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Rank VI Sweden + Premium + Golden Eagles
J35A Draken Pack
This page is about the American fighter F8F-1. For other variants, see F8F (Family).
GarageImage F8F-1.jpg
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The F8F-1 Bearcat is a rank IV American naval fighter with a battle rating of 4.7 (AB), 5.7 (RB), and 6.0 (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 only four M2 Brownings, the Bearcat can be a more than decent fighter in the right hands. The plane was developed to achieve two things: the best possible climb rate and the ability to land on escort carriers.

The in-game F8F-1 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. 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 main issue with the F8F-1 is its armament. With only four 12.7 mm M2 machine guns, the F8F-1 is lacking especially when compared to the succeeding F8F-1B that has four 20 mm M3 autocannons. 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 API-T 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 eight M2s which can chew through aircraft fuselages by hurling twice as many bullets down range. Meanwhile the measly 4 x M2s Bearcat will pepper the hull and simply be absorbed. And unlike other Browning armed airplanes, it has mediocre ammo load of only 1250 rounds.

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 HVAR rockets and bombs. Tiny Tims are especially useful against heavy ground targets and tanks.

General info

Flight performance

Arrestor gear
Accelerates braking by grabbing the brake cable on the deck of the aircraft carrier
Max speed
at 6 098 m686 km/h
Turn time20 s
Max altitude10 900 m
EnginePratt & Whitney R-2800-34W
Cooling systemAir
Take-off weight6 t
Characteristics Max Speed
(km/h at 6,098 m)
Max altitude
Turn time
Rate of climb
Take-off run
Stock 650 626 10900 21.1 21.8 17.0 17.0 220
Upgraded 731 686 19.0 20.0 30.7 22.6


Combat flaps Take-off flaps Landing flaps Air brakes Arrestor gear
Wings (km/h) Gear (km/h) Flaps (km/h) Max Static G
Combat Take-off Landing + -
827 340 616 585 427 ~10 ~5
Optimal velocities (km/h)
Ailerons Rudder Elevators Radiator
< 465 < 466 < 600 > 460
Compressor (RB/SB)
Setting 1
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
995 m 2,299 hp 2,384 hp
Setting 2
Optimal altitude 100% Engine power WEP Engine power
5,090 m 1,852 hp 1,918 hp

Survivability and armour

Crew1 person
Speed of destruction
Structural827 km/h
Gear340 km/h
  • 8.5 mm Steel - Under cowling engine armour plate
  • 8.5 mm Steel - Fore cockpit protection plate
  • 9.5 mm Steel - Pilots seat and headrest
  • 60 mm Bulletproof glass - Windshield

Modifications and economy

Repair costBasic → Reference
AB2 080 → 2 745 Sl icon.png
RB4 800 → 6 336 Sl icon.png
SB5 950 → 7 854 Sl icon.png
Total cost of modifications46 900 Rp icon.png
85 600 Sl icon.png
Talisman cost1 500 Ge icon.png
Crew training52 000 Sl icon.png
Experts180 000 Sl icon.png
Aces940 Ge icon.png
Research Aces480 000 Rp icon.png
Reward for battleAB / RB / SB
90 / 200 / 500 % Sl icon.png
166 / 166 / 166 % Rp icon.png
Flight performance Survivability Weaponry
Mods aerodinamic fuse.png
Fuselage repair
2 400 Rp icon.png
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods radiator.png
2 400 Rp icon.png
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods compressor.png
3 500 Rp icon.png
6 400 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods aerodinamic wing.png
Wings repair
2 900 Rp icon.png
5 300 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods new engine.png
2 900 Rp icon.png
5 300 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods g suit.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods metanol.png
Engine injection
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods armor frame.png
3 500 Rp icon.png
6 400 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mods armor cover.png
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
Mods ammo.png
2 400 Rp icon.png
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 1.png
Mods gunpods.png
2 400 Rp icon.png
4 400 Sl icon.png
180 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
FRC mk.2
3 500 Rp icon.png
6 400 Sl icon.png
260 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods weapon.png
2 900 Rp icon.png
5 300 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mods pilon rocket.png
LFRC mk.12
2 900 Rp icon.png
5 300 Sl icon.png
220 Ge icon.png
Mod arrow 0.png
Mods pilon bomb.png
FLBC mk.1
3 800 Rp icon.png
6 900 Sl icon.png
290 Ge icon.png
  • 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).
  • Armament upgrades are worth considering due to lacking armament, bad stock belts and medicore ammo count
  • G-suit is very useful, given the plane is most manoeuvrable at medium to high speeds


