The F5D Skylancer, a Navy fighter, was a heavily modified F4D Skyray. Only 4 developmental test aircraft were built and its chief test pilot was Alan Shepard - the first American in Space. The program was cancelled, and the 4 aircraft were transferred to NACA/NASA for testing purposes at Edwards Air Force Base. 2 of the 4 aircraft remained airworthy while the others were used as parts aircraft. Due to its similar shape and characteristics, a specially modified F5D was used to test the X-20 Dynasoar abort procedures, with its program head being Neil Armstrong. This aircraft was also used to help develop the wing shape on the Concorde. Other very notable names were associated with the F5D testing until the aircraft was retired in 1970.
The Jet-Eyes F5D Skylancer tags were cut from the left lower speed brake of F5D-1 142349. Parts of this aircraft were recovered from the boneyard and were marked “Ship 349”.
Tags were cut from the front, back, and sides of the speed brake. They all feature the same artwork with a red F5D schematic (with filled in speed brakes). The artwork and colors on this tag and card are reminiscent of the Apollo era spacesuits.
There are 11 variants being offered for sale along with a "Test Set." The variants are as follows:
Front Thick (Thick tags that have portions of a stiffening rib on back. Buffed edges.)
Front Cracked Paint (Varying amounts of Green/White/Raw paint)
Front Riveted (Multiple layer tags with flush rivets)
Front Rivet Hole (Single thickness tags with rivet holes. Some tags have art printed on back)
Back Solid (No rivet holes / Most have cracked Green/Raw/White paint finish).
Back Riveted (multiple layer tags with round rivets)
Back Rivet Hole (Single thickness tags with rivet holes)
Back Repair (Multi-material tags featuring sheet metal repair work)
Side (Thicker multi-colored tags (red/green/white/raw)
Side Green (mostly green tags)
Test Set: Front Riveted, Back Rivet Hole, Side
A few of the Front white tags have portions of the paint missing, but the paint is mostly uniform; the Cracked Paint variant of the Front tags have more areas of missing paint with green and raw areas. A few of the Front Rivet Hole tags have portions of the art printed on the back if the holes obscured critical parts of the printed art/text. Some Rivet Hole tags have complete holes and some have parts of a hole along the edge. The tags cut from the side of the speed brake have the most varied finishes. Some have multi-colored areas with red and some were cut to slightly different shapes if the tag was cut near the hinge area. Some are quite thick.
Many variants are very limited. Some with only a couple available.
My aviation heroes growing up were test pilots. This era at Edwards Air Force base was the Golden Age of jet test and these aircraft were flown and built by some remarkable individuals. I am honored to offer a tag cut from such a neat and rare aircraft flown by very notable names.