Jan 042011
 

Weight and Balance Summary for the Carrier Based F2Y fighter.Weight and Balance Summary for the Carrier Based F2Y fighter.

The Consolidated Vultee Carrier Based F2Y Fighter was designed to meet the requirements of Outline Specification OS-130 dated September 2, 1952, including Amendments 1, 2 and 3. The aircraft was of the delta wing configuration and powered by two Westinghouse J-46 turbojets. The wing, vertical tail, nacelle, and power plant section were similar to the Model F2Y-1 Seadart water-based fighter. Offensive armament consisted of either four 20mm cannon or an equal weight of Folding-Fin Aerial Rockets (FFAR).

Weights for the Carrier Based F2Y were similar to those of the water-based version; Convair also used layout weight data for the F-102 in estimating the weights for its OS-130 proposal. Complete wing and tail assemblies were moved aft 30″ and the engine and nacelle section moved forward 35″ with relation to the F2Y-1. The carrier based F2Y had the same integral fuel system as the water-based F2Y-1 except that an additional 223 gallons were added between spar nos. 4 and 5. As a result of moving the wing aft 30″ the leading edge mean aerodynamic chord (MAC) was 328.6″ aft of the Horizontal Reference Datum. The MAC was 256.9″, the same length as the F2Y-1.

Physical characteristics for the Convair Carrier Based F2Y taken from the general arrangement drawing below; performance figures for the proposal have not been found.

Convair’s Carrier Based F2Y obviously did not find favor with BuAer, the exact reasons for which are unknown. The proposal is somewhat ironic, in that the original water-based XF2Y-1 was ordered in 1951 due to Navy skepticism over the operation of supersonic aircraft from aircraft carrier decks; two years later, a modified version was being offered for precisely that purpose. (The actual XF2Y-1 would demonstrate that the operation of supersonic fighters from water was far more problematic than from carrier decks, as the whole program turned into an expensive failure). Convair’s proposal did have some advantages—it was based on an existing design that had already undergone considerable wind tunnel testing and could have used some of the existing tooling and jigs, reducing fabrication costs. On the other hand, it was derived from a type optimized for water-based operations and likely inferior to a clean sheet of paper design. For example, while the dorsal intakes were ideal for a seaplane, where the inhalation of salty sea spray was hazardous to the engines, they made less sense for a carrier based fighter where intake blanking at high angles of attack was a concern. The author has found only a pair of blueprints and a weight and balance report for the proposal; the usual lavish promotional brochure that accompanied the submissions of other manufacturers is missing. It may have never been prepared, suggesting that Convair assigned this competition a low priority, possibly due to being preoccupied by the demands of other contracts.

All images from NARA Archives II, College Park, MD, RG 72

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