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The origins of the F4D Skyray can be traced to the German studies in more aerodynamic wing designs for high speed manoeuvres with the Me 163. Alexander Martin Lippisch, the creator of this fighter, was brought back to the US together with other German engineers after the end of WWII. With the emergence of new high speed bombers like the Tu-16, the USN decided to create a new interceptor capable of dealing with this aircraft. The XF4D was built in 1951 and was equipped with a Westinghouse J40-WE-8 engine with afterburner after considering it superior to proposed turbojet engines. The tests were carried out for 5 years, and after that the USN became the first user of this interceptor, later the USMC and NACA (later known as NASA) would also use this fighter. The F4D lived a relatively short life, since it was retired in 1964, when more capable multirole aircrafts like the F-4 Phantom II appeared, that were capable of not only dealing with enemy bombers, but also engaging in long range combat and close air support.

It was introduced during Update "Danger Zone" as a reward for the 2022 Summer Quest event. The last subsonic carrier-based jet fighter adapted into USN service by Douglas, the Skyray offers sufficient speed at its rank with a large wing, boosting its overall climb rate and allowing it to fly in transonic speeds without any fatal structural damage. However, players do have to beware of its outdated design of wing-mounted guns, whereas most jets of the era put them on the centreline instead, as well as severe bleeding of speed in manoeuvres due to the large wing. With access to 4 x AIM-9B air to air missiles, it is a good option for players considering a support fighter at rank VI, with the ability to also dogfight most opponents. For ground attack, it has access to a large amount of FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets, but it should be noted, that most of this rockets use the same pylons as the missiles, so carrying a full load of missiles and rockets at the same time is not possible.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Air brakes
Allows you to dramatically reduce the flight speed by releasing special flaps
Max speed
at 0 m1 145 km/h
Turn time22 s
Max altitude12 500 m
EnginePratt & Whitney J57P8
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight11 t

At first glance, players will notice its enormous delta wings, while this helps with its climbing speed and overall structural integrity, as well as holding more fuel for longer fights; this also means that with the help of slats and flaps, it can be a fearsome dogfighter thanks to its powerful Pratt & Whitney J57-P-8 engine with an afterburner at transonic speeds - even supersonic at higher altitudes or in a dive. The plane is very stable across all speeds and its very rare that you ever reach its redline of 1,283 km/h, although you will need to factor in compression at higher speeds (above ~950 km/h). The delta wing provides a good instantaneous turn rate, though also causes severe energy bleeding in manoeuvres, and the overall large size also means that it will become an easy target for enemy jets with higher energy. So be aware not to dogfight for too long, else the F4D-1 will not be able to gain back enough energy, even with its good acceleration, to escape from the turmoil and lead you straight back to the hangar.

Characteristics Max speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 1,138 1,134 12500 22.8 23.5 100.6 92.6 900
Upgraded 1,151 1,145 21.4 22.0 146.7 122.0


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear Drogue chute
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
1,283 407 1,283 N/A 1,283 ~9 ~3
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 850 < 700 < 700 N/A

Engine performance

Engine Aircraft mass
Engine name Number Basic mass Wing loading (full fuel)
Pratt & Whitney J57P8 1 7,245 kg 190 kg/m2
Engine characteristics Mass with fuel (no weapons load) Max Gross
Weight (each) Type 7m fuel 20m fuel 25m fuel
2,122 kg Afterburning axial-flow turbojet 7,811 kg 8,733 kg 9,133 kg 10,425 kg
Maximum engine thrust @ 0 m (RB/SB) Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)
Condition 100% WEP 7m fuel 20m fuel 25m fuel MGW
Stationary 4,249 kgf 7,269 kgf 0.93 0.83 0.80 0.7
Optimal 4,475 kgf
(1,000 km/h)
8,104 kgf
(1,200 km/h)
1.04 0.93 0.89 0.78

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural0 km/h
Gear407 km/h

The only protection on this aircraft is a 8 mm steel plate right in front of the pilot; although it is practically useless against autocannons, it may sometimes save you from head-on .50 cal strafes. Another bad news is that the tanks are not self-sealing, so there is very high chance that players will not survive if set afire, unless at very low fuel - in which case they will no longer have enough fuel for an escape.

