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Navy F4D Skyray Sets Climb Record 1955

Waring Hills Feb 23, 2011

Skyray traps aboard USS Hornet (Photo from http://www.ccdemo.info/AircraftPix/SkyrayLandingLarge.jpg).

On 23 February 1955  Douglas Test Pilot R. O. Rahn piloted his F4D Skyray to an altitude of 10,000 feet in 56 seconds. This was the fourth unofficial Navy climb record set in less than a month!

Three Marine Corps Skyray fighters of VMF(AW)-114, Death Dealers, on the catapults of the aircraft carrier USS Franklin D. Roosevelt (CVA-42), in 1959.

The unofficial nickname of the F4D Skyray was “Ford.” Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots would fly this aircraft from 1956 to 1962 in the active forces. A total of 420 Fords were built and production ended in December 1958.  It never saw combat service. Below is rare footage of Fords onboard the USS Essex and a fun video of a present day flying model…

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