F8f Bearcat: Grumman's Late-War Dogfighter (Legends of Warfare: Aviation #64) (Hardcover)
The Grumman F8F was a fast, agile, carrier-borne fighter aircraft developed as the ultimate dogfighter for the Pacific theater. Although the plane did make it into production, with some examples even being delivered before the Japanese surrender, there is no evidence to suggest that the Bearcat ever saw combat during the Second World War. With the jet age on the horizon, and the specific threat of Japanese fighters a thing of the past, the Navy canceled a large portion of its order, and the F8F had a short, low-profile career. The Bearcat did finally see combat with the French military in Indochina, in relatively small numbers and without particular acclaim. The type would have likely faded into total obscurity, but thanks to its incredible raw performance it became a popular air show performer and racer. This is the most complete collection of Bearcat photography in print. The 200 images show the Bearcat both in military service and in civilian use; close-ups and diagrams illustrate the various details of its construction.