By Tommy H. Thomason

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Missed It by That Much III

Further to the maximum folded span discussion, the Navy's experience with the XF3H in its carrier trials may be an indication that angling aircraft to fit them on the elevator was undesirable. The McDonnell XF3H Demon was 59' 4" long. In order to fit on the Essex-class elevator, it had to be angled. In an unpublished anecdotal report, McDonnell engineer William E. Elmore wrote "It took an excessive amount of jockeying for place the airplane (on the elevator). It was felt that if the 59-foot long F3H-1 had been just three feet shorter, (it) would have not required excessive, if any, jockeying." (Note that there was about two feet of clearance when properly angled, twice the minimum.) In any event, the Demon's successor at McDonnell, the F4H Phantom, was originally 56 feet long...

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