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Early jets long retired: the Douglas F4D Skyray

First flight: 1951
Introduction: 1956
Retired: 1964


Beautiful! Too bad it didn't last longer. Like a Skyhawk on steroids.
Was this replaced by the F-8 Vought Crusader?
@SethGreene531 I'm not sure, although the Crusader entered service a few years earlier, I'm thinking the Skyray was replaced by the Phantom:


[quote]... The oracles of aviation might have said that the end was discernible on May 27, 1958, just four days after LeFaivre became the fastest man to 50,000 feet. That was the date of the Phantom II’s first flight. “As soon as the Phantom came in,” says Erv Heald, “we were out of business ....” [/quote]

It is kind of funny that Douglas made this pair of cute little stubby jets (the Skyray and the Skyhawk), and it is a marvel how there seemed to be a flood of new aircraft through the 1950s (even the late 1940s and into the early 1960s), you just don't see that pace of creation anymore, but I guess it is offset by none of them ever seeming to be fully sufficient and many of them having relatively brief careers before the next competitor came online

I remember when I was in middle school reading a story about a pilot who had to eject out of a Crusader off the North Carolina coast at a very high altitude, and then spent like the next hour falling up and down through a thunderstorm he could not avoid

@BreadAndCircuses I would agree. It seems the Phantom was the usurper. Records like that set in '58, command the attention of forces looking for a proven platform where others fell short.

You're right, the Skyhawk and Skyray where not multi role and thus left a need to be filled.
The production pace has dwindled today, perhaps because airframe longevity and multi mission capability are a must for any fleet replacement. Like the F-15 for example, it is still in service; introduced in '75.

That is incredible, and a story I'd like to read more about. I would expect nothing less, and he got off easy as far as I'm concerned. Updrafts/downdrafts of 6,000 fpm, gusts and bufetting, windshear. That must have been a harrowing ride!!😅

I remember a captain who took his 707 through one, unable to reroute. In his words, it tossed a 330,000 plane around like "a child's toy".
bookerdana · M
Saw a video about the long range bombers in the Us arsenal
bookerdana · M
@BreadAndCircuses [media=https://youtu.be/ZoSNTMvgASE]
@bookerdana very cool ... it's hard to imagine the B-52 being smaller ... I think there was a movie with John Wayne that featured the B-36

Two separate B-47s dropped nuclear bombs within roughly 100 miles of where I am in either direction, in incidents just a few weeks apart in 1958
bookerdana · M
@BreadAndCircuses they learned something from even the failures...like don't make a plane that needs a 22 inch deep runway😀

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