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB3 195 → 4 316 Sl icon.png
RB9 366 → 12 653 Sl icon.png
SB10 077 → 13 614 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications170 000 Rp icon.png
263 000 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost2 600 Ge icon.png
Crew training150 000 Sl icon.png
Experts520 000 Sl icon.png
Aces2 400 Ge icon.png
Research Aces950 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
130 / 380 / 600 % Sl icon.png
220 / 220 / 220 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods jet compressor.png
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods booster.png
New boosters
13 000 Rp icon.png
20 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods jet engine.png
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
18 000 Rp icon.png
28 000 Sl icon.png
570 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
13 000 Rp icon.png
20 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
18 000 Rp icon.png
28 000 Sl icon.png
570 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
13 000 Rp icon.png
20 000 Sl icon.png
410 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods weapon.png
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods air to air missile.png
11 000 Rp icon.png
17 000 Sl icon.png
350 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon block rocket.png
18 000 Rp icon.png
28 000 Sl icon.png
570 Ge icon.png


Ballistic Computer
CCIP (Guns) CCIP (Rockets) CCIP (Bombs) CCRP (Bombs) Lead indicator
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Offensive armament

The F4D-1 is armed with:

  • 4 x 20 mm Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 0 cannons, wing-mounted (65 rpg = 260 total)

Suspended armament

The F4D-1 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

1 2 3 4 5 6
Hardpoints F4D-1.png
FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets 7, 19 7, 19 7, 19 7, 19 7, 19 7, 19
AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles 1 1 1 1
Default weapon presets
  • Without load
  • 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
  • 4 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
  • 42 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
  • 114 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets

Usage in battles

Players who fly the A-4 series will feel familiar, since Douglas adopted a similar design of delta wing and autocannon on the F4D-1. Other traits are very similar as well, particularly the manoeuvrability and ballistics. While it has 2 pairs of guns on its wings, a concentrated burst on an enemy will certainly be their demise. Its overall high manoeuvrability and angle of attack (AoA) also helps to gain a slightly longer window to take out enemy aircraft, so long as you stay aware of your speed and keep turns below 950km/h, as this plane does lock up vertically in speeds greater than about 950 km/h. Beware of being stalled by manoeuvres: although the F4D can gain its speed back relatively quickly, this can leave enough window for enemies to lay their guns on your plane. So either be quick with taking down your target or evacuate from the battlefield for another attack run. Fuel is limited to 25 minutes, which goes fast when on full afterburner, so keep an eye on it.

In air-to-air engagements, the Skyray will, at most speeds, perform exactly as you'd expect. As a delta-wing, it can pull very hard, at the cost of a significant amount of energy. However, above about 900km/h, the elevators begin to lock up, and the Skyray compresses significantly. However, there is an unusual positive to the compression at high speeds: Above Mach 0.8, the Skyray will begin to maintain its energy, even without full afterburner, extremely well. It is at this point at which the Skyray begins to perform like a subsonic F-104, which can be used to your advantage when attempting to evade technically superior aircraft such as the MiG-19 and MiG-21, on the condition your energy state upon being engaged is higher.

If ground pounding is your objective, chances are players will find the FFARs useless against ground targets in ground RB and even in air RB due to its explosive content; the task is made slightly easier with the ballistic computer, but do not expect a solid kill aside from light vehicles.

In addition, while the rocket pods may not be particularly effective for ground pounding, they can help to defend against missiles which the player would otherwise have difficulty dodging, as most IR Missiles in this BR range are extremely susceptible to countermeasures, or in this case, Mighty Mouse rockets. As such, if a missile is launched in the player's direction while he is low on energy, the rockets can often make the difference between not having to pay the 20,000 SL repair cost, and being sent back to the hangar in a massive fireball.

