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Hello, I'm planning on building a few 1/48 F7U Cutlass models. I have accumulated 6 of the HobbyCraft 1/48 kits and 6 of the Collect Aire correction sets, 6 Scale Aircraft Conversions F7U Landing Gear sets, Squadron and Falcon F7U Canopies as well a 2 of the Lone Star Models F7 U Photo noses. I also have the Collect Aire F7U-1. I would like to build them with the wings folded, (except for the F7U-1). I want to do this because of space limitations in the display case. Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any detailed images of the wing folds in the folded position. Does anyone know of a  source for these drawing/photos or other images?images. Thanks, Nick

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22 minutes ago, NickOnai said:

Unfortunately, I have been unable to find any detailed images of the wing folds in the folded position. Does anyone know of a  source for these drawing/photos or other images?

@Tailspin Turtle  would be a good person to ask.

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8 hours ago, Finn said:

Some additional details probably can be found in this manual:

 

http://aviationarchives.blogspot.com/2018/07/vought-f7u-3-cutlass-maintenance.html

 

Jari

Note that this manual only covers the first 16 F7U-3s that were powered by the J35 engines. There are detail differences between them and the production F7U-3s that were powered by J46s.

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I can't link to it, or have the time to find it at the mo, but there was a good page with great detail pictures of the Cutlass that was/is under restoration to fly.

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Restoration to fly?

 

Lord no! It wasnt known as the 'gutless cutless' for nothing. Engine problems, landing gear problems amongst others made this a problem child from the start

 

Yikes, i'd love to see one fly but i wouldnt like the pilots job even if i had the qualifications and the pair of very large sphericals!

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11 hours ago, northernphotography said:

Restoration to fly?

 

Lord no! It wasnt known as the 'gutless cutless' for nothing. Engine problems, landing gear problems amongst others made this a problem child from the start

 

Yikes, i'd love to see one fly but i wouldnt like the pilots job even if i had the qualifications and the pair of very large sphericals!

Au contraire:

https://thanlont.blogspot.com/2015/08/the-gutless-cutlass.html

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Both articles: some truths, some half truths, some exaggerations, some widely believed untruths, much of the information sourced from Wikepedia or at best second or third-hand gossip. (The Air & Space one is better balanced than most; the other was written by an "aviation enthusiast".) The F7U suffers from almost as much unfounded innuendo as the F-111B. You want to read the complete story on the F7U-1?: see http://www.ginterbooks.com/NAVAL/NF94.htm. I'm now finishing up one on the F7U-3. It's based on at least 2,000 pages of government test reports, Vought and Navy memos, interviews with Cutlass pilots (some fans, some not: it tended to elicit strong opinions and some had to be taken with a shaker of salt*) collected by my coauthor who has twice as much material as I have, not to mention actual airframes, one of which he hopes to fly someday. He's looking forward to it.

 

*Feightner is quoted as saying that the F7U-1 "broke in half" on his 14th carrier landing. I have the NATC test report: there was a small crack in the side of the fuselage after the 8th and last landing. I have not been able to determine it was flown or craned off but for sure it was subsequently and easily repaired and the airplane put back on flight status. The reason the structure cracked is that he exceeded the then-standard design sink rate (17 feet per second, 11.6 miles per hour) by the most on that landing, having already exceeded it on the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 7th landings (the other three were just under it).

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Great article TT and nice to read about the other side.

I've never compared the stats but I wondered if the loss rate (in percentage) was appreciably higher than other carrier based aircraft of the era?

It was a brave design to put to sea, highly swept-wing, tailless, unusual flight control surfaces, and afterburner all in one go.  Then add to that, they were initially operating from smaller straight decked carriers.

That ramp strike does get regularly singled out, even saw it mentioned in a recent F-35 article, though there were equally dramaticly captured, and tragic, F-8 and A-7 ramp strikes.

 

I would guess that a restored airworthy Cutlass wouldn't be subjected to the operational conditions that naval aviators had to endure.

to the deck, which is different to normal flying and circuits. 

It does sound a very ambitious project, and I'm not sure of it's current status, but I would love to see a Cutlass in the air.

 

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1 hour ago, 71chally said:

Great article TT and nice to read about the other side.

I've never compared the stats but I wondered if the loss rate (in percentage) was appreciably higher than other carrier based aircraft of the era?

It was a brave design to put to sea, highly swept-wing, tailless, unusual flight control surfaces, and afterburner all in one go.  Then add to that, they were initially operating from smaller straight decked carriers.

That ramp strike does get regularly singled out, even saw it mentioned in a recent F-35 article, though there were equally dramaticly captured, and tragic, F-8 and A-7 ramp strikes.

 

I would guess that a restored airworthy Cutlass wouldn't be subjected to the operational conditions that naval aviators had to endure.

to the deck, which is different to normal flying and circuits. 

It does sound a very ambitious project, and I'm not sure of it's current status, but I would love to see a Cutlass in the air.

 

My coauthor and I are working on an accident analysis. The F7U’s was worse than average in the beginning relative to jets that had been around longer (there is a learning curve) but it may not have been much worse than experienced with other swept-wing jets during their introduction (Google Cougar College), certainly not than the F8U’s and the Crusader never flew from axial-deck carriers.  Another aspect of the accident rate is that it would appear that more than average were caused by maintenance errors, in part because the F7U was more systems intensive than its contemporaries. It was also one of the first with a 3,000 psi hydraulic system (the standard was 1,000, maybe 1,500), which was a big step and the source of some maintenance woes. Akire’s accident on Hancock was immediately and justifiably written off as pilot error (one indication of the lack of accuracy in that regard is the repeated claim of multiple fatalities and serious injuries to deck personnel; there were no fatalities other than the pilot and no serious injuries). Another fatal accident on that cruise was the result of an unfortunate chain of events: one of the Davis barriers was set for the much heavier AJ Savage instead of the F7U; the pilot floated past the arresting gear and then contacted the barrier, which resulted in the nose gear collapsing due to the sudden stop. Something had to break and it was the attach fitting on the top of the nose gear actuator (not the nose gear strut). It went up through the deck behind the pilot and knocked the canopy off, which armed the ejection seat as it should have, but then something also dinged the mechanism to fire the ejection seat by means of a face-curtain pull. The seat fired with the airplane nose down on the deck and took the pilot with it into a parked airplane. Note that while the nose gear strut was mounted under the cockpit, it never went up into the cockpit as some accounts would have it. What broke was either the drag link or as above, the upper attach point for the nose gear actuator, which was actually located behind the armored bulkhead on which the ejection seat was mounted.

 

That said, there is no question that the F7U was ahead of its time and then for various reasons, took so long to reach the fleet that it was outclassed in too many respects by fighters with better engines (thrust to weight and specific fuel consumption) and lift-over-drag configurations (however, the wings were no more swept than the Cougar’s or the Fury’s).

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Hi TT, great pieces of detective work and you have certainly convinced me.

 

It's one of those aircraft i always thought rather attractive, but my thoughts were sullied by what is perhaps over lurid thoughts by a test pilot or 2 in books.

Thanks for taking the time to spell out the truth and put me straight, at 55 i'm still never to old to learn something new. Much appreciated.

Best

David

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