STEVE GINTER PUBLICATIONS
Naval Fighters N.O. 12 McDonnell F3H Demon
This publication covers the McDonnell F3H Demon from
it's inception in 1948 to the phasing out of it from Squadron service
in 1946. The aircraft first flew in Jan 1952and retired from it's
last Squadron in Sept 1964. During it's life the Demon had a number
of problems ranging from the initial engine (the J40) being totally
unsuitable to being underpowered for most of it's life even though
it was re-engined a number of times. To show how bad the initial engine
was, all of that version of the aircraft were either scrapped or used
for training aids without getting to 30 hours, 27 aircraft were in
fact scrapped without ever flying. Upon being redesigned and put
back into service the aircraft, though underpowered, put in a decade
of service with the US Navy.
The book was first produced in 1985 and this shows
in some of the content, though this doesn't detract from the book.
I read the majority of the book prior to this review and found it
quite informative about this relatively unknown aircraft.
The 150 pages of this book covers the Demon in the
usual manner in layout, starting with a history of it's design and
introduction through to it's Squadron service and eventual demise.
The written layout of the book is very disorganized and is hard to
follow in some ways, as an example, it took me a few tries to work
out that only the J40 engined Demon was scrapped and not all Demons
in 1955. The author has endeavored for the reader to get a feel of
the aircraft by having a number of stories of the aircraft in service
by both pilots and maintainers. I feel that whilst this is good, I
enjoyed a number of the stories, it may have been taken too far with
the quantity of them. I found that the most informative pilot story
was the first in the book by LCDR Harry Milner USN Ret. LCDR Milner
covers all of the systems on the aircraft from entering the aircraft
to armament and refueling. The author also has a brief write up of
all of the Squadrons that the Demon was issued to and a bit of the
history of the Squadron itself.
This book has a great deal of black and white photos
of the Demon in service as well as 5 - 6 pages of colour photos. These
photos are more of a general type photo with few close up detail images
eg only one photo of the engine out of the aircraft. There is still
a fair amount of detail to be found in the photos in this book of
load outs and general aircraft detail.
The majority of the detail supplied by this book is
done by line drawings. These line drawings are quite extensive and
cover all of the interior systems, the undercarriage and internal
layout. There are also a number of tables including the carrying capability
and aircraft serial number/ block number listing.
A few areas where I feel that the book has been let
down is the lack of index and the disjointed layout of the contents.
An example of the layout problems is the Demon in model form page.This
article looks as though it has been just dropped into the middle of
the book in the midst of another article.
This book would come in handy if you intend to make
a model of a Demon. It is bought down by the lack of detail images
but makes up for this by it's coverage of the use of the aircraft
in service and the wealth of action photos.
This book was supplied for review by, and is available
from, Clayton Fiander at Hawkeye
Models. Also available from Crusader