F8F-1 Bearcat

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Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

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General info

F8F-1 Bearcat in the garage.

The F8F-1 Bearcat is a Rank IV American naval fighter with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB) and 6.0 (RB/SB). It was introduced in Update 1.33.

The main purpose, usage and tactics recommendations

General play style

The F8F-1 Bearcat is an all-purpose light fighter-bomber, and excels as such. Although it may seemed incredibly outgunned with its quad M2 Brownings (even more compared to its 1B counterpart), the Bearcat can be a more than decent fighter in the right hands.

The elephant in the room when it comes to the Bearcat is its 4 x M2 Brownings. With a relatively low fire rate and low damage, pilots must make their shots count. Unlike most other planes equipped with the M2 Brownings, the Bearcat can utilize M20 APIT rounds. These rounds excel at setting targets aflame. Precise aiming is key, specifically targeting the enemy aircraft's engine or pilot. Aiming for the fuselage is less effective as unlike the P-47D, which has 8 x M2s which can chew through aircraft hulls by hurling twice as many bullets down range. Meanwhile the measly 4 x M2s Bearcat will pepper the hull and simply be absorbed.

Make use of the secondary payloads as well. The Bearcat can make use of the Tiny Tim rockets as well as a large array of rockets and bombs. Tiny Tims are especially useful against heavy ground targets and tanks.

Vehicle characteristics

In War Thunder, the F8F Bearcat is an Era IV US Naval Fighter. In game there are two versions of this particular model available – the F8F-1, armed with 4 .50 caliber M2 machine guns and the F8F-1B, armed with 4 AN/M3 20 mm cannons. The difference in armament is reflected in the Battle Ratings – the MG armed Bearcat has Battle Ratings about 1.0 lower than the version equipped with cannons has a Battle Rating above 6.0-6.3 in all game modes. The in-game Bearcat retains many advantages of the real-life counterpart. The F8F has very good acceleration and climb rate, thanks to its powerful engine. Because of that, it can quickly gain an altitude advantage over its opponents. Thanks to its high top speed, good wing endurance, and good energy retention capabilities, the F8F is perfectly suited to energy fighting using Boom & Zoom tactics. A Bearcat pilot should avoid low-speed dogfights, instead opt for a diving attack from above.The Bearcat is also a very hardy aircraft able to sustain several hits from enemy cannon and machine gun rounds before being decommissioned. The phrase "Grumman Ironworks" comes into play on the Bearcats just like their previous works; The F3F, The F4F Wild Cat, and the F6F Hellcat. Therefore you shouldn't be too wary of 13-15mm. 20mm Hispanos and 30 mm Rhein. Borsig series guns are your biggest threats in terms of damage.

Tactics

A Bearcat dives towards a formation of Kikka fighter-bombers.

Unlike its big brother, the F8F-1B, the 1 has a far lower climb rate. However, it still possesses its light airframe, which makes turnfighting and dogfighting a breeze. Unfortunately, the F8F-1 is a rather weak BnZer due to its weak armament. A high speed swooping attack has to be completed with utmost precision; otherwise, you will do no damage and will attract the attention of planes with far stronger weaponry.

Once at high altitude, one can BnZ weaker planes. The fantastic acceleration, dive speed, and energy retention make the Bearcat one of the best energy fighters in War Thunder. Compared to its brother, the 1B, the 1 is a far more challenging fighter to fly.

Keep in mind the good roll rate of the Bearcat, as well. Use this when evading opponents.

Low speed, low altitude fighting is not a strength of the Bearcat. It is best used within altitude ranges of 4-5 km.

Specific enemies worth noting

Counter-tactics

Pros and cons

Pros:

  • Good rate of climb.
  • Great turn rate.
  • Good roll rate at higher speeds.
  • G-suit modification.
  • Fast weapon reload and high ammo capacity.
  • Great energy retention in the vertical.
  • Can utilize M20 API-T belts, which can double or triple the effectiveness of the guns.

Cons:

  • Extremely sluggish low speed handling and turning.
  • Poor turn time compared to most other contemporary fighters (Ki-84, Bf-109 G-10, etc.).
  • Loses a lot of energy when turning.
  • Bad high altitude performance > 6000m.
  • Engine overheats.
  • Limited supply of ADI ('anti-detonant injection' mixture of alcohol and water to boost performance).
  • Extremely poor weapons when compared to FW-190, BF-109, Ki-84, Spitfire, and Yak variants, among others.

