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F8F-1 Bearcat
General characteristics
1 personCrew
5.9 tTake-off weight
2.22 kg/sBurst mass
Flight characteristics
10 900 mCeiling
Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34WEngine
airCooling system
Speed of destruction
827 km/hStructural
340 km/hGear
Offensive armament
4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gunWeapon 1
1 250 roundsAmmunition
768 shots/minFire rate
Suspended armament
4 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun (secondary)Setup 1
2 x Tiny Tim rocketsSetup 2
4 x HVAR rocketsSetup 3
4 x HVAR rockets
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 4
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombSetup 5
2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 6
3 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bombSetup 7
63 000 Rp icon.pngResearch
240 000 Sl icon.pngPurchase
Sl icon.png6 400 / 8 428/6 080 / 8 007/2 560 / 3 371Repair
68 000 Sl icon.pngCrew training
240 000 Sl icon.pngExperts
1 100 Ge icon.pngAces
172 % Rp icon.pngReward for battle
340 % Sl icon.png230 % Sl icon.png110 % Sl icon.png
This page is about the aircraft F8F-1. For other uses, see F8F (Family).


GarageImage F8F-1.jpg

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 F8F-1 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.

In War Thunder, the F8F Bearcat is an Rank 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 13-15 mm. 20 mm Hispanos and 30 mm Rhein Borsig series guns are your biggest threats in terms of damage.

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.

General info

Flight Performance

Max Speed
(km/h at 6,098 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
666 646 10,900 20.8 21.4 19.4 19.3 220
Max Speed
(km/h at 6,098 m)
Max altitude (meters) Turn time (seconds) Rate of climb
Take-off run (meters)
 ?  ? 10,900  ??.?  ??.?  ?.?  ?.? 220


Combat flap Take-off flap Landing flap Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wing-break speed
Gear limit
Combat flap
Max Static G
+ -
830 300 910 ~12 ~6
Optimal velocities
< 540 < 540 < 500 > 250
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
995 m 2,120 hp  ?,??? hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
5,090 m 1,700 hp  ?,??? hp

Survivability and armour

  • 8.5 mm Steel - Under cowling engine armor plate
  • 8.5 mm Steel - Fore cockpit protection plate
  • 9.5 mm Steel - Pilots seat and headrest
  • 60 mm Bulletproof glass - Windshield


Offensive armament

Main article: Browning M2 (12.7 mm)

The F8F-1 is armed with:

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

Suspended armament

Main article: Suspended armaments

The F8F-1 can be outfitted with the following ordinance options:

  • Without load
  • 2 x 297 mm Tiny Tim rockets
  • 4 x 127 mm HVAR rockets
  • 4 x 127 mm HVAR rockets + 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb (1,000 lb total)
  • 2 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bombs + 1 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb (2,000 lb total)
  • 3 x 1,000 lb AN-M65A1 bombs (3,000 lb total)
  • 4 x 12.7 mm Browning M2 machine guns (gun pods) (340 rpg = 1,360 total)

Usage in battles

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 turn-fighting and dog-fighting a breeze. Unfortunately, the F8F-1 is a rather weak Boom & Zoomer due to its less than effective 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 Boom & Zoom 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.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Not controllable Not controllable Not controllable Separate Not ontrollable Not controllable


Tier Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
I Fuselage Repair Radiator Offensive 12 mm DPG-1
II Compressor Airframe FRC mk.2
III Wings Repair Engine New 12 mm MGs LFRC mk.12
IV G-Suit Engine Injection Cover FLBC mk.1
  • 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).

Pros and cons


  • 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


  • 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 > 6,000m
  • 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


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.



Pictures & paintings

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

See also

Links to the articles on the War Thunder Wiki that you think will be useful for the reader, for example:

  • reference to the series of the aircraft;
  • links to approximate analogues of other nations and research trees.

External links

Paste links to sources and external resources, such as:

  • topic on the official game forum;
  • encyclopedia page on aircraft;
  • other literature.

Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation
Fighters  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2 · F4F-3 · F4F-4 · F6F-5 · F6F-5N · F7F-1 · F7F-3 · F8F-1 · F8F-1B · XF5F · XP-50
Jet Fighters  F9F-2 · F9F-5 · F9F-8
Bombers  TBF-1C
Export  Martlet Mk IV · ▄F6F-5 · ▄F6F-5N · ▄F8F-1B · ▄Avenger Mk II · ▄Hellcat Mk II

USA fighters
P-26 Peashooter  P-26A-33 · P-26A-34 · P-26A-34 M2 · P-26B-35
P-36 Hawk  P-36A · Rasmussen's P-36A · P-36C · P-36G
P-39 Airacobra  P-400 · P-39N-0 · P-39Q-5
P-40  P-40C · P-40E-1 · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-25 · P-47D-28 · P-47M-1-RE · ⋠P-47M-1-RE · P-47N-15
P-51 Mustang  P-51 · P-51A (Thunder League) · P-51D-5 · P-51D-10 · P-51D-20-NA · P-51D-30 · P-51H-5-NA
P-63 Kingcobra  P-63A-5 · P-63A-10 · P-63C-5 · ␠Kingcobra
Prototypes  XP-55
F2A Buffalo  F2A-1 · Thach's F2A-1 · F2A-3
F3F  F3F-2 · Galer's F3F-2
F4F Wildcat  F4F-3 · F4F-4
F4U Corsair  F4U-1A · F4U-1A (USMC) · F4U-1D · F4U-1C · F4U-4 · F4U-4B · F4U-4B VMF-214
F6F Hellcat  F6F-5 · F6F-5N
F8F Bearcat  F8F-1 · F8F-1B
Other countries  ▃Ki-43-II · ▃Ki-61-Ib · ▃A6M2 · ▃Bf 109 F-4 · ▃Fw 190 A-8 · ▃Spitfire LF Mk IXc