“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Lexington Park in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Douglas F-6A (F4D) Skyray

Douglas F-6A (F4D) Skyray Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
1. Douglas F-6A (F4D) Skyray Marker
The First Carrier-Based Interceptor One of the most important of the early Navy jets, the F-6A (designated F4D—or "Ford"—before 1962) exploited advanced engine and all-weather radar technologies to prove that carrier-based aircraft could intercept enemy bombers. Skyrays set five records in the 'time-to-height' category, the most crucial parameter for interceptor aircraft. F4Ds were also the first naval fighters to exceed the speed of sound in level flight. In October 1953, an F4D became the first carrier-based aircraft to set world absolute speed records (753 mph over 3-kilometer course and 728 mph over a 100-kilometer course). The Navy's impressive Skyray served during the Cold War's darkest days, when the specter of a sneak Soviet attack was real.

Our Display Aircraft Bureau Number 134764 served with the Naval Air Test Center's Flight Test Division from July 1957 to July 1958. It was then transferred to the fleet, where it served with several Navy and Marine Corps squadrons. In November 1961, our Skyray was transferred back to NAS Patuxent River to the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, becoming
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the first of three F-6As used to demonstrate aircraft performance and flying qualities characteristics unique to delta wing aircraft. PRNAM's aircraft was retired from the Navy in August 1966.

• Primary Mission: Interception
• Crew: One Pilot
• U.S. Service Timeline (F-6 Series): 1956 - 1965 (U.S. Naval Test Pilot School operated an F-6A until 1969)
• Dimension: 45.7 ft length, 33.5 ft wing span
• Max. Gross Weight: 25,600 lb
• Propulsion One Pratt & Whitney J57-P-8 Turbojet
• Max Operating Speed: 658 MPH (sea level); Mach 1.5 at altitude
• Armament: Four internal 20mm Cannon; up to 4,000 lb of air-to-air rockets or missiles

This aircraft is on loan from the National Naval Aviation Museum at Pensacola, Florida

Erected by Patuxent River Naval Air Museum.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Air & SpaceEducationMilitaryWar, Cold. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1957.
Location. 38° 16.549′ N, 76° 27.754′ W. Marker is in Lexington Park, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker can be reached from Three Notch Road (Maryland Route 235) north of Buse Road
Douglas F-6A (F4D) Skyray image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), August 30, 2019
2. Douglas F-6A (F4D) Skyray
, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 22156 Three Notch Road, Lexington Park MD 20653, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Douglas NA-4M Skyhawk (a few steps from this marker); TA-75A Tow Tractor (a few steps from this marker); North American T-2C Buckeye (a few steps from this marker); Grumman F-9J Cougar (a few steps from this marker); The F9F-8B “Cougar” (a few steps from this marker); NC-8A Mobile Electric Power Plant (MEPP) (a few steps from this marker); LTV NA-7A Corsair II (a few steps from this marker); Raytheon T-6A Texan II (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lexington Park.
Additional commentary.
I believe this was the first Interceptor and or Attack jet with " afterburners" .
    — Submitted February 24, 2021, by Mike Ireland of Kailua,kona, Hawaii.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 25, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 31, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 358 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 31, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.

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Mar. 1, 2024