Pros and cons


  • High speed and acceleration for a transonic jet
  • High AoA thanks to its delta wing, can dogfight if needed
  • Access to a relatively long-range radar
  • Access to four AIM-9B missiles
  • Four devastating 20 mm autocannons which can be bound to fire separately
  • Can carry 114 x FFAR rockets for Ground RB, or a mix of AIM-9Bs & FFAR rockets for Air RB
  • High speed compression can work in your favor, as the Skyray's energy retention improves significantly above Mach 0.8


  • Relatively low velocity and low ammo count for the cannon
  • Large target
  • Bleeds speed severely after manoeuvres
  • Elevator locks up above roughly 950 km/h
  • Rather average 25-minute maximum fuel load, goes quickly when on full afterburner
  • Only rockets as alternative ground-attacking weapon, and they are somewhat underpowered
  • Bad rear visibility from the cockpit
  • Wing rips are common while doing basic turns at high speeds, removal of the "New Boosters" modification may mitigate this to a degree.


The program for F4D Skyray traces back to a German aerodynamic engineer, Alexander Martin Lippisch. As one of the pioneers of rocket-powered aircraft (the designer of the Me 163) and supersonic designs, he had also been interested in many other new aspects of aerodynamics, including tailless aircraft, and one design stood out - delta wings. As part of the efforts to gain the upper hand against the Soviet Union before the end of the European Theatre of WWII, Lippisch and his designs were among part of Operation Paperclip to bring German engineers to the US.

As the tension between the two great powers rose and the creation of high-speed jet bombers such as the Soviet Tu-16 Badger, the need for a jet that could climb as fast as possible arose as well. The USN wanted a new jet interceptor that could climb to around 15 km/50k ft within 5 minutes of combat alarm while putting Lippisch's (working for Convair by this period) design into good use. Ed Heineman (also the designer of the A-4 Skyhawk) of Douglas Aircraft Company adapted the designes for use and the prototype XF4D was built by 1951 and flew into the skies on 23 January 1951. The prototypes used Allison J35-A-17 turbojet engines, then changed to a Westinghouse J40-WE-8 with afterburner. As the tests went on, the record of top speed at sea-level was broken on 3 October 1953 by Lt. Cmd. James B. Verdin, and this also earned Ed a Collier Trophy from NAA. After its 5 years of test flights and evaluation, the USN became the first user of the F4D and stationed them at San Diego as part of the NORAD North America defense network against possible assaults; USMC and NACA (later NASA) used it as well.

As the demand for a multi-role jet rose, the F4D (by the time F-6 under the new Tri-service designation) was soon withdrawn from use as a dedicated interceptor in 1964, replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.



See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Douglas Aircraft Company
Strike Aircraft  A-20G-25 · A-26B-10 · A-26B-50 · AD-2 · AD-4 · A-1H
Bombers  TBD-1 · B-18A · SBD-3 · BTD-1 · A-26C-45 · A-26C-45DT
Turboprops  A2D-1
Jet Aircraft  F3D-1 · F4D-1
A-4 Skyhawk  A-4B · A-4E Early
Export  ▄Havoc Mk I · ▄Boston Mk I · ▄DB-7 · ▂A-20G-30 · ▄AD-4 · ▄AD-4NA
A-4 Skyhawk  A-4H · A-4E Early (M) · Ayit · A-4E
  The Douglas Aircraft Company merged with McDonnell Aircraft Corporation in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.

USA jet aircraft
F-4  F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II
F-5  F-5A · F-5C · F-5E · F-20A
F-8  F8U-2 · F-8E
F-80  F-80A-5 · F-80C-10
F-84  F-84B-26 · F-84F · F-84G-21-RE
F-86  F-86A-5 · F-86F-25 · F-86F-2 · F-86F-35
F-89  F-89B · F-89D
F-100  F-100D
F-104  F-104A · F-104C
F-14  F-14A Early · F-14B
F-15  F-15A · F-15C MSIP II
F-16  F-16A · F-16A ADF · F-16C
F9F  F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8
Other  P-59A · F2H-2 · F3D-1 · F3H-2 · F4D-1 · F11F-1
  Strike Aircraft
FJ-4  FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232
A-4  A-4B · A-4E Early
A-6  A-6E TRAM
A-7  A-7D · A-7E · A-7K
AV-8  AV-8A · AV-8C · AV-8B Plus
A-10  A-10A · A-10A Late
B-57  B-57A · B-57B
F-105  F-105D
F-111  F-111A