Aviation of World War II

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XF5F-1 ✪ Skyrocket
Deck fighter

XF5F-1 Skyrocket

In 1938, biplanes dominated the American navy, and the concept of using an aircraft to destroy enemy "floating airfields" had not yet been developed, monoplane fighters had just begun to appear on the decks of aircraft carriers.

In these conditions, the twin-engine "Skyrocket" appeared - a heavenly rocket, in apt expression similar to a bulldog, clinging to a huge bone. The similarity of the design with such a plot gave the aircraft the absence of a "nose", which was temporarily not designed in order to save weight and simply in the absence of the need for a weapon compartment on an experimental aircraft.

The workload of Grumman on its main project - a fighter - monoplane from the "cat" series delayed the construction of the aircraft, and the Skyrocket set off for its maiden flight only on April 1, 1940, a very symbolic date for such an unusual, original aircraft.

The aircraft's high power-to-weight ratio and excellent acceleration characteristics inspired optimism, however, controllability problems delayed the refinement of the aircraft, the modernization was completed only by January 1942. By this time, the Navy had lost interest in the aircraft, and the great gluttony of the two engines and the short range put an end to its further use in NAVY.

By design, the carrier-based experimental fighter "Skyrocket" was an all-metal single-seat twin-engine low-wing aircraft with spaced vertical tail.

The fuselage is a semi-monocoque with a load-bearing skin. In its bow there was already an armament compartment, behind it was the cockpit with powerful armor protection, behind the armored back of the cockpit there was an automatic radio compass and a radio station. Under the tail boom there was a hydraulically deflected landing hook - "hook".

Wing - two-spar, with load-bearing skin, all-metal with folding consoles. When the aircraft was launched into series, it was envisaged to install sealed tanks and a system for filling them with neutral gas. Moreover, such a system did not require the creation of a gas generator and used an inert gas taken from the engine.

Tail unit. Horizontal tail - single-spar, with a reinforced toe and a small positive V. Elevators - with duralumin sheathing. Vertical tail - two hexagonal irregular washers. Rudders - with a metal frame and linen sheathing.

The chassis is a strut-braced system with a fixed tail wheel. The main struts were retracted into the engine nacelles by turning back by means of a hydraulic drive.

Power plant - two nine-cylinder single-row radial piston engines "Wright" XR 1820-40 (left) and XR 1820-42 (right), respectively, left and right rotation, with a capacity of 1200 hp. from. with three-blade propellers "Hamilton Standard".

No weapons were installed on the prototype.

XF5F-1 Specification
Crew 1
Wing span, m 12,80
Wing area, m² 28,19
Length, m 8,75
Height, m 3,45
2×PE Wright Cyclone XR-1820-40/42, power h.p. 2 х 1200
Weight, kg:
Empty 3,677
Loaded weight 4,598
Maximum speed, km/h 616
Cruising speed, km/h 337
Service ceiling, m 10,100
Service range, km 1,930
Two 23 mm Madsen cannons  


  • Encyclopedia of Military Equipment / Aerospace Publising /
  • Rarities of American aviation / Ivan Kudishin /
  • American military aircraft of the Second World War / ed. David Donald /

Photo Description
Drawing XF5F-1 Skyrocket Drawing XF5F-1 Skyrocket
XF5F-1 Skyrocket with folded wings XF5F-1 Skyrocket with folded wings. Additional rods are installed to secure the consoles.
XF5F-1 Skyrocket XF5F-1 Skyrocket.
XF5F-1 Skyrocket on ground maintenance XF5F-1 Skyrocket on ground maintenance..
XF5F-1 Skyrocket in flight XF5F-1 Skyrocket in flight..
XF5F-1 Skyrocket with enlarged nose XF5F-1 Skyrocket with enlarged nose..