- 1 Description
- 2 General info
- 3 Armaments
- 4 Usage in battles
- 5 History
- 6 Media
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
The F3H-2 Demon is a rank VI American jet fighter with a battle rating of 9.3 (AB/RB/SB). It was introduced in Update "Starfighters".
On first glance the jet may look big and slow (and in many situations it is), but in comparison to the previous American naval aircraft it is an improvement.
You are no longer confined to the slow acceleration, slower turns of the F9F series, but instead are capable of going tip of the spear with full afterburner and charging the enemy, in the event your allies don't have supersonic aircraft. Note that the leading edge slats can be controlled manually by engaged combat flaps (pressing F by default for flaps) which takes your elevator control to a next level at low speeds.
When flying this jet against contemporaries you can really stretch your legs with different tactics, but are the safest in playing as a Close Air Patrol (CAP) aircraft. While you have average ordnance for ground attack, the Demon is much more oriented for using its radar guided missiles for an unparalleled air-to-air advantage.
Important things to remember:
- While you may be able to turn fight a MiG for a short period of time, it's important to employ vertical and hi yo-yo manoeuvres as at low speed your aircraft will feel very brick-like. This can be semi-negated by using the combat flaps to extend your leading edge slats.
- The aircraft is very fuel-hungry when using afterburner which drastically increases flight acceleration and overall performance so it is recommended to bring around 20-30 minutes of fuel.
- On take-off there is a tail strike guard, but the elevator may tap the ground if you're not using a full "stick back" takeoff.
|Characteristics|| Max Speed
(km/h at 0 m - sea level)
| Max altitude
| Turn time
| Rate of climb
| Take-off run|
|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|
|Optimal velocities (km/h)|
|< 810||< 750||< 700||N/A|
|Engine name||Number||Wing loading (full fuel)|
|Allison J71-A-2||1||9,965 kg||299 kg/m2|
|Engine characteristics||Mass with fuel (no weapons load)|| Max Takeoff|
|Weight (each)||Type||17m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||45m fuel||59m fuel|
|2,180 kg||Afterburning axial-flow turbojet||11,296 kg||11,465 kg||12,216 kg||13,341 kg||14,405 kg||18,000 kg|
|Thrust to weight ratio @ 0 m (WEP)|
|Condition||100%||WEP||17m fuel||20m fuel||30m fuel||45m fuel||59m fuel||MTOW|
|Stationary||4,590 kgf||6,334 kgf||0.56||0.55||0.52||0.47||0.44||0.35|
|Optimal|| 4,774 kgf
| 8,169 kgf
Survivability and armour
- No armour protection
- Large aircraft compared to Sabres and MiGs
- The engine is quite large resulting in grazing bullets probably hitting your engine
- The wings are more than capable of taking high G forces so there is no need to worry about high speed turns
- Fuel tanks are located throughout the belly and shoulders of the wings so there is the chance of fires being started
Modifications and economy
The F3H-2 is armed with:
- 4 x 20 mm Browning-Colt Mk12 Mod 3 cannons, chin-mounted (190 rpg = 760 total).
These guns have good muzzle velocity, good rate of fire and deal decent damage. Combined with their large ammo pool, they are effective offensive armament. The only real downside is the very poor accuracy without the "New 20 mm cannons" modification, making longer range shots problematic despite the good velocity.
The F3H-2 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:
- Without load
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
- 6 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (1,500 lb total)
- 6 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs (3,000 lb total)
- 6 x 250 lb LDGP Mk 81 bombs (1,500 lb total)
- 4 x 500 lb LDGP Mk 82 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 2 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 2 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs + 6 x 250 lb AN-M57 bombs (3,500 lb total)
- 2 x 2,000 lb LDGP Mk 84 bombs (4,000 lb total)
- 1 x 3,000 lb M118 bomb (3,000 lb total)
- 56 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 114 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 4 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 2 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 1 x 3,000 lb M118 bomb (3,000 lb total)
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 42 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles + 76 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 4 x AIM-7C Sparrow missiles
- 2 x AIM-7C Sparrow missiles + 2 x AIM-9B Sidewinder missiles
- 2 x AIM-7C Sparrow missiles + 2 x 1,000 lb LDGP Mk 83 bombs (2,000 lb total)
- 2 x AIM-7C Sparrow missiles + 1 x 3,000 lb M118 bomb (3,000 lb total)
- 2 x AIM-7C Sparrow missiles + 42 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
- 2 x AIM-7C Sparrow missiles + 76 x FFAR Mighty Mouse rockets
Usage in battles
Unfortunately for the F3H-2, its BR means that almost every battle will be an uphill battle: nearly every aircraft at this BR has either superior armament (better/more AA missiles, better/more cannons), or vastly superior performance (nearly all being supersonic, and the majority of non-supersonic aircraft being highly manoeuvrable VTOL jets), or radar warning receivers that nullify any surprise to using the Sparrow missiles, or most significantly, countermeasures. Quite often, opponents will have four of those advantages at once, meaning that F3H-2 pilots will have to resort to catching enemies off guard (a rarity due to the prevalence of radar and RWR systems at this BR) or get lucky in the classic head-on with your cannons. You can attempt to play as a CAS aircraft and hope you aren't shot down, but this can yield varying results due to its mediocre ground armament. If you choose to not outright purchase the AIM-7s with Golden Eagles, this should be the modification you focus on obtaining the moment you acquire the aircraft. In the event you find yourself on the defensive in a dogfight, the most you can do is slow down and constantly manoeuvre on the deck, hoping to get them in front of you and to help defeat AAMs. Note that this strategy is almost always suicide against VTOL aircraft like the Yak-38 or Harrier variants (as they will easily out manoevre you if they haven't already fired their AAMs).
