Thursday, July 18, 2013

THE WRONG STUFF

This was happily found at The Lexicans. Late in the last millennium I lingered a long time in the bookstore in Coronado reading a book I found there. That was because I opened the book to a random page and read this, “The Cutlass could be made into a pretty good flying machine with a few modifications,” wrote F7U-3 pilot John Moore in The Wrong Stuff, about his Navy flying days. “Like a conventional tail, tripling the thrust, cutting the nosewheel strut in half, completely redoing the flight control system, and getting someone else to fly it.”

In July 1955 an F7U-3 hit the deck, broke apart, and slammed over the side of the Hancock. (National Naval Aviation Museum)
  It was a better navy back then. After a horrific crash on USS HANCOCK, the Captain of the ship dumped all the Cutlasses on a pier and left them behind while cruising the west Pacific. The CO of USS Ticonderoga did the same thing two months later in the Mediterranean with his bunch of Cutlass aircraft and personnel. If you read the article which is well worth the 5 minutes, one of the things you learn is that this plane was the deadliest plane ever flown by fixed wing naval aviators. Fully a quarter of them crashed.

The ship pictured in the masthead here was launched in 1952 and commissioned in 1955.

Food for thought. At the same time the Navy was fielding these things it was sending the first nuclear propelled ships to sea. Gives you a warm fuzzy doesn't it?

2 comments:

  1. But my plastic Revelle model of the Cutlass sure looked cool, lol.

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  2. I read that Smithsonian Air and Space article and it made me wonder why I ever cancelled my subscription.

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