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McDonnell F2H Banshee Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft

The F2H Banshee series of straight-wing jet aircraft saw combat action in the Korean War.

 Updated: 6/19/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

The twin-engine, single-seat F2H Banshee was based on the successes that the McDonnell company found with the F1H Phantom series of jet aircraft. Even appearing similar to the aforementioned craft, the F2H Banshee was in fact a more potent platform fitted with more powerful engines and overall increased size.

The F2H was a basic jet design consistent with the time. The low-mounted straight-wing monoplane design housed two wingtip fuel tanks for increased range, though this was almost a requirement of feeding the earlier and hungry turbojet designs. The pilots cockpit was fitted at front, just above and forward of the wing assemblies with the 4 x 20mm cannon armament fixed into the nose. A single rudder with mid-mounted elevators sat at rear. Intakes were mounted at the wing roots and exhaust was jettisoned just a short placing later.

The F2H Banshee was designed to a United States Navy specification to undertake carrier operations like the Phantom before it, though with increased power and size. Once development was completed, the F2H series became only the second jet fighter in US naval service since the end of World War Two. The system went on to see substantial action in the Korean War for all three years of the conflict but would be steadily replaced by the more modern designs coming down the pipe by the end of the war.

In all, over 800 Banshees were produced for the United States Navy, a decent production amount considering the changing technology. Canada received several refurbished units for their navy forces and Banshees continued to serve with the USN up until the 1960's in a more limited role.

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McDonnell F2H-3 Banshee Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1947
Type: Single-Seat, Twin-Engine Jet-Powered Fighter Aircraft
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): McDonnell Aircraft - USA
Production Total: 895

Structural (Crew Space, Dimensions and Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 1
Overall Length: 48.16 feet (14.68 meters)
Overall Width: 41.77 feet (12.73 meters)
Overall Height: 14.50 feet (4.42 meters)

Weight (Empty): 13,184 lb (5,980 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 25,214 lb (11,437 kg)

Installed Power and Standard Day Performance

Propulsion: 2 x Westinghouse J34-WE-30 turbojets developing 3,150lb of thrust each.

Maximum Speed: 580 mph (933 kph; 504 knots)
Maximum Range: 1,170 miles (1,883 km)
Service Ceiling: 46,604 feet (14,205 meters; 8.83 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 9,000 feet-per-minute (2,743 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload

4 x 20mm cannons

2 x Provision for underwing drop bomb racks.

Global Operators / Customers

Canada; United States

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

F2H "Banshee" - Base Series Designation