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Last of a series of distinguished piston engine fighters from the Grumman "Iron Works" the Bearcat was designed as an interceptor able to operate from all sizes of carrier and offering good low level performance, considerable maneuverability, and a high rate of climb. The type was planned round the same engine used in the F6F, but had a much smaller and more refined airframe. The XF8F-1 prototype flew in august 1944, and such was the speed of development that the first production F8F-1s were delivered in February 1945. The Bearcat was just to late for service in the Second World War, and production totaled 1,266 in a few variants. These aircraft served the US Navy until fully combat capable jet fighters became operational, and were used in combat by the French in their war to retain Indo China.




Description Specifications
Manufacturer: Grumman Length: 28 ft. 3 in.
First Flight: August, 1944 Height: 13 ft. 10 in.
Model: 1B Wing Span: 35 ft. 10 in.
Crew: One Wing Area: 244.0 sq. ft.
Nickname: Bearcat Empty Weight: 7,070 lb. 
Basic Role: Carrierborne interceptor. Max. Weight: 12,947 lb.
Other Versions: F8F-1 the initial fighter with an armament of four 0.5-in/12.7-mm machine guns.  F8F-1B variant with a main armament of four 20-mm cannon. F8F-1D aircraft supplied to the France and Thais. F8F-1N night fighter variant. F8F-2 model with 20-mm cannon, revised cowling, and taller vertical tail. F8F-2N night fighter Variant.
F8F-2P photo reconnaissance variant.
Armament: Four 20-mm cannon and, up to 2,000 lb of disposable stores.
Principal User: France, Thailand, USA.



Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W Double Wasp radial piston engine.
Range: 1,105 miles. Horsepower: 2,100-hp.
Max. Speed: 421 mph. No. Of Engines: One  
Ceiling: 38,700 ft.  
Climb Rate: 4,570 ft. per minute. Photo by P. Makanna



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