Academy 1/72 McDonnell F2H-3/4 Banshee
The McDonnell Company was put under contract by the US Navy in 1945 to develop their second jet aircraft design and second carrier aircraft (the two firsts go to their FH-1 Phantom). The first prototype flew in January 1947, powered by a pair of Westinghouse J34 engines.
The Banshee would become a great success. Where only 60 Phantoms were produced, McDonnell would build over 930 Banshees for the US Navy, US Marine Corps and the Royal Canadian Navy.
The F2H-3/4 differed from the earlier examples with a lengthened fuselage for additional fuel, gun armament repositioned to accommodate a search radar in the nose, a new horizontal stabilizer with a slight dihedral, and provisions for aerial refueling.
This kit is the Academy re-release of the original Hobbycraft F2H Banshee. Molded in light gray styrene, the molds are still razor sharp and the surface details are crisp.
Construction of this kit is very simple and straightforward as there are not many 'open' areas in this aircraft. The intakes and exhaust ducts are small and featureless as on the full-scale aircraft, the main gear wells were kept closed except during gear extension/retraction, so there isn't much to do there either.
The cockpit is represented by a two-piece tub, ejection seat, and control stick. The intakes are blanked off with engine faces and the exhaust ducts are similarly blanked off.
External stores are limited to four underwing rockets and two wingtip fuel tanks. (These early jet fighters were still primarily 'gun fighters').
Construction appears to be very straightforward with no apparent challenges in the instructions.
F2H-4, VF-11, USS Coral Sea, 1956 (Dark blue paint)
F2H-3, VF-11, USS Coral Sea, 1956 (Gull Gray over White scheme)