Specifications

Armaments

Offensive armaments

  • 4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning, wing-mounted (300 + 325 rpg each wing = 1,250 total)

Payloads

  • 2 x 297 mm Tiny Tim rockets
  • 4 x 127 mm HVAR rockets
  • 4 x 127 mm HVAR rockets + 1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
  • 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs + 1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
  • 3 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs

Engine & mobility

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator

Arcade Realistic Simulator


Engine

Name: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W 18-cylinder radial
  • Cooling type: Air
  • Takeoff power: 1997 hp (Stock), ____ hp (Upgraded)
  • Mass: 1133 kg
Name: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W 18-cylinder radial
  • Cooling type: Air
  • Takeoff power: 1977 hp (Stock), ____ hp (Upgraded)
  • Mass: 1133 kg
Name: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W 18-cylinder radial
  • Cooling type: Air
  • Takeoff power: 1977 hp (Stock), ____ hp (Upgraded)
  • Mass: 1133 kg

Stats

Stock
  • Max speed: 666 km/h
    • at height: 6,098 m
  • Max altitude: 10,900 m
  • Turn Time: 20.8 s
  • Rate of Climb: 19.4 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 220 m

Upgraded

  • Max speed: ___ km/h
    • at height: 6,098 m
  • Max altitude: 10,900 m
  • Turn Time: __._ s
  • Rate of Climb: _._ m/s
  • Takeoff run: 220 m
Stock
  • Max speed: 646 km/h
    • at height: 6,098 m
  • Max altitude: 10,900 m
  • Turn Time: 21.4 s
  • Rate of Climb: 19.3 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 220 m

Upgraded

  • Max speed: ___ km/h
    • at height: 6,098 m
  • Max altitude: 10,900 m
  • Turn Time: __._ s
  • Rate of Climb: _._ m/s
  • Takeoff run: 220 m
Stock
  • Max speed: 646 km/h
    • at height: 6,098 m
  • Max altitude: 10,900 m
  • Turn Time: 21.4 s
  • Rate of Climb: 19.3 m/s
  • Takeoff run: 220 m

Upgraded

  • Max speed: ___ km/h
    • at height: 6,098 m
  • Max altitude: 10,900 m
  • Turn Time: __._ s
  • Rate of Climb: _._ m/s
  • Takeoff run: 220 m

Performance

Warning this is still in the test phase and is probably incorrect. Take information with a grain of salt (data taken from 1.55)




0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
0
0.44
0.88
1.32
1.76
2.2
Horsepower in 1000hp
Altitude in 1000m

Supercharger Stage #1: 100%

Supercharger Stage #1: WEP

Supercharger Stage #2: 100%

Supercharger Stage #2: WEP



Modules and improvements

Following modules are of utmost importance for the F8F as energy fighter:

The "holy trinity" of flight performance upgrades: Compressor, Engine, and Engine injection. All three combined increase climb rate by 10 m/s (~2000 feet/min).

The real advantage though is the increased acceleration, the important characteristic for energy fighters. For the progression through the grind these upgrades are also ideal: Tier I: 12mm Offensive belt Tier II: Airframe Tier III: Wings repair, Engine, and New 12mm MGs. Alternatively FRC mk.2 or LRFC mk.12 (rockets) can be researched instead of the mediocre Airframe Tier IV: '"G-Suit

History of creation and combat usage

The first idea for the creation of the Grumman F8F Bearcat was pitched after the Battle of Midway. Many pilots who took part in it remarked that one of the most important parts of naval air warfare was an aircraft’s rate of climb. This of course meant that an increase in power was necessary. In 1943 the design work on the new aircraft began. The outline called for a fighter-interceptor, capable of operating even from small escort carriers. While the engine – the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 radial – was the same model used on the earlier F6F Hellcat, the new fighter would be lighter which also meant an increase in speed and climb rate. The concession was limiting the range of the new aircraft. The F8F would also feature a bubble canopy for better all around visibility. The first prototype, the XF8F-1, first took to the skies on the 21st August 1944. Further tests proved the aircraft's reliability and ruggedness, and the F8F was accepted into mass production. The first serial models rolled off the assembly line in February 1945 and were delivered to VF-19 fighter squadron, which began operating flights with the Bearcats in May 1945.

