Phantom: A Legend in Its Own Time

Francis K. Mason - Phantom: A Legend in Its Own Time
Patrick Stephens Ltd. | 1984 | ISBN: 0850595808, 0850595800 | English | 190 pages | PDF | 28.57 MB

In service with America's armed forces, accustomed to enjoying the fruits of world technological leadership, the McDonnell Phantom II fighter represented-for all its extraordinary angularity-an astonishing masterpiece of design ingenuity and commercial persistence. It moreover reversed the time-honoured, but hitherto apparently irreversible convention whereby naval air forces had had to rest content with deck-landing adaptations of aircraft primarily evolved for shore-based operation.
Designing the aircraft from the outset for shipboard use by the United States Navy, and beaten in early competitive evaluation by design tenders from elsewhere, the manu­facturers persevered in the belief that they in fact possessed a potential world-beater, and succeeded in producing not only by far the most potent naval fighter in the world but one whose performance and punch came near to eclipsing the most sanguine future tactical requirements of the land-based United States Air Force.
That this phenomenon should occur during a period of relative peace in international affairs was also to some extent fortuitous, as previous experience had tended to support the theory that the greatest technological strides (and therefore those with least rrstraint placed upon them) came only to fruition during a state of war, or with the threat of such, and it enabled the United States Air Force to acquire a superlative and operationally flexible combat aeroplane in large numbers, at minimum realistic cost, in time to contribute a vital role in America's traumatic involvement in the Vietnam conflict.
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