Grumman F8F Bearcat

Carrier-based fighter aircraft introduced in 1945

Grumman F8F 2P Bearcat ‘121714 B 201 1
photo: Alan Wilson

The Grumman F8F Bearcat was designed and manufactured by Grumman as a single-engine carrier-based fighter that began service in the latter part of the Second World War. The aircraft was in service with the United States Navy, the United States Marine Corps, as well as the other air forces around the world during the mid-twentieth century. The Bearcat was the last fighter aircraft powered by a piston engine built by Grumman.

Manufacturer:
Grumman
Country:
United States
Manufactured:
1943 to: 1949
ICAO:
F8F
Price:

Specifications

Avionics:
AN/ARC-1, AN/ARR-2A, R-23/ARC-5
Engine:
1x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-30W Double Wasp
Piston
Power:
2,250 horsepower
Max Cruise Speed:
395 knots
732 Km/h
Approach Speed (Vref):
74 knots
Travel range:
960 Nautical Miles
1,778 Kilometers
Fuel Economy:
Service Ceiling:
40,800 feet
Rate of Climb:
4465 feet / minute
22.68metre / second
Take Off Distance:
185 metre - 606.95 feet
Landing Distance:
250 metre - 820.20 feet
Max Take Off Weight:
6,105 Kg
13,459 lbs
Max Landing Weight:
5,941 Kg
13,098 lbs
Max Payload:
1,000 Kg
2,205 lbs
Fuel Tank Capacity:
535 gallon
2,025 litre
Baggage Volume:
Seats - Economy / General:
1 seats
Seats - Business Class:
Seats - First Class:
Cabin Height:
Cabin Width:
Cabin Length:
Exterior Length:
8.43 metre - 27.66 feet
Tail height:
4.16 metre - 13.65 feet
Fuselage Diameter:
1.35 metre - 4.43 feet
Wing Span / Rotor Diameter:
10.82 metre - 35.50 feet
Wing Tips:
No Winglets
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Description

In November 1943, the F8F Bearcat design was finalized. On November 27, 1943, two prototypes were ordered; it was designated as the XF8F-1. After nine months, on August 21, 1944, the first Bearcat prototype took to the air for the first time. The aircraft performed a 4,800 feet per minute climb rate and showcased a top speed of 369 knots during the first flight testing. It entered service in 1945 and was retired in 1963 with the Vietnam Air Force.

The F8F-2 is a single-crew carrier-based fighter with an exterior length of 8.61 meters, an exterior height of 3.35 meters, and a fuselage width of 1.35 meters. The tail height is 4.22 meters and the wheelbase is 5.4 meters. It has a wingspan of 10.92 meters and a wing area of 22.7 square meters. The empty weight is 3,470 kg, a maximum payload of 1,000 kg, and a fuel tank capacity of 535 US gal. It has a maximum takeoff and landing weight of 6,105 kg and 5,941 kg, respectively.

The aircraft is fitted with a single Pratt and Whitney R-2800-30W Double Wasp engine. It is an eighteen-cylinder air-cooled twin-row radial engine with two poppet valves per cylinder, a variable-speed unified with the throttle through automatic engine control single-stage single-speed centrifugal-type supercharger, one Stromberg injection carburetor, and an air-cooling system. The engine is rated at 2,250 hp thrust and drives a four-bladed constant-speed propeller.

The F8F Bearcat has a maximum speed of 395 knots and a travel range of 960 nautical miles. It can fly up to 40,800 feet and can climb at a rate of 4,465 feet per minute. The takeoff distance is 185 meters and the landing distance is 250 meters. The aircraft could be loaded with four 20 mm AN/M3 autocannon, four 127 mm high-velocity aircraft rockets, and 454 kg of bombs.

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