The XF6U-1 was Chance Vought Aircraft’s first jet-propelled airplane, using what was, at the time, Westinghouse Electric’s first production axial-flow jet engine (J34-WE-22) rated at a 2,800-pound static thrust. The U. S. Navy let the contract for three experimental airplanes, two for flight test evaluation and one for static test, on December 29, 1944. World War II was almost over, Germany had built and flown jet fighter airplanes and the U.S. knew that it must develop jet airplanes. Therefore, contracts were let to Vought, Bell, McDonnell, Republic and North American to design, build and flight-test the country’s first jet-propelled airplane. The engine companies (Westinghouse, General Electric and Pratt & Whitney) were very much involved. Early design and development is a very interesting story as to how different engine/airframe combinations turned out, however, we will only tell the XF6U-1 story here.
Paul Thayer’s Dead Stick Landing