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I think so, there are photos of several F8F-1 aircraft in Ginter's book shown with 5" rockets under the wing.

 

Cheers,

Bill

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5 hours ago, Navy Bird said:

I think so, there are photos of several F8F-1 aircraft in Ginter's book shown with 5" rockets under the wing.

 

Cheers,

Bill

Two 500/1,000lb bombs or four 5-inch HVAR's, I believe.

Mike

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VF-19 was the first operational squadron, It made it from the West Coast to Hawaii in August 1945 and would have deployed on the USS Hornet when she completed her refit in mid-Sept, had the war gone on into Oct.

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9 hours ago, EwenS said:

VF-19 was the first operational squadron, It made it from the West Coast to Hawaii in August 1945 and would have deployed on the USS Hornet when she completed her refit in mid-Sept, had the war gone on into Oct.

Which would have been very bad news for the few  remaining IJA/IJN fighters they would have come across!

Mike

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1 hour ago, Blimpyboy said:

If this is an F8F-1

It is an F8F-1- you can see the patches over the four .50cal gunports fitted to the dash-1; those stubs under the wings next to the bomb pylon are for the HVAR's. F8F-1B's were the first to  have the four 20mm cannon armament.

Mike

Edited by 72modeler
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Thanks for making me realize the bleedin' obvious!  I looked at that post, thought, "Hmm, there must be some cue to whether or not that's a -1...," considered some elegantly subtle possibilities (slope of windshield, height of fin (from this angle), bottom of cowl), but then moved along lest I go down the rabbit hole.  Forgot about the armament change!

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From Squadron Signal 99 “F8F Bearcat in Action”

 

Second production F8F-1 used as a test aircraft for Mk.51 bomb rack under fuselage and each wing. Centreline rack cleared to carry 1*500/1000lb bomb or 1*100/150 gal drop tank. Wing racks cleared up to 1000lb for 500/1000lb bomb, 100 gal drop tanks, Mk.1 gun pods (2*0.5”) or 2*Mk.3 11.75” Tiny Tim rockets. All recommended to be symmetrically loaded.

 

From 4th production aircraft (BuNo 90440) 2*Mk.9 Rocket Launchers were installed under the wing outboard of the wing pylons to carry 3” AR, 5”AR or 5”HVAR rockets.

Edited by EwenS
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Such a trim-looking beast - this thread has inspired me to order one in for my next project, although I like the look of the tall finned variants.

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1 hour ago, Blimpyboy said:

Such a trim-looking beast

And it could really haul the mail and maneuver! See the linked videos for inspiration. It is an awesome performer at airshows, and I can just imagine how one would perform on 130 octane avgas and being able to pull serious manifold pressures with alcohol injection like in the good old days!

Mike

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy3nsRvhgSE

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13fGKZQSmZw

 

 

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On 5/19/2020 at 9:26 AM, 72modeler said:

And it could really haul the mail and maneuver! See the linked videos for inspiration. It is an awesome performer at airshows, and I can just imagine how one would perform on 130 octane avgas and being able to pull serious manifold pressures with alcohol injection like in the good old days!

Mike

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hy3nsRvhgSE

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13fGKZQSmZw

 

 

Excellent videos - especially the second one!

I'm truly sold on the Bearcat now, looks and performance!

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On 5/15/2020 at 12:24 PM, 72modeler said:

Which would have been very bad news for the few  remaining IJA/IJN fighters they would have come across!

Mike

Arguably, had it seen action, it would have been the best piston-engined fighter of WW2. 

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In some ways. As a point-defence interceptor for low and medium levels in daytime, I would put it at the top of the WW2 single-engined monoplane class. "Best for what?" always needs to be specified, though. There is a reason why they intended to continue  the Hellcat alongside it, had WW2 continued: all that performance comes from small size and low weight which deny the Bearcat the range and endurance that many missions would have required, and even the zoomiest fighter is of zero value if it can't get to the location where it is needed to fight.  Nor was it ever going to be the best idea at night: hence the need for the Tigercat.

