13 May 2020

F3H-2 Demon: Linking Eras

The F3H Demon is an early Cold War-era American naval fighter aircraft, developed by the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation as the successor to the F2H Banshee. Arriving to the game as a new American jet fighter, the F3H Demon will be one of the many new additions awaiting seasoned War Thunder pilots in the upcoming major update! 

Briefly: A later variant of the Demon, the F3H-2 features missile capabilities as well as an expanded range of secondary weapons.

F3H-2 Demon, jet fighter, USA, VI rank. 

Pros

  • Good flight characteristics
  • Afterburner
  • Wide range of armament options
  • Radar

Cons

  • Subsonic
History

Development of the F3H began in 1949, with the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation starting work on developing a successor to their F2H Banshee. Although the initial design work was heavily based on the Banshee, the final design of the F3H would depart from its predecessor by most notably offering a single engine configuration and introducing a swept-wing design - a first for McDonnell.

With the outbreak of the Korean War in the early 1950s and the Navy’s first encounters with the Soviet MiG-15, the Navy found itself realizing that they lacked an aircraft which could match the MiG’s performance. As a result, the F3H was hastily ordered into production before even the first test flights were held. In fact, the F3H would undertake its maiden flight in August 1951, but it would take several more years until the aircraft was fit for service, by which time the Korean War had already ended.

The F3H Demon entered service with the USN in March 1956, by which time it had already gained an unfavorable reputation, mainly due to issues concerning its underpowered and unreliable Westinghouse J40 turbojet engine. As a result, the aircraft had to be redesigned in order to accept a more reliable alternative - namely, the Allison J71.

Due to its various problems, the F3H had a relatively short service life with the USN, being decommissioned by 1964 and succeeded by the much more successful F-4 Phantom II. Despite this, well over 500 units of the F3H Demon were built, taking part in some conflicts during the late ‘50s, such as the Lebanon Crisis in 1958. In addition, it was one of the first U.S. aircraft to be fitted with missile armament.

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In War Thunder, the F3H-2 Demon will be one of the exciting new additions awaiting seasoned pilots in the upcoming update. Coming to Rank VI of the American aviation tree, the F3H-2 will further enrich the top ranking US jet lineup with another versatile fighter aircraft, excelling at dogfights in particular, but also sparking a sense of unease with tankers in its presence.

The F3H-2 is powered by an Allison J71-A-2B turbojet engine, producing a maximum of 14,400 lbf (64 kN) with the afterburner engaged. As a result, the Demon can reach a top speed of 719 mph (~1157 kph) at a sea level. Additionally, the F3H-2 boasts a rather good climb rate of 14,350 fpm (72.9 m/s), allowing it to reach combat altitudes within a relatively short period of time.

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However, the F3H-2 remains a subsonic jet fighter. While the aircraft excels at subsonic dogfights, future pilots of this machine shouldn’t waste time trying to chase faster opponents, but catch these faster opponents off guard - ideally while they’re distracted or in a low energy situation at low altitude.

Fun Fact: The F3H Demon possessed excellent cockpit visibility, earning itself the nickname ‘The Chair’ by its pilots.

Being a fighter aircraft, the F3H Demon is more than adequately armed to deal with any opponent it may meet in the skies. Rocking a primary arsenal consisting of four 20mm Colt Mk.12 cannons with a total ammunition complement of 760 rounds, a single well aimed burst from these deadly weapons is enough to shred an airframe to pieces. Furthermore, what happens to be outside of the cannons’ range is more than fair game for the four air-to-air missiles carried by the Demon.

Despite being primarily a fighter aircraft however, Demon pilots won’t need to shy away from assisting their comrades in arms on the ground with some close air support. Being able to carry a selection of unguided rockets and bombs of up to 3,500 lbs (the biggest one is 3,000 lbs M118 Demolition), the F3H-2 is more than capable of raining down death and destruction upon its enemies on the ground.

The F3H-2 Demon is well on its way to joining the fight in War Thunder with the upcoming update  and will become available to all pilots as a new Rank VI American jet fighter. Until then, keep a close watch on the horizon for more news regarding the next major update coming to the game in the near future. Safe flying and happy hunting pilots!


The War Thunder Team

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