To truly use this aircraft's potential you must be lucky enough to be downtiered in an Air Realistic battle where one has the AIM-7C unlocked. Here it is recommended to start a match with a fuel load of 20 minutes, gaining speed of around 950 km/h, and putting the plane at a 15 to 20 degree climb. The amount of climb is entirely dependent on the pilots playstyle, as more aggressive players will enjoy a lower altitude. AIM-7C sparrows are best used at the beginning of the battle, on enemies that are climbing. As most planes around this BR do not have Radar Warning Receivers, if the target did not notice the Sparrow launch, it's likely to get hit by it. If it did notice the missile, it won't have a very hard time dodging it, as the AIM-7C has a considerably weaker performance compared to the AIM-7D/E (worse seeker angles, much weaker rocket engine combined with the slower speed of the F3H-2 leading to much shorter range, worse proximity fuse etc.). Since the F3H has a high manoeuvrability, it is recommended to go after lower-ranked vehicles, like the F-86A, MiG-15, and the Hunter F.1. If the F3H gets into a uncomfortable situation against these planes, it can simply dive away to avoid getting caught. Getting used to the four 20 mm cannons will also assist, as their damage is high, allowing for swift attacks in intercepting manoeuvres.
In the event of a downtier without the AIM-7C, the aircraft will play quite similar to the F9F-8, but with much better performance.
In ground battles, it can enjoy some leeway against defenseless helicopters. However, straying too close to the battlefield puts you at risk of the quite capable SAM/AAA systems at this BR, especially if one is uptiered where radar guided SAMs become a common issue. Although if you're lucky enough to have arrived at a battlefield with no deployed AA, the 3,000 lb bomb or large amount of FFARs can be useful in the AT role. Overall, the issues described in the above paragraphs make the F3H-2 a poor choice to bring in as a CAS aircraft (with much better options being available from both: previous BRs and its BR).
The F3H-2 is equipped with an AN/APQ-51 search and tracking radar. The radar is mounted in the nose of the aircraft and can be used to guide the AIM-7C.
|AN/APQ-51 - Target Detection Radar|
| 370,000 m
|AN/APQ-51 - Target Tracking Radar|
|92,500 m||200 m||±58.0°||±58.0°|
Pros and cons
- Can carry maximum of four radar guided AIM-7C missiles, quite the advantage when downtiered to face aircraft with no RWR
- Wide variety of payloads for versatile playstyle
- Can equip both Sidewinders and Sparrows for variety in attacking enemy aircraft
- Can equip both a pair of missiles or ground attack ordnance for dual-purpose role
- Very good manoeuvrability compared to contemporary aircraft
- Good cockpit visibility and radar position
- Lack of both ballistic computer and guided air-to-ground weaponry make it a highly questionable CAS option despite having a wide variety of payload options
- AIM-7C missiles are unreliable
- Sluggish acceleration
- Loses loads of speed when manoeuvring
- Rarely reaches its top speed
- Is a relatively large target
- Is vastly outclassed in armament and performance by nearly all other aircraft at its BR, even more so when uptiered
- Has no countermeasures (no Flares/chaff or RWR)
- Is subsonic while it commonly faces supersonic aircraft
The McDonnell F3H Demon was the product of a new swept-wing naval fighter to compete with the F4D Skyray. The aircraft was McDonell's first swept-wing fighter, and also one of the first American fighters to be armed with air-to-air missiles. Originally intended to fight MiG-15s over the Korean peninsula, the aircraft entered service too late to participate in that conflict but went on to become an important carrier-based fighter aircraft, serving until 1964. Along with the F11F Tiger and F8U Crusader, the aircraft was eventually replaced by the F-4 Phantom II - itself being an enlarged evolution of the Demon.Design and development
The F3H Demon was a new swept-wing aircraft design built around the Westinghouse J40 engine, competing with the F4D Skyray. At that time, the Navy desperately needed a naval fighter to engage the swept-wing MiG-15s commonly encountered over the skies of Korea. As a result, the F3H-1N aircraft were ordered even before the test flight of the XF3H prototype. However, by that time, the Korean war was drawing to a close, meaning the aircraft would not see combat in the Korean theatre.
