20 Inch F8F Bearcat

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20 inch F8F Bearcat (kit only)

$ 25.00

20 inch F8F Bearcat kit w/ GWS Brushed Motor Combo

$ 47.50

20 inch F8F Bearcat kit w/ 9g Brushless Motor Combo

$ 68.00

The kit includes everything you need to build the airframe. Detailed instructions are provided on a CD included with the kit. To complete the model as shown, you will need:

- a micro receiver
- two 5g micro-servos
- motor and appropriate speed controller (included with our motor combo)
- a LiPo battery pack (we use a 2-cell 450mah)
- paint, glue etc.
- yogurt cup to make the cowl (optional)

Our kit has a 20" wingspan, and can be used with a variety of different motors depending on the desired performance. With our 9gm brushless, the model weighs about 4.3 ounces. This is a small and very nimble fighter and is best suited for flying at indoor venues.

The model can be powered with a variety of small motors :

- a GWS 12mm "IPS" motor (EDP 50XC) with a direct drive 3x2 prop (or a 4x2.5 prop with a propsaver)
- a Feigao brushless inrunner motor (12mm x 30mm can)
- any small brushless outrunner motor, such as the 9gm unit we offer

For even more of a challenge - check out our smaller 16" 'Rare Bear' Unlimited-class Reno Racer!


Historical Information

The F8F Bearcat was the last piston-engined fighter produced by Grumman, and is widely considered to be the epitome of that genre. The designers basically created the smallest and lightest airframe they could, for the largest engine that was available. With a massive 2100-HP radial engine and a giant 4-bladed propellor, the plane had unmatched speed and climb capabilities and set records that early jet fighters could not match. It arrived too late to serve in WWII with the US Navy, but served into the early 1950's and some planes saw combat in the service of other air forces, such as in Thailand and Vietnam.

An interesting story about the Bearcat - in 1946 it set the "Time to Climb" record. This was “Operation Pogo Stick" conducted as a demonstration at the Cleveland Air Race, November 22, 1946. An F8F-1 piloted by Comdr. Bill Leonard set a new time to climb record, from a dead stop to 10K feet in 97.8 seconds, including a 150 foot take off run. Unfortunately, he didn't get to keep the record very long. Lieut. Comdr. Butch Davenport came along about 15 minutes later and set the next new record of 94 seconds, also in an F8F-1 in a 115 foot take off run. Leonard's take off was into an estimated 30 kt head wind, by the time Davenport took off the head wind was over 40 kts. These wind speeds helped to reduce the time on the ground. The F8F’s used were the standard Navy aircraft, armed, with ammunition. The planes were modified, however, to allow full emergency military power with the landing gear down, something you couldn’t do in a stock airplane due to safety locks.

The CURRENT world record for the class is held by Lyle Shelton in his "Rare Bear." It was set in 1972, and he went from standstill to 3,000 meters in 91 seconds. That is 9,842.5 feet in 91 seconds from a standing start.

About ten Bearcats are still airworthy, and can be seen on the warbird airshow circuit. Perhaps the most famous Bearcat is "Rare Bear", which has been highly modified from the original production configuration for Unlimited-class pylon racing. This aircraft set the all-time speed record for piston engined fighters at 527mph, and is a regular highlight at the Reno Air Races.

We have a couple of REALLY COOL pictures of two Bearcats in our photo gallery - parked on the apron and roaring past.