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002] Aircraft - 'F8F-2P Aircraft, Bureau Number 121710'

F8F-2P Aircraft, Bureau Number 121710

Accession Number Accession Date Creator Date Created Object Desciption Object Notes

1964.023.002 23/04/1964 Creator 1948 Grumman F8F Bearcat introduced in VF-19 in May 1945, last propeller-driven Navy fighter. Served until 1953. Delivered to the Navy on 25 August 1948, the museum's F8F-2P Bearcat is one of sixty photoreconnaissance versions of the F8F built by Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation. Its first assignment was to the Naval Air Technical Training Unit at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida, where it flew until late 1950. Between periods of Overhaul and Repair, the aircraft subsequently flew with the Naval Air Reserve at NAS Akron, Ohio, and NAS Birmingham, Alabama, its final squadron assignment being with Experimental and Development Squadron (VX) 2 at NAS Chincoteague, Virginia. The aircraft was stricken from the Navy's inventory in July 1956, after having logged 757 flight hours. It arrived at the museum in 1964 after having been on outdoor display at Naval Training Station (NTS) Bainbridge, Maryland. Bethpage, New York The advent of the kamikazes during the latter stages of World War II changed the face of flight decks on U.S. Navy carriers as the number of fighter aircraft assigned to carrier air groups increased dramatically in response to this deadly threat. Grumman's F8F Bearcat, on which work began in 1943, embodied the ideal counter to the Japanese suicide planes. Small in stature to the point that pilots joked about "strapping them on rather than climbing into them," the F8F boasted a phenomenal climb rate of 4,800 ft. per minute and a top speed some 40 m.p.h. greater than the F6F Hellcat. Two wing pylons each capable of carrying a 1,000 lb bomb (or a drop tank) also provided the F8F with an attack capability. Though Bearcats entered squadron service in 1945, the war ended before they could be put to use in combat. 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 photoreconnaissance aircraft (F8F-2P). A propellerdriven aircraft in the jet age, the F8F's days were numbered, and in 1949 they were withdrawn from front-line service. However, the aircraft lived on overseas, where it equipped French and South Vietnamese squadrons during the war in Indochina, and as an air racer, capturing nine of the first twelve National Air Races in Reno, NV. The Bearcat was also the last propeller-driven aircraft flown by the Blue Angels. Specifications for F8F-2P Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation Dimensions: Length: 27 ft., 8 in.; Height: 13 ft., 8 in.; Wingspan: 35 ft., 6 in. Weights: Empty: 7,650 lb.; Gross Weight: 13,494 lb. Power Plant: One 2,250 horsepower Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W engine Creator Role


Place of Origin Notes

Performance: Maximum Speed: 447 M.P.H. at 28,000 ft.; Service Ceiling: 40,700 ft.; Range: 865 miles Armament: Two fixed forward-firing 20mm cannon Crew: Pilot Multimedia

Available Sizes:
2137x1209 (100%)


Title: Format: Date: Description:

1964.023.002 jpeg 22/07/2010 Right Side View

[ Image Only ] Title: Format: Front Quarter View of F8F-2P jpeg

Date: Description:

2007 Front quarter view of the museum's F8F-2P on display.

[ Image Only ] Title: Format: Date: Description: Nose View of F8F-2P jpeg 2007 Nose-on view of museum's F8F-2P on display.

[ Image Only ] Title: Format: Date: Description: Markings on F8F-2P jpeg 2007 Close-up view of markings on museum's display F8F-2P.

[ Image Only ] Title: Format: Date: Description: F8F-2P in Display jpeg 2007 Floor level view of F8F-2P on display in the museum.