Ryan XF2R Dark Shark
The Ryan XF2R Dark Shark was an experimental aircraft built for the United States Navy that combined turboprop and turbojet propulsion. It was based on Ryan Aeronautical's earlier FR Fireball, but replaced the Fireball's piston engine with a General Electric T31 turboprop engine driving a 4-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller.
|XF2R Dark Shark|
|First flight||November 1946|
|Number built||1 prototype|
|Developed from||Ryan FR Fireball|
The turboprop made for much improved performance over the Fireball, but the Navy showed little interest in it; by that time, they had abandoned the idea of the combination fighter and were instead looking into all-jet fighters.
The United States Air Force, however, showed a little more interest; they were at the time evaluating the Convair XP-81 of similar concept, and asked Ryan to modify the XF2R to use the Westinghouse J34 turbojet instead of the General Electric J31 used previously. Modifications to the prototype created the XF2R-2, with the jet intakes moved to the sides of the forward fuselage with NACA ducts instead of the inlets in the wing leading edge used before.
Although the Dark Shark proved to be a capable aircraft, it never got further than the prototype stage; all-jet aircraft were considered superior.
Data from The Complete Book of Fighters
- Crew: 1
- Length: 36 ft 0 in (10.97 m)
- Wingspan: 42 ft 0 in (12.80 m)
- Height: 14 ft 0 in (4.27 m)
- Wing area: 305 ft² (28.3 m²)
- Loaded weight: 11,000 lb (4,990 kg)
- Maximum speed: 497 mph (432 kn, 800 km/h) (at sea level)
- Service ceiling: 39,100 ft (11,900 m)
- Rate of climb: 4,850 ft/min (24.64 m/s)
- Wing loading: 36.1 lb/ft² (176 kg/m²)
- 4 × .50-inch (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era
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- "Navy Tests Its Hotter Fireball" , March 1947, Popular Science article mid-page 24