Convair XF2Y Sea Dart
Convair was selected to produce a waterplane interceptor, and the result was XF2Y Sea Dart. The company was instructed to investigate the ‘blended hull’ concept, in which the hull rode so low in the water that the wings provided part of the required buoyancy until the aeroplane had accelerated sufficiently to rise onto a planing bottom, while the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (from 1958 the National Aeronautics and Space Administration) investigated the hydro-ski concept. When extended, the hydro-skis lifted the accelerating aeroplane onto the surface of the water, where the skis planed and so allowed the aeroplane to reach take-off speed; and when retracted they formed the lower surface of the fuselage without creating any drag.
The inlets for its two 3400-lb (1542-kg) thrust Westinghouse J34-WF-32 turbojets located in the dorsal position where they would be shielded from spray.
The concept embodied in the Convair Model 2-2 proposal was sufficiently interesting for the US Navy to award a contract for a prototype XF2Y-1 on 19 January 1951, followed by an order for 12 production F2Y-1 fighters on 28 August 1952; to this was added subsequently four YF2Y-1 pre-production aircraft. First flown on 9 April 1953, the prototype offered performance much below expectations and this factor, coupled with serious vibration problems with the hydro-skis, led to the XF2Y-1 and the production F2Y-1s being cancelled. During test runs there was considerable vibration and pounding from the two hydro-skis and these were replaced by a single V--shaped ski. More power was needed than the 1542kg thrust provided by each of the Westinghouse J34-WE-32 turbojets installed in the prototype and the first YF2Y-1. This latter aircraft was re-engined with two J46-WE-2s, the rear fuselage being modified to accommodate the engine afterburners and the same powerplant was installed in the remaining three YF2Y-1s. On 3 August 1954 the YF2Y-1 exceeded a speed of Mach 1 in a shallow dive, the first seaplane to become supersonic, but only two of these aircraft were used in a limited test programme that was terminated finally during 1956.
YF2Y Sea Dart
Engines: 2 x Westinghouse J46-WE-32, 2722kg
Max take-off weight: 7495 kg / 16524 lb
Empty weight: 5739 kg / 12652 lb
Wingspan: 10.26 m / 33 ft 8 in
Length: 16.03 m / 52 ft 7 in
Height: 6.32 m / 20 ft 9 in
Wing area: 52.30 sq.m / 562.95 sq ft
Max. speed: 1118 km/h / 695 mph
Ceiling: 16705 m / 54800 ft
Range: 826 km / 513 miles
Engines: 2 x Westinghouse J46-WE-8 turbojets, 4,800 lb. thrust
Wingspan: 30 ft. 6 in
Length: 41 ft. 2 in
Loaded weight: approx. 22,000 lb.
Armament: 4x20 mm. cannon