Aircraft / Aviation Vehicles & Artillery Small Arms Warships & Submarines Military Ranks Military Pay Chart (2024)
Aviation / Aerospace

McDonnell Model 60

Carrier-based Fleet Defense Fighter / Interceptor Proposal [ 1948 ]

The Model 60 was another McDonnell interceptor design attempt geared towards the United States Navy after the close of World War 2.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/09/2019 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

Before the close of World War 2 (1939-1945), and in the period immediately following, the United States Navy (USN) raced to field its first jet-powered, carrier-launched fighters. Many developments existed and even more proposals were witnessed during this chapter of American aviation history that were to lead the service to acquire a whole new generation of fighter types heading into the next decade. A May 1948 requirement called for a new carrier-based, short-ranged single-seat turbojet-powered fleet defender / interceptor and, while the service eventually selected two different designs for the role - the Douglas F4D Skyray and the McDonnell F3H Demon, there lay several other submissions of note including the McDonnell "Model 60".

As an interceptor, the design required excellent take-off and climbing capabilities to meet a given inbound threat in short order. Additionally, a dimensionally compact design was needed to keep the aircraft both lightweight and relatively small for storage and operation aboard space-strapped American carriers. McDonnell introduced two designs, the Model 59 and the Model 60, the former utilizing a more conventional swept-wing arrangement, very pointed nose cone assembly and traditional tail unit with single rudder fin. The Model 60, however, settled on a twin rudder approach with full delta wing configuration. The mainplanes ran against the sides of the cylindrical fuselage which sat the pilot at the front in the usual way, aft of a shallow nosecone assembly. A tricycle undercarriage would be used and excellent vision out-of-the-cockpit provided for by a largely unobstructed "teardrop-style" canopy.

The selection of a delta wing allowed for more internal volume in the wings to be had. This meant that the main undercarriage legs could share space with additional fuel stores and possible armament while freeing volume from within the fuselage proper. A blended wing-body was not used however which would have benefitted the design even more. Besides the more obvious benefits of the delta wing championed by McDonnell engineers, another selling point of the approach was in improved handling characteristics and diving speeds. The rudder fins were set along the midway mark of each wing's trailing edge.

The Model 60 borrowed some of the Model 58's design features - a sole Westinghouse XJ40-WE-8 turbojet engine would be used and this aspirated by an intake arrangement which contoured nicely about the rounded fuselage sides at the cockpit walls. The engine was to exhaust through a single, large port between the twin rudder fins so no wing surfaces would be exposed to jet wash. The same armament scheme seen in the Model 59 was also employed in the Model 60 and consisted of 24 x aerial rockets fitted into a retractable, ventrally-mounted launcher unit.

It was estimated that the Model 60 could reach near-supersonic speeds during level flight and would most certainly be able to attain Mach 1.0+ speeds in a dive. The rocket armament gave it a healthy frontal "punch" against any incoming enemy target - particularly large Soviet bombers. As drawn up, the Model 60 was given a length of 45 feet and a wingspan of 30.3 feet. As a carrier aircraft it would also have been completed with the usual carrier-qualities such as reinforced undercarriage, tail arrestor hook and folding wings (the wings were set to fold outboard of each vertical tailplane). Maximum speed was estimated to be 762 miles per hour with a rate-of-climb nearing 30,450 feet per minute.

At any rate the Model 60 was not selected for development and the design ended its days as nothing more than a "paper airplane". The USN certainly found its fighters in due time and went on to field some of the more classic of the Cold War carrier-based aircraft to see the light of day. McDonnell continued to design and sell the service on various aircraft for the remainder of its operating days - including the fabulous F-4 "Phantom II" multirole platform which turned into a global success.©MilitaryFactory.com
Note: The above text is EXCLUSIVE to the site www.MilitaryFactory.com. It is the product of many hours of research and work made possible with the help of contributors, veterans, insiders, and topic specialists. If you happen upon this text anywhere else on the internet or in print, please let us know at MilitaryFactory AT gmail DOT com so that we may take appropriate action against the offender / offending site and continue to protect this original work.


Service Year

United States national flag graphic
United States

Development Ended.


McDonnell Aircraft - United States
(View other Aviaton-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of the United States United States
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Air-to-Air Combat, Fighter
General ability to actively engage other aircraft of similar form and function, typically through guns, missiles, and/or aerial rockets.
Ability to intercept inbound aerial threats by way of high-performance, typically speed and rate-of-climb.
Maritime / Navy
Land-based or shipborne capability for operating over-water in various maritime-related roles while supported by allied naval surface elements.
X-Plane (Developmental, Prototype, Technology Demonstrator)
Aircraft developed for the role of prototyping, technology demonstration, or research / data collection.

44.9 ft
(13.70 m)
30.3 ft
(9.25 m)
14.6 ft
(4.45 m)
Empty Wgt
14,330 lb
(6,500 kg)
17,185 lb
(7,795 kg)
Wgt Diff
+2,855 lb
(+1,295 kg)
(Showcased structural values pertain to the base McDonnell Model 60 production variant)
Installed: 1 x Westinghouse XJ40-WE-8 turbojet engine developing 7,500lb of thrust (estimated).
Max Speed
761 mph
(1,225 kph | 661 kts)
50,000 ft
(15,240 m | 9 mi)
1,087 mi
(1,750 km | 3,241 nm)
30,450 ft/min
(9,281 m/min)

♦ MACH Regime (Sonic)
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030

(Showcased performance specifications pertain to the base McDonnell Model 60 production variant. Performance specifications showcased above are subject to environmental factors as well as aircraft configuration. Estimates are made when Real Data not available. Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database or View aircraft by powerplant type)
24 x Aerial rockets held in a retractable ventral bay.

Supported Types

Graphical image of aircraft aerial rockets

(Not all ordnance types may be represented in the showcase above)
Hardpoint Mountings: 0

Model 60 - Base Company Product Designation

Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Ukranian-Russian War
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft

Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods.

Images Gallery

1 / 1
Image of the McDonnell Model 60
Image copyright www.MilitaryFactory.com; No Reproduction Permitted.

Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Cookies

2024 Military Pay Chart Military Ranks DoD Dictionary Conversion Calculators Military Alphabet Code Military Map Symbols

The "Military Factory" name and MilitaryFactory.com logo are registered ® U.S. trademarks protected by all applicable domestic and international intellectual property laws. All written content, illustrations, and photography are unique to this website (unless where indicated) and not for reuse/reproduction in any form. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value only and should not to be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation. We do not sell any of the items showcased on this site. Please direct all other inquiries to militaryfactory AT gmail.com. No A.I. was used in the generation of this content; site is 100% curated by humans.

Part of a network of sites that includes GlobalFirepower, a data-driven property used in ranking the top military powers of the world, WDMMA.org (World Directory of Modern Military Aircraft), WDMMW.org (World Directory of Modern Military Warships), SR71blackbird.org, detailing the history of the world's most iconic spyplane, and MilitaryRibbons.info, cataloguing military medals and ribbons. Special Interest: RailRoad Junction, the locomotive encyclopedia.

©2023 www.MilitaryFactory.com • All Rights Reserved • Content ©2003-2023 (20yrs)