Status: Operational 1957. Thrust: 22.26 kN (5,004 lbf). Gross mass: 12,800 kg (28,200 lb).
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.