Killer Rays: The Story of the Douglas F4D Skyray & F5D Skylancer

Killer Rays: The Story of the Douglas F4D Skyray & F5D Skylancer

Hardback Specialty Press

By (author) Mark Frankel

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  • Publisher: Specialty Press
  • Format: Hardback | 240 pages
  • Dimensions: 221mm x 282mm x 18mm | 1,066g
  • Publication date: 1 December 2010
  • Publication City/Country: North Branch
  • ISBN 10: 1580071554
  • ISBN 13: 9781580071550
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Illustrations note: 350 Black and White, 50 Colour
  • Sales rank: 322,515

Product description

"Killer Rays" is the definitive work on the history of the U.S. Navy's only operational delta-wing aircraft, the revolutionary Douglas F4D Skyray and its more advanced variant, the F5D Skylancer. Author Mark Frankel unlocks secrets of delta-wing design and covers the intense rivalry between the Navy's F4D and Air Force F-102 in the 1950s. This book chronicles the development of the Skyray from concept to first prototype, flight testing, carrier qualifications, and operational history. It also explains how initial engine problems nearly caused the failure of the F4D, and how it was ultimately saved. The author accessed a wealth of Douglas Aircraft photos, models, artwork, engineering drawings, and related material including transcripts of conversations with Chief Designer, Ed Heinemann and Configuration Engineer, R.G. Smith. As a result, Killer Rays covers in vivid detail all aspects of F4D production, flight testing, world speed and time-to-climb records, plus new, never-before-seen aspects of NASA F5D operations, giving the reader the inside story on two significant Cold War U.S. Navy interceptor designs.

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Back cover copy

In the 1950s, Killer Rays were lethal weapons seen strictly in science fiction movies. To an enemy intruder of U.S. airspace at the time, the sight of bat-wing Douglas Skyrays climbing into the stratosphere to attack and destroy their foe would have indeed seemed like science fiction. However, by 1955, it was scientific fact that this jet-powered delta-wing interceptor was about to become the U.S. Navy's latest lethal weapon. Author and former Navy JAG Mark Frankel has accessed a wealth of Skyray photos, artwork, engineering drawings, and related material including actual transcripts of conversations with Chief Engineer Ed Heinemann. Covering development of the F4D Skyray from mock-up to prototype, flight testing, and operational deployment, this book brings you the inside story of how problems with the Westinghouse J40 turbojet nearly cost the F4D program and how the Pratt & Whitney J57 saved it. This book features detailed documentation of Skyray production, world speed and time-to-climb records, operational F4D units, and the advanced supersonic F5D Skylancer. The use of never-before-seen photos and artwork completes this story of the world's first carrier-based jet interceptor.