Douglas F-10A 'Skynight'

  Base model:F-10
  Designation System:U.S. Tri-Service
  Designation Period:1962-Present
  Basic role:Fighter
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 Ron Stout
 SeaTac, WA
F10A is a redesignation (Vietnam era) for this plane.
It came in to the US Navy inventory as the F3D Skynight.
Built by the Ed Heineman Douglas Aircraft Company team it was the first jet powered purpose built nightfighter.
It was designed to utilize the J-46 engines of 4,600 pounds of thrust each.When that program was scrapped the F3D was reequipped with the Westinghouse J34-WE34 engines of 3,400 pounds thrust each.This left it seriously deficient in the power department.
Designed aboutn the same time as ejection seats were being developred the F3D was equipped with an escape hatch accessible through a door between the pilot and radar operator.The door,and a hatch in the planes belly were activated by a T handle on the center console.
This plane was stone reliable once its various failings were dealt with and served a long time in Navy and Marine squadrons.First as a fighter in Korea with Marine All Weather Fighter Squadron 513 (VMF(N) 513 it scored night kills agains enemy fighters beginning in 1952.
It later served as an electronics counter measures aircraft through the Vietnam war.It also served as a trainer,a bail out test aircraft for the Navy,and a missile test bed for both Navy and Army.It was bailed to Raytheon Corporation for use in developing air launch missiles.
It served faithfully and well through 1979.
It can be seen in museums at Tucson,Arizona;MCAS Miramar,California (San Diego);Quonset Point,Rhode Island;and Quantico,Virginia.
I flew 210 hours in it,and crashed in and destroyed BUNO 125800 at Pyong-Taek,South Korea.
04/16/2005 @ 23:48 [ref: 9969]