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XF2R Dark Shark
Role Fighter
Manufacturer Ryan Aeronautical Company
First flight November 1946
Status Cancelled
Number built 1 prototype
Developed from FR Fireball

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's earlier FR Fireball, but replaced the Fireball's piston engine with a General Electric T-31 turboprop engine driving a 4-bladed Hamilton Standard propeller.

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 J-34 turbojet instead of the General Electric J-31 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.

Specifications[edit | edit source]

The XF2R-1 in flight.

Data from The Complete Book of Fighters[1]

General characteristics

  • 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)
  • Powerplant:

Performance

  • 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)

Armament

  • 4 × .50-inch (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns
  • See also[edit | edit source]

    References[edit | edit source]

    Notes[edit | edit source]

    1. Green, W; Swanborough, G (1994). The Complete Book of Fighters. Smithmark Publishers inc. ISBN 0-8317-3939-8. 

    Bibliography[edit | edit source]

    • Ginter, Steve. Ryan FR-1 Fireball and XF2R-1 Darkshark, Naval Fighters Number 28'. Simi Valley, CA: Ginter Books, 1995. ISBN 0-942612-28-0.
    • McDowell, Ernest. FR-1 Fireball, Mini in action number 5. Carrollton, TX: Squadron/Signal Publications Inc., 1995. ISBN 0-89747-344-2.

    External links[edit | edit source]

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