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F7F Tigercat aircraft, produced by Grumman, were the first multi-engine fighters of the United States Navy. Although deployed to some Marine Corps squadrons before the end of World War II, it did not see any action in the war.
The concept of the F7F Tigercat originated in 1941. It was to be a speedy, heavily armed, carrier based fighter that could also be used in a ground support role.
When the F7F Tigercat flew for the first time on Nov. 2, 1943, it was too large for many U.S. Navy carriers of the time. Initially only the Marines used it. The aircraft needed some redesign before it would be able to operate from the newest, larger U.S. Navy carriers.
It was determined that the vertical stabilizer of the F7F Tigercat needed to be enlarged by about 30% so that it would meet U.S. Navy single engine handling requirements. The modification took about 30 months to accomplish. Eventually only twelve of the aircraft were produced that met U.S. Navy aircraft carrier requirements. These were never deployed aboard aircraft carriers.
The F7F Tigercat was a fast climbing, quick accelerating aircraft with excellent forward visibility. It had the best range of any Navy aircraft of its time. However, it was not without its faults. First and foremost was its tendency to flat spin to the point where it would not recover. In response, the Navy issued a directive prohibiting spinning the aircraft. Also, due to its heavy wing loading, it needed a relatively high speed to maintain control of the aircraft with an engine out.
During the Korean War, F7F Tigercat aircraft was used as night fighters, escorting B-29 Superfortresses. When jet interceptors were employed by the North Koreans, it was retired from escort service in favor of faster jet aircraft. The last F7F Tigercat flew for the U.S. military in 1954.
A total of 364 F-7F Tigercat aircraft were built. They served as reconnaissance aircraft, fighters, ground attack aircraft, bomber escorts, and night fighters.
After being retired from military service, a number of F7F Tigercat aircraft went on to serve as air tankers. And at least two were converted to air racers. Today six of the aircraft are still flying.
Arnold Marcus and his rc F7F.
Pictured above is Arnold Marcus and his rc F7F from a kit for sale by Aircraft International. The F7F Tigercat is made of Kevlar and has a wingspan of 120." Aircraft International tells us that you can power the scale model rc airplane with either 3W-38/42i or 3W-48B2 engines.
NitroPlanes has a 50" wingspan rc F7F for sale. The F7F Tigercat features a fiberglass fuselage and balsa built up wings.
Ducted fans.com has a rc F7F kit for sale. Wingspan is 52". It has a fiberglass fuselage and built-up sheeted wings. Power for the F7F Tigercat comes from two Axi G28-14-12 motors.
Scale Wings has a rc F7F kit for sale with a 112" wingspan, shown in the first picture below. The F7F Tigercat is of all composite construction. Recommended engines are 35 cc - 60 cc. All up weight of the is 48 - 55 lbs.
Pictured first below is detail of the Aero-naut Modellbau rc F7F for sale built by Lee Crowder from Easton, MD. It has a wingspan of 52 1/2" and a length of 42". Construction of the F7F Tigercat is a GRP fuselage and balsa wings. You will need 3:1 geared speed 400 to 480 size motors for power.
Lee writes: "My Aero-naut F-7 Tigercat is modeled after the Reno racer Bad Kitty. Turned out to be quite a challenge since the plans were in German, not my native language, and it had no landing gear information. Motors are Eflite 480s with 2,300 ma 3s batteries in parallel, with electric retracts all round and sequencing gear doors."
We want to thank Lee for the information about his good looking rc F7F.
The next two pictures are of rc F7F for sale from Kondor Model Products. It features a fiberglass fuselage and built up wings. Wingspan is 83". To power the F7F Tigercat you will need a pair of .70 to .91 four cycle engines.
Harry Haney Jr. sent in the last picture on this page of his KMP F7F Tigercat powered by RCS 1.40 gas engines.
If you have a favorite rc F7F, please email us.
Detail of the rc F7F built by Lee Crowder.
RC F7F from Scale Wings.
A rc F7F for sale by KMP.
The rc F7F from KMP in flight.
The rc F7F built by Harry Haney Jr.