Douglas F4D-1 Skyray

German research recovered at the end of WWII prompted U.S. Navy interest in delta-wing configurations for a new carrier borne interceptor. Douglas was awarded a contract in 1948 to develop a plane featuring this configuration, and in 1951 the first prototype was tested. Problems with engine reliability delayed the second prototype until 1953. This jet, however, set a new world speed record of 753 mph. The plane went into large-scale production in 1954, with the first units being delivered in mid-1956. Although the Skyray never saw combat, it remained in front line service until the late 1960s. The plane received the revised designation F-6A in 1962.

The plane has a crew of one. It is armed with four 20mm cannons in the wings, and can carry 4,000 lbs. of disposable ordnance on six underwing hardpoints. Typical underwing stores included two 300-gallon drop tanks and four 2.75" rocket pods (each containing 7-19 70mm rockets) or four Sidewinder missiles. The Skyray burns 653 gallons per hour of routine usage. It had a historical range of 1,200 miles.


Subassemblies: Body +3, Wings +3, 3 retractable small Wheels +0.

Powertrain: 14,500-lb. thrust Turbojet with Afterburner, 2,000-kWs lead acid battery.

Fuel: 640 gallons jet fuel (Fire 13) in standard self-sealing fuel tank (Fire -1).

Occupancy: 1 NCS.

Cargo: 0.


Armor F RL B T U

All: 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15 3/15

Pilot: 0/+10 0/+10 0/+10 0/+0 0/+10



4x20mm Cannons [Wings:F] (65 rounds each).*
4xAIM-9C Sidewinder [Wings:U].




Body: Medium range radio, navigation instruments, IFF, autopilot, arrestor hook, ejection seat, 1-man environmental control, armored crew station. Wings: 6 hardpoints totaling 4,000 lbs.



Size: 46'x34'x13' Payload: 4.49 tons Lwt.: 12.5 tons

Volume: 815 cf. Maint.: 36 hours Price: $316,818


HT: 8. HPs: 340 Body, 418 each Wing, 31 each Wheel.


aSpeed: 722 aAccel: 12 aDecel: 27 gMR: 7 gSR: 3

Stall Speed: 96 mph. Take-Off Run: 85 yards. Landing Run: 230 yards.

gSpeed: 545 gAccel: 27 gDecel: 10 gMR: 0.5 gSR: 2

Ground Pressure Extremely High. No Off-Road speed.


Design Notes:

Body is 232 cf; wheels are 11.6 cf; wings are 487 cf. Wing volume was reverse-calculated from historical wing area. Structure is Medium, Standard with Good Streamlining. Armor is expensive metal. Crew armor is cheap metal, covering 58 sf (the SA of the crew station). Mechanical controls. Design Loaded weight is 23,656 lbs.; this was increased 5% to the actual value. Historical values for wing area and loaded weight were used for performance calculations. Design aSpeed is 645 mph, or 829 mph with afterburner. aAccel is 19 with afterburner. This historical top speed is shown above. -6 mph to aSpeed per loaded hardpoint.



The all-weather F4D-2N was proposed in 1953, but never made it past the prototype stage (and was redesignated the F5D in any event).


From the Aerodrome for GURPS

2008 by Jim Antonicic