The Sea Dart was to be powered by twin 6,000-pound thrust Westinghouse XJ46-WE-02 turbojet engines. Some Americans saw this happen on live television. The finalized Sea Dart exhibited a length of 52.6 feet, a wingspan of 33.7 feet and a height of 16.1 feet. The Navy was embarrassed that its carrier decks could not boast a conventional jet fighter with the capabilities of, say, the Air Force F-86 Sabre or the Soviet MiG-15. America’s owner-flown aircraft enthusiasts and active-pilot resource, delivered to your inbox! The Top 10 Planes Of All Time: WARNING: This List Goes To 11. By 1957, they had a Sea Dart design that would have worked perfectly well in service, although its air-to-air capability remained open to question. Aircraft carriers at that time could not accommodate the long takeoff and landing distances required by land-based supersonic jets, so the Navy figured it’d try using the ocean as the runway. Tragedy shook the Sea Dart effort on Nov. 4, 1954, when Sea Dart number 135762 came apart in flight over San Diego Bay during a … The Navy abandoned plans to produce an F2Y-2 version incorporating area rule to enhance supersonic flight and powered by two 15,000-pound thrust Pratt & Whitney J75 turbojets. The skis were extended when the aircraft reached about 10 miles per hour during its takeoff run. Rick Boyette, e-mail, 19.08.2012 18:38 The new single ski had a pair of retractable beaching wheels at the end, intended to permit the aircraft to beach itself. The Sea Dart program went through several changes on paper and in fact as the Navy changed the number of planes it wanted from seven to 22 to, finally, just five. After installation, sand the bottom edges to match the fuselage profile, forming a flat seat for the ski. see this plane rightful re-fly again in the planetary patriot next book out 2013. the said sea dart was truly a great plane that never was allowed to be said great! the Air Force F-86 Sabre or the Soviet MiG-15, General Dynamics Aircraft and Their Predecessors, AFSOC Breaks Ground on Non-standard Aircraft Simulator Facility, Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller Announces Troop Withdrawals in Afghanistan and Iraq, NASA’s SpaceX Crew-1 Astronauts Dock With International Space Station, VA Research: The VA National Precision Oncology Program, Top Military Shots DEC 13, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Oct 18, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Oct 11, 2019 | Photo Gallery, USS Indianapolis (LCS 17) Completes Trials | Video, Army Research Lab Selects 3D Systems to Develop World’s Largest, Fastest Metal Powder 3D Printer, Top Military Shots Oct 24, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Oct 4, 2019 | Photo Gallery, Top Military Shots Sep 27, 2019 | Photo Gallery. The XF2Y-1 Sea Dart pictured during a take-off run in the waters off San Diego, Calif. U.S. Flip the plane over and start working on the bottom. Faircount Media Group. In the 1950s, a few Navy engineers and planners began to pursue a delta-winged supersonic fighter that could take off from and land on water. Another aircraft, a YF2Y-1, flew with a new version of twin skis – bringing to three the number of Sea Darts that actually made it into the air. Views: 4193 Install the left and right hull sides after chamfering the edges. Moreover, the Air Force F-100 Super Sabre and the Navy F8U Crusader were now pushing the envelope farther than the Sea Dart could ever go. It is questionable whether a Sea Dart would have been able to prevail in a dogfight or to maintain supersonic speed in level flight as had been hoped. It was equipped with retractable skis in place of ordinary landing gear to … The lone YF2Y-1 Sea Dart prototype that featured twin skis. When Convair test pilot E. D. “Sam” Shannon took the first plane, designated XF2Y-1, aloft at San Diego on its first official flight on April 9, 1953, the Sea Dart was already in trouble. The Sea Dart arrived full-blown in an era when jet engines were unreliable and Navy Westinghouse jet engines, especially the J40 and J46, had more problems than others. All Rights Reserved. / 177.8 cm ) Air Trails. It only flew as a prototype, and never entered production, but it is still the only seaplane to exceed the speed of sound. Naval Aviation Museum photo. Maximum speed was 825 miles per hour with a range out to 513 miles. Views: 4120 Glue the ski in position. By that time, in any event, interest in sea bases and seaborne combat planes had waned. In 1948, the U.S. Navy created a contest for engineering companies to develop a supersonic interceptor seaplane, and it did this for a good reason, too. The sole XF2Y-1 and YF2Y-1, with their differing ski configurations, both demonstrated an ability to operate in waves up to 10 feet high and to fly faster than sound in a shallow dive. By Two photos of YF2Y-1 Sea Dart (135764) on display at the Harold F. Pitcairn Wings of Freedom Aviation Museum, just outside NAS Willow Grove, PA. The Convair F2Y Sea Dart. Robert F. Dorr is an author, U.S. Air Force veteran, and retired American diplomat who... © 2020 Defense Media Network. Convair F2Y Sea Dart : The Convair F2Y Sea Dart was a unique American seaplane fighter aircraft that rode on twin hydro-skis for takeoff. - April 12, 2017, A Convair F2Y-1 Sea Dart. Naval Aviation Museum photo. In 1951, the Navy awarded a contract to Convair, the San Diego, Calif. company created by the merger of Consolidated and Vultee, to build two prototypes of a single-seat, delta-wing seaplane fighter, the F2Y Sea Dart. A Washington, D.C., newspaper published a drawing of a Sea Dart operating from the Tidal Basin to defend the capital from Soviet bombers. The Convair F2Y Sea Dart was a unique American seaplane fighter aircraft that rode on twin hydro-skis for takeoff. The Sea Dart was not without aesthetic appeal, but in engineering terms it left something to be desired. Using open water to takeoff and land was an idea that appeared to offer great flexibility. It was a time when jet engines were thoroughly unreliable and jet aircraft had not yet fully replaced propeller-driven warplanes. Advertisement. Become a Plane & Pilot Member to explore our complete range of flight reports, technique articles, gear reviews and aviation buyer’s guides written by our experts. The crash was the lead item in the day’s television and print news. U.S. For the most part, the aircraft performed well in tests, but the Navy seemed to be unable to decide what to do with it. A Navy plan for mobile bases for water-borne aircraft began to lag and, in the end, never became reality.