Squadron-Signal's "in Action" books are to the point, well researched, and pack a lot of material in less than 100 pages. They are usually well worth the money and very necessary for the modeler or arm chair historian who want to learn quickly about a subject. Jim Mesko's write up of the McDonnel F2H Banshee is one of his better works.
While Germany and Britain were putting jet engines into nacelles, McDonnel aviation used a system that blended the jet into the body/wing of the aircraft. This system is still used to this day. The great thing is the engineers at McDonnel had this done by January of 1945, eight months before the end of WWII. This jet was the F2 Phantom.
Jim gives excellent reasons for the redesign of the Phantom, mostly range, pay load requirements, and design improvements. The resulting F2H Banshee was one of the most outstanding jets of the early 1950s.
The lessons of the Banshee can't be down played. The Banshee was both a strike fighter and an all weather interseptor. Jim gives excellent write ups on how the aircraft was adapted for both of those roles. Jim also tells a reader where to find the surviving Banshees; one is in Canada and the other at Pensacola, Florida.
The real design break through of the F2H was it was a multi engine naval all weather fighers. Yes, the F-86/Fury family were better flying machines. But they could not fly in all weather. The Banshee could fly in all weather.
Jim really did a good job with this book. He gives break downs on the models, nice 3-D drawings, close up photos, and paintings that cover the paint jobs the Banshee had in its career.
The only thing is the Banshee didn't have a long service life; it only went from about 1950 to reserve service by the late 1950s.Read more ›