 

As a pure Sunday afternoon display machine, I'd absolutely love to have one, my other two top-three WW2 single-engined fighters in that role being the Gladiator and a Spitfire Vc with the 55M engine.

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On 5/17/2020 at 3:09 AM, EwenS said:

From 4th production aircraft (BuNo 90440)

Just realized- I did BuNo 90440 yellow I-40 by doing the corrections needed to make  the Monogram F8F kit a true dash one! It is one of the Bearcats pictured in the Profile Publications monograph on the F8F. With those slide-in wings and stabilizers, I built it in a week end! Longest time spent was trying to put something in those cavernous wheel bays and making the gear struts and disc brake calipers! It got dropped several years back, and now the engine and prop assembly are rattling around loose in the cowling! If you recall how the engine is mounted in that kit, you will understand that the only way to fix the damage is to cut the cowling off at the firewall- that will trash the open cowl and oil cooler flaps I built! Blast!  So far, I haven't had the heart to cut the beast up! 😥

Mike

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1 hour ago, Work In Progress said:

In some ways. As a point-defence interceptor for low and medium levels in daytime, I would put it at the top of the WW2 single-engined monoplane class. "Best for what?" always needs to be specified, though. There is a reason why they intended to continue  the Hellcat alongside it, had WW2 continued: all that performance comes from small size and low weight which deny the Bearcat the range and endurance that many missions would have required, and even the zoomiest fighter is of zero value if it can't get to the location where it is needed to fight.  Nor was it ever going to be the best idea at night: hence the need for the Tigercat.

 

As a pure Sunday afternoon display machine, I'd absolutely love to have one, my other two top-three WW2 single-engined fighters in that role being the Gladiator and a Spitfire Vc with the 55M engine.

Great point.   Given that when it was developed, Kamikazes were starting to take a horrendous toll on the USN, it was really intended to be an amazingly fast, quick-climbing point (or near-point) defense fighter.   

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2 hours ago, 11bravo said:

it was really intended to be an amazingly fast, quick-climbing point (or near-point) defense fighter.   

...and would have been a much better aircraft  for that purpose than the competing F2G Corsair, being faster, more nimble, and with a much superior rate of climb- not to mention being much easier to land aboard ship. There are five airplanes I would have loved to have seen in combat in WW2- the F8F, F7F, F2G, MB Mk V, and DH Hornet; all too late for the war and overtaken by jets.

Mike

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7 hours ago, Work In Progress said:

"Best for what?"

I wonder, then, if the decision to equip with the Bearcat was therefore based on a shift toward (comparatively) short-range operations.

 

The Japanese had lost their open-ocean carrier capability (no more Midway/Guadalcanal-style long-range battles) and most of the fighting was shifting largely to supporting landing operations; so, there probably wasn’t a need to bring in another long-range aircraft (Hellcats and Corsairs were clearly good enough). Also, with the number of US carriers in theatre, the addition of the Bearcat would allow for a better inner layer for defence-in-depth, freeing up other types for the long-range interception and CAS/interdiction missions.

Edited by Blimpyboy
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The Bearcat was designed to replace the Wildcat on escort carriers, not the Fleet carriers - although clearly the major units would be the first to try the new toy.  However by 1945 there was a clear need for a faster fighter at low-level in the anti-Kamikaze role, at which the Seafire L.III excelled.  The F2G Corsair was also being developed with this role in mind.

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8 minutes ago, Graham Boak said:

However by 1945 there was a clear need for a faster fighter at low-level in the anti-Kamikaze role, at which the Seafire L.III excelled.

That does seem like the best fit for the Bearcat.

 

I almost drew a parallel with the Spitfire in my last post - short range with lots of power and good manoeuvrability!

Edited by Blimpyboy
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