The Grumman F8F Bearcat was designed to defeat the nimble Japanese fighter aircraft that appeared at the end of WWII. The conflict ended before the Bearcat could be placed into service, and althought it eventually saw combat with the French in the Indo-China war, it never flew in harm's way in the U.S. Navy.
One of the best piston-powered fighters ever built, the F8F could achieve a cruising speed of over 420 mph. In 1946 a Bearcat set a time-to-climb record of 10,000 feet in 94 seconds, a feat not matched until the advent of high-performance jet fighters nearly a decade later.
Originally printed by Grumman and the U.S. Navy, this Flight Operating Handbook taught pilots everything they needed to know before entering the cockpit.
This affordable facsimile has been slightly reformatted. Care has been taken however to preserve the integrity of the text.