Perfect Afternoon with F7Fs

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Mailman was delivering package ealy afternoon and when I went out, the distinctive sound of big radials in formation coming over the trees fast. A-26 Invaders? But dark blue? Maybe F7F Tigercats.Call the local airport manager and ask him what just landed. He's on golf course and doesn't know but gives me the FBO's number. No answer. Tell wife I am going to airport to see something I have never seen up close. Sure enough. Two Tigercats out of Colorado Springs on their way to Oshkosh. Beautiful airplanes. Ask ramp service if I can go out and look at them. Hear woman pilot telling another gawker that she is a retired 767 captain.By then several other people have arrived and hanger flying is underway big time. I'relishing every minute of it and hang around to hear those inertia starters whine(I guess they still have inertia starters)and those P&W 2800s crank. Oshkosh is closed down to traffic because of thunderstorms and they expect to be open in thirty minutes. Another radial tricycle gear arrives. And then another. Seems like this is old home time as everyone knows everyone.Woman piloting one of the Yaks strikes up conversation and says she is a United 787 captain living in Longmont,Colorado and husband is teaching her to fly the Yak. Says ground handling the Yak takes getting used to.She flys out of LA and just got back from Singapore. An hour goes by and then another and another.F7 pilots begin to close up for the day and I head home to tell wife I have been waiting for over three hours to see Tigercats takeoff and saw nothing but listened to a lot of hanger flying. As usual, the first liar didn't stand a chance, and I kept my mouth shut about getting my A&P fifty some years ago at Spartan. I recall setting the magneto timing and the engine timing on a 2800 using some kind of a buzz box but that didn't qualify in this high priced company. It was a wonderful afternoon. I'll hear those F7s takeoff in the morning as we live three blocks from our airport. Even old retired guys who never put a wrench on a real airplane but took big GE turbines and generators apart hit the jackpot once in awhile.I'll still be drooling tomorrow about getting to look at F7s up close. One thing I did notice about the Tigercats. They had a second canopy and assume that is for a passenger. Don't recall the WWII F7s having that.Thanks for listening if you got this far.
 
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Astro14

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The Tigercat is an awesome airplane. Long range, heavily armed, fast, and sleek. I’ve seen one fly, many years ago, at Kalamazoo.
 
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From wikipedia,
Quote:
Based on the earlier Grumman XP-50 that was eventually canceled, the company developed the XP-65 (Model 51) further for a future "convoy fighter" concept. In 1943, work on the XP-65 was terminated in favor of the design that would eventually become the F7F.[1] The contract for the prototype XF7F-1 was signed on 30 June 1941. Grumman's aim was to produce a fighter that outperformed and outgunned all existing fighter aircraft, and that had an auxiliary ground attack capability.[2] Armament was heavy: four 20 mm cannon and four 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, as well as underwing and under-fuselage hardpoints for bombs and torpedoes. Performance met expectations too; the F7F Tigercat was one of the highest performance piston-engine fighters, with a top speed well in excess of the U.S. Navy's single-engine aircraft — 71 mph faster than a Grumman F6F Hellcat at sea level.[3] Captain Fred M. Trapnell, one of the Navy's premier test pilots, opined that: "It's the best [censored] fighter I've ever flown."[4] The Grumman F7F was originally named the "Tomcat", but this name was rejected, as it was considered too suggestive at the time.[5] The name would much later be used for the Grumman F-14. An F7F-3N of VMF(N)-513 at Wonsan, Korea, in 1952. All this was bought at the cost of heavy weight and a high landing speed, but what caused the aircraft to fail carrier suitability trials was poor directional stability with only one engine operational, as well as problems with the tailhook design.[6] The initial production series was, therefore, used only from land bases by the USMC, as night fighters with APS-6 radar.[7] At first, they were single-seat F7F-1N aircraft, but after the 34th production aircraft, a second seat for a radar operator was added; these aircraft were designated F7F-2N. The next version produced, the F7F-3, was modified to correct the issues that caused the aircraft to fail carrier acceptance and this version was again trialled on the USS Shangri-La. A wing failure on a heavy landing caused the failure of this carrier qualification, too. F7F-3 aircraft were produced in day fighter, night fighter and photo-reconnaissance versions.[8] A final version, the F7F-4N, was extensively rebuilt for additional strength and stability, and did pass carrier qualification, but only 12 were built.[8]
 

Yah-Tah-Hey

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Originally Posted By: Oldmoparguy1
From wikipedia,
Quote:
Based on the earlier Grumman XP-50 that was eventually canceled, the company developed the XP-65 (Model 51) further for a future "convoy fighter" concept. In 1943, work on the XP-65 was terminated in favor of the design that would eventually become the F7F.[1] The contract for the prototype XF7F-1 was signed on 30 June 1941. Grumman's aim was to produce a fighter that outperformed and outgunned all existing fighter aircraft, and that had an auxiliary ground attack capability.[2] Armament was heavy: four 20 mm cannon and four 0.50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns, as well as underwing and under-fuselage hardpoints for bombs and torpedoes. Performance met expectations too; the F7F Tigercat was one of the highest performance piston-engine fighters, with a top speed well in excess of the U.S. Navy's single-engine aircraft — 71 mph faster than a Grumman F6F Hellcat at sea level.[3] Captain Fred M. Trapnell, one of the Navy's premier test pilots, opined that: "It's the best [censored] fighter I've ever flown."[4] The Grumman F7F was originally named the "Tomcat", but this name was rejected, as it was considered too suggestive at the time.[5] The name would much later be used for the Grumman F-14. An F7F-3N of VMF(N)-513 at Wonsan, Korea, in 1952. All this was bought at the cost of heavy weight and a high landing speed, but what caused the aircraft to fail carrier suitability trials was poor directional stability with only one engine operational, as well as problems with the tailhook design.[6] The initial production series was, therefore, used only from land bases by the USMC, as night fighters with APS-6 radar.[7] At first, they were single-seat F7F-1N aircraft, but after the 34th production aircraft, a second seat for a radar operator was added; these aircraft were designated F7F-2N. The next version produced, the F7F-3, was modified to correct the issues that caused the aircraft to fail carrier acceptance and this version was again trialled on the USS Shangri-La. A wing failure on a heavy landing caused the failure of this carrier qualification, too. F7F-3 aircraft were produced in day fighter, night fighter and photo-reconnaissance versions.[8] A final version, the F7F-4N, was extensively rebuilt for additional strength and stability, and did pass carrier qualification, but only 12 were built.[8]
Thank you for your post Old. The F7s just departed and buzzed the airport twice before heading to Oshkosh. Woman pilot told me they will cruise at 230 knots and flying time to Oshkosh is about two hours. Should be hearing Yaks leave soon. We have two of them here, and I think they will probably fly over in formation before heading for the big get together.
 
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Reno is where you can behold Tiger Kittys up close and personal and watch them attack the course in full race mode...
 
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Mercy!!! looks like the magnesium rim failed but lucky it didn't happen on take off... one good thing is no prop strike...
 
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Tigercats are just so darn *wicked* looking! Death come to visit. To me they are a placeholder for the pinnacle of the final round of recip WWII development right along with the best and final versions of the P-51. Many a Naviator must have thanked God for that extra engine at times. Teaching young guys to manage and fight those things amazes me. Whenever you hear somebody, usually lefties, comparing our losses to the Russians, Germans, et al, say our combat deaths were only 250,000 remind them that there were 200,000 *non combat* deaths. Some significant number of those were kids trying to come to grips (literally) with throttle, mixture, prop and more Lektricity than a farmboy had ever seen. Our counting methods may not call them combat deaths but I do. Larry
 
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