The McDonnell FH-1 Phantom was the first all-jet airplane ordered into production by the Navy and the Navy's first airplane to fly 500 mph.
On July 21, 1946, operating from the USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, an FH-1 Phantom became the first jet-propelled combat aircraft to operate from an American aircraft carrier. The production version started service at the Naval Air Station, Quonset Point, R.I., in July 1947.
McDonnell built 62 Phantoms between 1945 and 1947, and by May 1948, the first all-jet squadron aboard a carrier was operational with FH-1 Phantoms on the USS Saipan. Phantoms also became the first jets assigned to the U.S. Marine Corps. After 1949, Phantoms flew with Naval Reserve units around the country.
The Phantom put McDonnell Aircraft on a firm financial foundation in the difficult post-war period.
Phantoms were placed on display at the Marine Corps Aviation Museum in Quantico, Va., and at the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Fla.
||Jan. 26, 1945
||40 feet 9 inches (wings folded, 16 feet 3 inches)
||38 feet 9 inches
||14 feet 2 inches
||500 mph (max.)
||Four 22 mm cannons
||Two 1,600-pound thrust Westinghouse J30-WE-20 turbojets