Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289)


Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289) by Hal Parenti from Top Flite 1979 - plan thumbnail

About this Plan

Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat. Radio control sport scale model Navy fighter. Wingspan 60 in, wing area 630 sq in. For .60 engines.

Discontinued kit from Top Flite. Red Box Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, designed by Hal Parenti in 1979.

Quote: "When the first Grumman Bearcat, Bureau of Aeronautics No.90460 took to the air on 25 June 1944 on it's inaugural flight, the XF8F-1 was a culmination of a distinguished ancestry which included the F4F Wildcat and the F6F Hellcat, which the Bearcat was destined to replace as a first line fighter.

Being the last of the famous Grumman 'CAT' family, the F8F missed out on proving itself in aerial combat of WW II, and although the Bearcats did perform valiantly as a ground support aircraft when the French Expeditionary Force flew the F8Fs in Indo-China during the mid 1950s, the Bearcat would gain it's greatest fame by serving a peace time Navy.

The Grumman Bearcat started being deployed into the Navy VF class squadrons in mid 1945 and became the Navy's first line carrier fighter. When the jet fighters entered operational status during the early 1950s, the F8Fs were turned over to Naval Reserve Squadrons. However, the Navy kept several F8F-2s for drone control and tow target duties. The redesignated F8F-2D aircraft were perhaps the most colorful of the military Bearcats with a glossy Sea Blue color fuselage, Orange Yellow color flying surfaces and insignia Red color rudder and wing band. The crowds at the 1946 National Air Races could hardly believe the amazing rate of climb the F8F possessed. This was later dramatized when Lt Cdr MW Davenport piloted a stock F8F-1 Bearcat to 10,000 feet in 94 seconds from a standing start.

The US Navy's precision flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels, operated F8Fs during 1947-49. Due to the Blue Angels ability to keep the very maneuverable Bearcat within the airshow's crowd view, the F8F Bearcat became on of the favorite aircraft of the Blue Angels fans. The Blue Angels added an all Orange Yellow color F8F, nick named 'Beetle Bomb' and developed a very warlike routine. Beetle Bomb would pounce the other four Blue Angels in their F8F-1s and a dogfight, right over the airport boundaries would transpire. As always, Beetle Bomb would be shot down trailing realistic smoke and the pilot was captured by a detachment of Marines.

Another very popular airshow Bearcat was Gulf hawk 4, which was flown by Major Al Williams in promoting Gulf Oil Products. Unfortunately this beautiful Gulf orange and white, trimmed in insignia blue color schemed Bearcat was destroyed in a landing with Williams miraculously escaping the flaming craft.

The US Navy Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat, Bureau of Aeronautics No.122637, from which Top Flite's award winning model was prototyped, dates back to 30 Dec. 1948 when the US Navy accepted this aircraft.

Built under contract No.9241, the F8F-2 was in the last group of 30 Bearcats constructed by Grumman, 122637 (which is the Navy serial number for this aircraft) was assigned to active duty with VF 34 at Quonset Point NAS Rhode Island. Except for a brief duty with VF 74 at Jacksonville, NAS, Florida the glossy sea blue color Bearcat remained with VF 34 until December 1950 when it was transferred to Norfolk NAS, Virginia.

During February 1952, 122637 received orders to report to the Naval Air Reserve Training Unit at Birmingham NAS, Alabama and the powerful Grumman designed fighter found itself making qualification flights during carrier operations aboard the USS Midway in mid July 1852 with the Alabama Naval Reservists. The pilots at the Birmingham NAS enjoyed flying 122637 until February 1953 when the airplane would serve again at Quonset Point NAS, than Chincoteague NAS, Virginia, and Norfolk NAS, Virginia before winging to Corpus Christi NAS, Texas on 24 October 1953. At this southern principle Naval Air Station 122637 met every ultimate demand asked for by the Navy's air arm.

122637 would find a final berth at the giant Naval Air Station at San Diego, California on 11 February 1954. The swift and rugged F8F-2 would be stricken from the US Navy's inventory on 9 January 1957 at San Diego with a total of 752 hours flown.

122637 would escape the fiery melting furnaces where so many ex-military aircraft ended their careers and would enter the civilian aircraft field carrying N-10338 FAA registration number.

Mr John Church of Monterey, California bought the F8F-2 from Sherman Cooper in September 1971 and changed the FAA registration number to N-198F. Church restored the F8F-2 back to the Glossy Sea Blue color scheme it had while serving in the US Navy. Church also made the Bearcat competitive for closed course air racing. The 'load lightened' N-198F Bearcat raced in the 1971 California 1000 Km Air Race at Mojave, California and the 1972 Unlimited races at the National Championship Air Races, Reno, Nevada under the tutorage of John Church. St Louisian John B Gury purchased N-198F from Church in 1973 and meticulously maintained the F8F-2 Bearcat.

N-198F is one of the few Bearcats that exist today and it is in this configuration that Top Flite Models proudly presents the Bearcat model..."

Quote: "Here you go Steve, found this Bearcat plan on the Aerofred site. In a bad way and needing a proper clean up. Have removed all the noise and crease marks off this one now. Put a stamp on this one for me - it took me a good few hours working on it..."

Note see supplement file for hand traced formers, thanks to timlilje.

Addenda file comprises patterns for wing saddle cutout, plus a drawing showing reinforcement of the horizontal stab mount.

Supplementary file notes

Manual, 8 pages.
Formers, hand traced (inc ribs), 13 pages.
Addenda, 5 pages.


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Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289) by Hal Parenti from Top Flite 1979 - model pic


Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289) by Hal Parenti from Top Flite 1979 - pic 003.jpg
Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289) by Hal Parenti from Top Flite 1979 - pic 004.jpg
Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289) by Hal Parenti from Top Flite 1979 - pic 005.jpg
Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289) by Hal Parenti from Top Flite 1979 - pic 006.jpg

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  • Grumman F8F-2 Bearcat (oz11289)
  • Plan File Filesize: 1132KB Filename: F8F-2_Bearcat_60in_oz11289.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 1449KB Filename: F8F-2_Bearcat_60in_oz11289_addenda.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 5987KB Filename: F8F-2_Bearcat_60in_oz11289_formers.pdf
  • Supplement Filesize: 2220KB Filename: F8F-2_Bearcat_60in_oz11289_manual.pdf
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