Wednesday, March 21, 2012

F2H-3/4 Inflight Refueling Probe Installation

All USN carrier-based jets received inflight refueling capability in the late 1950s. The F2H-2B Banshee was one of the first, in conjunction with its assignment to the nuclear strike mission, with the probe being installed in place of one of the right 20 mm cannon ports. For some reason, the F2H-3/4 refueling probe was relocated to a cannon port on the left side of the fuselage and a ventral fairing was added as well.

Unfortunately, I don't have good drawings of the installation or even the added length of the probe.

The ventral fairing ran from just aft of the nose wheel well to almost the aft end of the J34 engine.

The probe extended straight out of the upper left gun port

The probe fairing covered the original blast shield and then some

The probe tip was pretty complex

Sunday, March 11, 2012

F6U Variations

3 April 2015: A new resin XF6U kit has been announced by Prop&Jet, a company previously unknown to me that is located in the Kabardino-Balkar Republic. Their kits appear to be of excellent quality so I'm eager to get one.

Back to the original post:
Admiral has produced a welcome pair of newly tooled 1/72 kits of the F6Us. For a good build article and comparison with the Pavla kit, see Derek Olson made some notable improvements to the kit such as reshaping the fences on the horizontal stabilizer, relocating the tip tank mounting, creating and adding clear lenses to the tip tanks, drilling out the 20 mm cannon ports, replacing the nose wheel, and substituting the Pavla vacuform canopy for the kit's injection molded one. The result is an excellent model:

The Admiral kits are designated as Early and Late but the only difference between them appears to be the markings provided. I've only seen the box art and photographs of the sprues (see so this is preliminary, but it looks like there was some confusion about the configuration and markings in the Early kit.

The box art for the Early version depicts the XF6U that was retrofitted with the afterburner except that it has the longer production forward fuselage.
This airplane actually had the short XF6U forward fuselage.
To accurately depict this particular XF6U, the kit's forward fuselage would have to be significantly shortened and the triangular addition to the wing's inboard trailing edge removed.

The XF6Us and production F6Us also had slightly different sliding canopies to accommodate the pressurization and ejection seat that were added to the production airplanes.

The Later version is more representative of actual aircraft in configuration and markings.
However, the acronym on the fin flash on 491 should be NACA, not NASA, and I suspect that it looks more like this:

Also see

Steve Ginter has published a comprehensive monograph on the F6U in his Naval Fighters series.