F3D Skyknight In Action

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Alan Carey
ISBN 978-0-89747-685-0
Other Publication Information
Softcover, 80 pages, 196 photos, 10 line drawings
Product / Stock #
Company: Squadron Products - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Squadron - Website: Visit Site
Box Art

While it’s not the sleekest, fastest, or prettiest of jets, I love the Skyknight. Part of the reason is I love nightfighters (and not just because the paint scheme is easy), and this was one of the last birds to fit that title. Part of it is it flew during the Korean and Vietnam wars, two eras of history that interest me. And part of it is that it is the only US jet to fly in both conflicts.

Squadron Signal continues the In Action format with a brief history of the Skyknight’s different versions. The width of the plane was to accommodate the radar system, which used vacuum tubes (you younger kids can ask your Dads about those). The placement of the engines with a slight downward angle of exhaust caused issues with carrier operations and that, combined with some design flaws, limited its use at sea, but its large capacity for electronics led to a long and successful career. I also was not familiar with the M version of this design, which had extra hardpoints and was used to test the Sparrow 1 missile.

The combat careers of these planes in both Korea and Vietnam get several pages of coverage, with a large number of pictures depicting these operations. For me, this was the meat of the book. I do miss the profiles that were an In Action staple. Not sure if this is in all the newer books, but they seem to be replaced with color pictures and this issue has plenty of those. At least there is still the excellent cover art once again provided by Don Greer. A good, solid reference for this long-serving aircraft which flew from 1948 until the final example was retired in 1987. Not too bad for Willie the Whale.

I recommend it to anyone with an interest in Naval Jets, Korean and Vietnam War buffs, and those of you who also like nightfighters. Now if Revell would just re-release the old Matchbox kit so I can build a couple…

Thanks to Squadron/Signal for the review sample and IPMS for allowing me to review it.


Add new comment

All comments are moderated to prevent spam

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.