Convair Sea Dart Film



Convair Sea Dart Film




DVD Content
This DVD contains a Convair produced about the development, testing and flight of the Sea Dart. Also, as bonus footage, this DVD also contains black and white footage of the Sea Dart.
Development - The Sea Dart began as Convair's entry to a 1948 U.S. Navy contest for a supersonic interceptor aircraft. There was at the time much skepticism about operating supersonic aircraft from aircraft carrier decks, which explains why the U.S. Navy ordered so many subsonic fighters at that time. The worry had some foundation, since many supersonic designs of the time required long takeoff rolls and had high approach speeds, and were not very stable or easy to control - all factors that were troublesome on a carrier.
Convair's proposal gained an order for two prototypes in late 1951. Twelve production aircraft were ordered before a prototype had even flown. No armament was ever fitted to any Sea Dart built, but the plan was to arm the production aircraft with four 20 mm (.79 in) cannon and a battery of folding-fin unguided rockets.[1] Four of this order were redesignated as service test vehicles, and an additional eight production aircraft were soon ordered as well.
Design - The aircraft was to be a delta-winged fighter with a watertight hull and twin retractable hydro-skis for takeoff and landing. When stationary or moving slowly in the water, the Sea Dart floated with the trailing edge of the wings touching the water. The skis were not extended until the aircraft reached about 10 mph (16 km/h) during its takeoff run.
Power was to be a pair of afterburning Westinghouse XJ46-WE-02 turbojets, fed from intakes mounted high above the wings to avoid ingesting spray. When these engines were not ready for the prototypes, twin Westinghouse J34-WE-32 engines of just over half the power were installed.
Ski configurations - The sole remaining prototype was fitted with an experimental single-ski configuration which proved to be more successful, while the second service test aircraft trialled (unsuccessfully) a new twin-ski design. Testing with several other experimental ski configurations continued with the prototype through 1957, after which it was placed into storage.
The US was not the only country to consider the hydroski. The Saunders-Roe company of the United Kingdom, who had already built an experimental flying-boat jet fighter, tendered a design for a ski equipped fighter but little came of it.
Running time: 25 minutes

 

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General Notes and Ordering Information
  • Add $4.75 shipping per order. Payment can be made via Paypal talachan@verizon.net or send a check/money order/cash to:
    Gary Schreffler
    15707 Ambiance Drive
    North Potomac, MD 20878
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  • Produced by GRS Videos (TM). GRS Videos is dedicated to the preservation of Naval Aviation film footage. This passion began when the son of a recently deceased Korean War veteran told me how he had thrown away all of those "old 8mm films of planes flying off of a ship". Yes, I cried. Our heritage MUST be preserved. As a veteran of Naval Aviation, I have a strong interest in ensuring that our stories are not forgotten. If you have footage (16mm, 8mm, VHS, Super 8, Beta, or Digital) contact me at PLAT_Collector@verizon.net. I will also gladly trade any footage I have for new footage (any format). So, if I have Naval Aviation footage you want, and you have something I do not have, contact me and I am confident we can work something out. I am always looking for new PLAT mishaps and home movies/video of carrier operations and life on carriers. All proceeds go into obtaining and preserving more Naval Aviation footage. Gary R. Schreffler served on USS Midway (with HS-12) from 1984-1991.