The F2H-3/4 Banshee ("Big Banjo") was a direct outgrowth of the F2H-1 and F2H-2 series of Korean war fighter and recon jets (see Naval Fighters #73 Early Banshees). It became the US Navy's first single seat all-weather carrier interceptor. To satisfy its mission the F2H-3/4 was required to have a significant increase in range. To accomplish this the internal fuel capacity was more than doubled by stretching the fuselage by 8 feet 1.6 inches. This gave the F2H-3/4 a combat range with tip tanks of 1,490 nautical miles. In addition to the fuselage extension, the tail surfaces of the F2H-3/4 were also redesigned. The horizontal tail was moved down to the rear of the fuselage tail cone and given a 10 degree dihedral. To accommodate the enlarged radar unit the four nose-mounted cannons were moved aft along the lower fuselage sides. The difference in the F2H-3 and F2H-4 was in the radar. The F2H-3 used the Westinghouse APQ-41 with a 28" dish and the F2H-4 was equipped with the Hughes APG-37 radar. The F2H-4 further differs from the -3 by having up-rated J34-WE-38 engines. The larger engines allowed for a service ceiling of 56,000 ft. The aircraft also had increased wing stations and was capable of carrying Sidewinder air-to-air missiles. The aircraft were active with the Navy and Marines from 1952 through 1959. It was operated by 31 active Navy and Marine squadrons which histories appear in the book along with squadron insignia. The book also includes a chapter on Royal Canadian F2H-3s.
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