The new fighter, was, however, too late for any combat in World War II. After the war the situation of this propeller aircraft got even more complicated thanks to the introduction of naval jet aircraft. Even though the F8F was one of the fastest propeller-driven aircraft of its time, it was clear that the jet age was dawning. The F8F was replaced in US Navy and USMC service by the F9F Panther and the F2H Banshee jet aircraft. Some Bearcats saw combat service with the French in French Indochina in 1951, when they were used in the CAS role against the Viet Minh troops. Thailand also received a shipment of Bearcats which were then operated by the Thai Air Force. The F8F found a new life – thanks to its speed and acceleration - it was and still is widely used as a racing aircraft. One of the most famous racing Bearcats is the Rare Bear – a specially modified F8F, which holds many propeller aircraft speed and climb records.

Screenshots and fan art

Skins

Videos

Pictures & paintings

"Hunting made two cards": F8F vs. He 162 "Never fly alone" "big brother"

Additional information (links)

Forum: "[Aircraft Profile] F8F Bearcat"

References


Horsepower graphSidebar

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f8f1.png

Icon-country-usa.png F8F-1 Bearcat
Nation USA
Type Carrier fighter
Fighting style Boom & Zoom
Engery Fighting

   Metric✓       Imperial   

   Metric       Imperial✓   

Characteristics
Empty Weight ~3640 kg
Empty Weight + fuel ~4144 kg
Takeoff Weight ~4557 kg
Wing Area ~25 m²
# Flap Positions 3
Number of Engines 1
Air Breaks no
Arrestor Gear yes
Statistics
Power per Engine 2095 hp
WEP Duration infinite
top speed ~686.00 kph at 6098 m
Climb Rate ~22.60 m/s
Optimal climb velocity ~269.19 kph
Turn Time ~20.00 s
Wing loading (Empty) ~148.00 kg/m²
Characteristics
Empty Weight ~8025 lb
Empty Weight + fuel ~9136 lb
Takeoff Weight ~10046 lb
Wing Area ~266 ft²
# Flap Positions 3
Number of Engines 1
Air Breaks no
Arrestor Gear yes
Statistics
Power per Engine 2095 hp
WEP Duration infinite
Top speed ~426.26 mph at 20007 m
Climb Rate 74.15 ft/s
Optimal climb velocity ~167.27 mph
Turn Time 20.00 s
Wing loading (Empty) ~30.31 lb/ft²
Main Weapons
2 x M2/late Browning 300 RPG
2 x M2/late Browning 325 RPG
Payload Option 1
Nothing Loaded Clean Plane
Payload Option 2
2 x 🚀 910mm, 569kg Tiny Tim rocket
Payload Option 3
4 x 🚀 173mm, 20.6kg HVAR rocket
Payload Option 4
1 x 💣 1000 lbs AN-M65A1 Bomb
4 x 🚀 173mm, 20.6kg HVAR rocket
Payload Option 5
1 x 💣 1000 lbs AN-M65A1 Bomb
Payload Option 6
1 x 💣 1000 lbs AN-M65A1 Bomb
2 x 💣 500 lbs Bomb
Payload Option 7
3 x 💣 1000 lbs AN-M65A1 Bomb
Limits
Max Speed limit 830 kph
Gear lmit 300 kph
Combat Flaps 910 kph
Max static +G's ~12
Max static -G's ~6
Optimal Velocities
Ailerons <540 kph
Rudder <540 kph
Elevators <500 kph
Radiator >250 kph
Limits
Max Speed limit 516 mph
Gear lmit 186 mph
Combat Flaps 565 mph
Max static +G's ~12
Max static -G's ~6
Optimal Velocities
Ailerons <336 mph
Rudder <336 mph
Elevators <311 mph
Radiator >155 mph
Manual Control
Mixer is not controllable
Pitch is controllable
no automatic pitch
Radiator (water) is controllable
Radiator (oil) is not controllable
Oil and water uses combined radiator control
Supercharger is controllable
Turbocharger is not controllable
Compressor settings 1
Optimal Altitude
995 m
3264 ft
100% Enginepower 2120 hp
Compressor settings 2
Optimal Altitude
5090 m
16699 ft
100% Enginepower 1700 hp
* Warning this is still in the test phase and can be incorrect. Take information with a grain of salt (data from 1.57 initial release)