F4D-1 134802 of the Fleet Air Gunnery Unit at El Centro, California, fires a rocket from a pack on an out¬board pylon in February 1958.
Four Skyrays of VMF(AW)-115, flying from the USS Independence (CVA-62) in the Mediterranean as part of Carrier Air Group Seven, March 1963.
The first F4D-1 Skyray, 130740, photographed at El Segundo in July 1954.
A group of F-6A’s of VU-3 in echelon, January 1964. After replacement by F-4s in Carrier Air Groups, “Fords” were used by the Utility Squadron providing target and other services to fleet units.
Douglas F4D-1 Skyray of VMF(AW) 115 U.S. Marines on board the USS Independence. Mediterranean, summer 1963
F4D-1 U. S. Navy reserve unit