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Emhar Aircraft 1/72 F3H Demon F3H2 (F3B) USN Fighter Kit

Emhar Aircraft 1/72 F3H Demon F3H2 (F3B) USN Fighter Kit

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The F3H Demon was an unspectacular passage in the history of US naval aviation. Serving the Navy between 1956 –1964 it left no lasting impression in Fleet chronicles. The XF3H-1 was McDonnell´s proposal to the 1948 Navy request for a carrier-based interceptor with performance "equal or superior to that of most land-based fighters".

So starts an endless spiral of trouble, involving ever-increasing demands for performance, a catastrophic obsession with a doomed engine-project (the Westinghouse J-40) and an accident-burdened (several times fatal) test-period. It was not until the Navy finally dropped their insistence that the J40 engine be used that the Demon could become a usable aircraft, now fitted with the far more reliable Allison J-71.

Still, the F3H was constantly tampered with, in order to iron out various problems. Wings twisted, and stayed twisted, from roll-maneuvers, and a wing-spoiler system was devised to rectify this. Endurance was always on the very short end and external tanks often shortened the Demon´s legs, due to the increased drag. Eventually an in-flight refueling system was installed. These, and many other bugs, were to define the career of the Demon.

Fleet service was short and in 1964 the last Demons were phased out, leaving room for Crusaders and Phantoms.

A couple of Demons survive in museums, one example on board the USS Intrepid in New York (and another at the Pima Museum in Tucson as well as one at the US Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola).

The Demon´s only claim for fame is in it´s role as prime forefather of one of the greatest airplanes ever, the F4 Phantom. If you flatten and square out and tweak the poor Demon about a little bit and stick another jet up the back, presto, there´s your F4!

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