Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat

Pima Air and Space Museum Aircraft

Manufacturer
Grumman
Markings
VMF(N)-533, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina, 1952
Designation
F7F-3
Serial Number
80410

Grumman F7F-3 Tigercat

The Grumman Tigercat was the first twin-engine fighter to go into production for the U.S. Navy. Although it was intended for use from carriers it rarely did so as the aircraft’s weight and speed made it overly dangerous. Operated from land bases the Tigercat proved to be a very good performer. It was fast, heavily armed, very maneuverable for a two engine fighter, and easy to fly. Although the F7F first flew in 1943 it was not until August 13, 1945 that the first Tigercat fighter squadron reached Okinawa. A number of Tigercat variants were produced including the single seat day fighter, two-seat night fighter, and a single seat photo reconnaissance version. Having missed World War II by a matter of hours the F7F had to wait for the Korean War to prove its abilities. Tigercats operated successfully as night fighters, and in night ground interdiction missions. The F7F was phased out of Marine service by 1954 but several Tigercats were sold to civilians for aerial firefighting. Of the 364 Tigercats built less than 10 remain.

Specifications
Wingspan 51 ft 6 in
Length 45 ft 4 in
Height 16 ft 4 in
Weight 21,720 lbs (loaded)
Max. Speed 450 mph
Service Ceiling 40,700 ft
Range 1,900 miles
Engines 2 Wright R-2800-34W radials with 2,100 horsepower each
Crew 1