The aircraft was centred around the Westinghouse J40, an ambitious engine design intended to produce 50 kN of thrust. However, the engine was a failure, only producing half its required thrust. Even worse, the engine was unreliable and resulted in loss of eleven aircraft and four pilots out of the 35 F3H-1N aircraft. As a result the remaining 24 F3H-1N aircraft were permanently grounded, leading to a major fiasco. The J40 engine was cancelled in late 1955.
At that point, the aircraft required a new engine. It was subsequently redesigned around the Allison J71, a more powerful engine producing 64 kN of thrust with afterburner. This engine dramatically improved the aircraft's flying characteristics, though problems were still encountered with engine reliability and ejection seats. At this point, the redesigned aircraft became the F3H-2.
Despite the remaining issues with the aircraft's airframe, the Navy ordered a total of 239 F3H-2 Demons. These aircraft began entering service in March 1956, and additional Demons were delivered until the end of production in late 1959. By that point, a total of 519 aircraft of various variants had been built. The aircraft gained praise from pilots for being a reliable aircraft, and relatively easy to take-off and land from carrier decks. The aircraft was also the first naval fighter to be fitted with a radar, giving it some night-fighter capabilities. The aircraft was capable of carrying the AIM-9B Sidewinder, and later F3H-2M variants introduced the first AIM-7 Sparrows.
Despite the aircraft's strong capabilities, it was still limited by fundamental issues with the aircraft's performance. The J71, though powerful, did not give the aircraft sufficient performance. As a result, the plane was limited to subsonic speeds, and had inferior acceleration to many of its Air Force counterparts. Despite that, the aircraft still served as the primary carrier-based fighter on American aircraft carriers, complemented by the F11F and F8U daylight dogfighters. During service, the aircraft was frequently nicknamed "The Chair" due to its excellent cockpit visibility, as well as "Lead sled" due to its lacking engine power. Pilots of the F3H were called "Demon Drivers" while ground personnel were nicknamed "Demon Doctors".
The F3H Demon started to get replaced by the larger and faster F4H (F-4) Phantom II beginning from 1961. The Phantom itself began as an advanced development of the Demon, known as the "Super Demon". The larger and faster Phantom went on to enjoy a long and distinguished service life serving with the air forces of many countries. The last Demon squadron, VF-161 "Chargers", flew their Demons until late 1964 when they traded them for the newer Phantom. Though the aircraft saw some action over the skies of the South China Sea, the aircraft never engaged in actual combat. Three F3H airframes remain intact today, held at various museums.
Development of the F3H began in 1949, with the McDonnell Aircraft Corporation starting work on developing a successor to their F2H Banshee. Although the initial design work was heavily based on the Banshee, the final design of the F3H would depart from its predecessor by most notably offering a single engine configuration and introducing a swept-wing design - a first for McDonnell.
With the outbreak of the Korean War in the early 1950s and the Navy's first encounters with the Soviet MiG-15, the Navy found itself realizing that they lacked an aircraft which could match the MiG's performance. As a result, the F3H was hastily ordered into production before even the first test flights were held. In fact, the F3H would undertake its maiden flight in August 1951, but it would take several more years until the aircraft was fit for service, by which time the Korean War had already ended.
The F3H Demon entered service with the USN in March 1956, by which time it had already gained an unfavorable reputation, mainly due to issues concerning its underpowered and unreliable Westinghouse J40 turbojet engine. As a result, the aircraft had to be redesigned in order to accept a more reliable alternative - namely, the Allison J71.
Due to its various problems, the F3H had a relatively short service life with the USN, being decommissioned by 1964 and succeeded by the much more successful F-4 Phantom II. Despite this, well over 500 units of the F3H Demon were built, taking part in some conflicts during the late '50s, such as the Lebanon Crisis in 1958. In addition, it was one of the first U.S. aircraft to be fitted with missile armament.
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.
|McDonnell Aircraft Corporation|
|Jet Fighters||F2H-2 · F3H-2|
|F-4C Phantom II · F-4E Phantom II · F-4J Phantom II · F-4S Phantom II|
|Aircraft||◄F-4F Early · ◄F-4F · Phantom FG.1 · Phantom FGR.2 · F-4J(UK) Phantom II · F-4EJ Phantom II · F-4EJ ADTW · Kurnass · Kurnass 2000|
|Helicopters||AH-6M · Lahatut|
|The McDonnell Aircraft Corporation merged with Douglas Aircraft Company in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas.|
|See Also||Mitsubishi Heavy Industries|
|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-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-104||F-104A · F-104C|
|F-14||F-14A Early · F-14B|
|F-16||F-16A · F-16A ADF · F-16C|
|F9F||F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8|
|FJ-4||FJ-4B · FJ-4B VMF-232|
|Other||P-59A · F2H-2 · F3D-1 · F3H-2 · F4D-1 · F11F-1 · F-100D|
|A-4||A-4B · A-4E Early|
|A-7||A-7D · A-7E · A-7K|
|AV-8||AV-8A · AV-8C|
|A-10||A-10A · A-10A Late|
|B-57||B-57A · B-57B|