By Tommy H. Thomason

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Halcyon Days - 1950

National Archives 80-G-419777

Patuxent River Naval Air Test Center (NATC), September 1950 Static Display

Clockwise from the facing airplane on the left-hand side of the ramp:

McDonnell F2H-2N Banshee (note the elongated nose)

Grumman F9F-2 Panther being flown by Electronic Test

North American AJ-1 Savage

Pratt & Whitney-operated, civil-registered JB-17G (Ron Lewis: See with an XT34 turboprop engine in the nose (the T34 was a Navy program but no production resulted for Navy airplanes)

Martin P4M Mercator (Almost certainly BuNo 122208; per Ron Lewis, see for other pictures of this airplane)

Douglas XF3D-1 Skyknight*

McDonnell F2H-2 Banshee

Vought F7U-1 Cutlass

Grumman F9F-2 BuNo 122563 with photo registration marks

Vought F4U-5P Corsair

Does anyone have any other information about these specific airplanes (particularly the Panther with the X on the fuselage) or the event?

* I had identified the Skyknight as an XF3D because of the small tail bumper (the production airplanes had a bigger one that incorporated a small wheel). Sharp-eyed viewer Ron Lewis noted that and also that part of the BuNo was visible, a 4 and a vertical line that could be part of a 1. Digging further, I'm all but certain that this is XF3D-1 BuNo 121457 that had just arrived at Pax for evaluation of control system modifications accomplished by Douglas.
Picture from Roger Besecker


Angus McThag said...

Nothing about the Panther, but the B-17...

Greg Bishop said...

I'm glad to not only see the AJ-1 Savage, the type my dad was plane captain aboard, but also the excellent photo of PAX River NAS, where he was stationed with VC-8... and we lived over on Solomon's Island; even though a tyke, I remember riding across the river in the Navy launch, with its canvas cover and distinctive gurgling sound, made by the exhaust being under, then out of the water. And about this photo... Not to forget, the awesome line-up of the other aircraft! Anyone missing this photo would surely regret it. I hope those shipmates who were at PAX get to see this. VPNavy, possibly?

Greg Bishop, son of Earl C. Bishop
Aviation Machinist's Mate First Class (DIS 20July1955 Naples Italy)