The Grumman F8F Bearcat represents the pinnacle of US carrier-borne piston-engine fighter design. Marrying a compact, lightweight airframe with a powerful 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp radial engine churning out more than 2,000 horsepower produced an aircraft intended to be an interceptor that could operate from the smallest escort carriers. While the Bearcat prototype first took to the air in August 1944, and the first squadron equipped with the new fighters was operational in May 1945, the war ended before the Bearcat actually saw combat in World War II. The type would ultimately see combat in the First Indochina War. Chronicling this diminutive fighter in this 80 page volume is a blend of 89 vintage black-and-white photos, as well as 13 colour photos from the same time period, augmented by 77 further colour photos of preserved aircraft. Five full-colour profiles and 17 line drawings capture the nuances of this famed warbird.
ISBN 978-0-89747-747-5 Paperback
ISBN 978-0-89747-746-8 Hardback