|Grumman F8F Bearcat
of F8Fs to the Navy began in 1945 as advanced fighters intended
for kamikaze defense and to to further counter the highly
maneuverable Japanese "Zero." Streamline design
features to minimize drag combined with a reduction in armament
from six to four .50 caliber machine guns resulted in a faster
aircraft with a better rate-of-climb yet able to sustain higher
combat G-force loads than its F6F "Hellcat"
predecessor. Two wing pylons each capable of carrying a 1,000 lb
bomb (or a drop tank) also provided the F8F with an attack
grounded for a short time due to oil and hydraulic leaks, the
F8Fs were flown extensively in training missions until the
atomic bomb ended all hopes of their going into combat with U.S.
military forces. The immediate result was that the Navy reduced
its production contract from 2,000 F8F-1s from Grumman and 1,800
from General Motors (designated F3M-1s) to 770 aircraft total.
Production models included night fighters (F8F-1N) with a radome
pod under one wing, and photo reconnaissance aircraft (F8F-2P).
By the time the Korean War began in 1950, the F8F had been
supplanted by the jet age.
1951, the United States
sent a number of "Bearcats" to the French
Expeditionary Air Force in Southeast Asia for use as ground
support aircraft against the Viet Minh. With the withdrawal of
the French from Indochina, the remaining F8Fs were turned over
to the South Vietnamese Air Force and were still present in
August 1960 when U.S. military advisers arrived in Vietnam.
From our Premier Series. 1/24th scale. 17.5"
wingspan by 13.5" long.
comes fully loaded with drop tanks and rockets.
No. AEN8D-PR. Only $194.95
From our Deluxe Series
1/24 scale. 17.5" wingspan x 13.5" long.
No. AEN8D-DX. Only $129.95