Pretty great read. I was lucky enough to have a teacher in HS that when through the USAF Academy, fly F-4's in the service, go back to teach in the Academy, and end up teaching aerospace at my HS.
Loved that class and learned a LOT about aerospace history and engineering.
Based on all of that, this looks like it was a sweet ride for what it was, but to have that much instability in air-frame and by design. . . I was boggled reading that they even thought of putting it on an aircraft carrier. Looked it up to believe it.
Then again, my only stories from aircraft landings come from those who had to land on a dime to make sure they hook that line on a carrier only to get the jerk of a life time from arresting gear.