Jim saw one of these Navy F7U aircraft on the runway at Amarillo Air Force Base sometime in the mid-1950s where it was probably forced to make an emergency landing. He liked the style--better than what the Air Force had--and has liked their style since. It's outstanding characteristic is the length of the front strut which gives the aircraft a very nose-high attitude.
According to Wikipedia, advanced design of the F7U to utilize new aerodynamic theories and poor engines contributed to the death of four test pilots and 21 other U.S. Navy pilots. The aircraft was short-lived and very few have survived.
The aircraft earned the nicknames "Gutless Cutlass" and "Praying Mantis."
Modern fighter aircraft utilize several design features of the F7U including dual tail fins.