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Monday, January 24, 2011

Douglas F4D Skyray

Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the Douglas F4D Skyray. The single-place Skyray was named after the undersea manta ray it resembled. It was on the leading edge of aircraft design, could climb to 40,000 feet in two minutes and reach Mach 1 during a dive.

Analysis of data captured in Germany after World War II indicated that the delta-shaped wing would take the most advantage of jet propulsion for fast-climbing interceptor fighters. In 1948, Douglas signed a contract to build the F4D-1. Nicknamed "the 10-minute killer," the Skyray broke five world's time-to-height records. In 1953, the Skyray was co-winner with North America's Super Sabre of the prestigious Collier Trophy.

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