The FH Phantom was one of the first United States jet fighter aircraft. It was developed by McDonnell toward the end of World War II for the US Navy. The PH-1 Phantom made its first flight on July 21, 1946, taking off the deck of the USS Franklin D Roosevelt aircraft carrier. It had folding wings to reduce the width of the aircraft in storage configuration and an aluminum monocoque structure with flush riveted aluminum skin. The engines were buried in the wing root to keep intake and exhaust ducts short, offering greater aerodynamic efficiency than underwing nacelles, and the engines were angled slightly outwards to protect the fuselage from the hot exhaust blast.
The first FH Phantoms entered service with US Navy fighter squadron VF-17A in August 1947. Phantoms were delivered to US Marine squadron VMF-122, making it the first USMC combat squadron to deploy jets. The PH was one of the first jets used by the U.S. military for exhibition flying. Several Phantoms used by the Naval Air Test Center fell into the hands of a unique demonstration team called the Gray Angels, whose members consisted entirely of Marine aviators holding the rank of General.
Engine: two Westinghouse J30-WE-20 turbojets.
Maximum speed: 479 mph (771 km/h) at sea level.
Range: 695 mi (1,120 km).
Length: 37 ft 3 in (11.35 m).
Wingspan: 40 ft 9 in (12.42 m).
Weapons: four .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns.