Encyclopedia Astronautica

American manned rocketplane. Study 1958. The FJ-4F was a US Navy Fury fighter fitted with a Rocketdyne AR1 engine for quick intercept of Soviet bombers. Two prototypes were tested which reached Mach 1.41 at 22 km altitude.

FJ-4F by Joe Baugher

The FJ-4F began its life in August of 1955 as North American company project NA-234, and eventually evolved into project NA-248. This project involved the mounting of a 5000 pound thrust Rocketdyne AR-1 rocket engine over the tailpipe of the second and fourth production FJ-4s (139282 and 139284). The AR-1 rocket motor was fueled by a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and JP-4. Although the project actually began earlier, the rocket-boosted Fury was pursued with renewed vigor because US officials had gone into a panic over the intelligence estimates of the high-altitude performance capabilities of the Tupolev Tu-16 (Badger) and the Myasishchev Mya-4 (Bison) bombers which had appeared for the first time at the 1956 Tushino air show in the Soviet Union. The FJ-4F aircraft were flown beginning in April of 1957 both with and without a specially instrumented nose cone. Sometimes, a supplementary flush-mounted ventral fuel tank was also fitted. The FJ-4F set an unofficial speed/altitude record of Mach 1.41and 71,000 feet. Although the performance of the FJ-4F was impressive, the project was not pursued any further.

Gross mass: 12,800 kg (28,200 lb).
Thrust: 22.26 kN (5,004 lbf).

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Associated Countries
Associated Engines
  • AR1 Rocketdyne h2o2/kerosene rocket engine. 22.260 kN. Engine for FJ-4F naval interceptor. More...

See also
Associated Manufacturers and Agencies
  • North American American manufacturer of rockets, spacecraft, and rocket engines. North American, Palmdale, El Segundo. Downey, CA, USA More...

Associated Propellants
  • H2O2/Kerosene Hydrogen peroxide is used as both an oxidiser and a monopropellant. Relatively high density and non-toxic, it was abandoned after early use in British rockets, but recently revived as a propellant for the Black Horse spaceplane. Rocket propellant RP-1, or its foreign equivalents, is a straight-run kerosene fraction, which is subjected to further treatment, i.e., acid washing, sulphur dioxide extraction. Thus, unsaturated substances which polymerise in storage are removed, as are sulphur-containing hydrocarbons. More...

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