Offensive armament

Ammunition1 250 rounds
Fire rate750 shots/min

The F8F-1 is armed with:

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

The M2 Browning machine gun by this rank is a very familiar machine gun to most American players. The usage of the M20 API-T rounds in the belts available makes the F8F-1 able to dish out similar damages to that of other Rank III-IV fighters with the M2 Browning armaments.

However, the mounting of the armaments on the F8F-1 has some downsides. The F8F-1 only comes with four machine gun totals, two per wing, compared to the usual six machine guns in American fighters. Not only that, the F8F-1 guns come with less rounds per gun in the wing. This means the F8F-1 overall loses out in firepower and firing time available with the click of the trigger.

Suspended armament

Number of setups7
List of setups
Setup 14 x 12.7 mm M2 Browning machine gun (secondary)
(ammunition: 1 360 rounds)
Setup 22 x Tiny Tim rockets
Setup 34 x HVAR rockets
Setup 44 x HVAR rockets
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 51 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 62 x 500 lb AN-M64A1 bomb
1 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb
Setup 73 x 1000 lb AN-M65A1 bomb

The F8F-1 can be outfitted with the following ordnance:

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

In modes outside of Arcade Battles, the F8F-1 releases some suspended armaments in pairs rather than singular. The Tiny Tim rockets are both fired at the same time, so the pilot will only have one chance to hit the target. In configurations with multiple bombs, the wing-mounted bombs drop off first before the fuselage-mounted bomb.

Usage in battles

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

This aircraft is best when used as an energy fighter; however, unlike other American planes, it doesn't fulfil the Boom-and-Zoom role very well because of lacking armament and rudder lock-up above 720 km/h.

Originally designed to achieve best possible climb rate, this aircraft sacrifices almost everything else, including armament, supercharger, fuel load and radiator. However, as it was also made to be able to use escort carriers, it is also small and durable.

This aircraft has great climb rate of 29 m/s in Air Realistic Battles (spaded and with minimum fuel) as well as great acceleration; these two traits should be used accordingly for the plane's best performance. At the beginning of the match, climb into the battlefield, and attack the opponents with the highest energy. If there is an enemy above you, disengage using your great acceleration. Do not be afraid to attack lower enemies, as this plane's optimal altitude is below 1,000 m. It is also quite fast in a straight line, especially on low altitudes.

The bad low speed manoeuvrability isn't really an issue given the plane's acceleration.

Manual Engine Control

MEC elements
Mixer Pitch Radiator Supercharger Turbocharger
Oil Water Type
Controllable Controllable
Not auto controlled
Not auto controlled
Auto control available
Separate Controllable
2 gears
Not controllable
  • Although the name "Ovencat" may not sound encouragingly, MEC lets pilot completely forget about the overheating problem. Set the prop pitch to 100%, Mixer to ~95%. Change supercharger gear @~1,100m. Manage radiators according to the temperatures.

Pros and cons


  • One of the best climb rates of all prop planes
  • Great acceleration
  • Good top speed, especially at low altitudes
  • Great turn rate at medium to high speeds
  • Good roll rate at higher speeds
  • G-suit modification
  • Fast weapon reload (AB)
  • Great energy retention in the vertical
  • Can take a punch
  • Can utilize M20 API-T belts, which can set everything on fire with only a couple of bullets
  • Has access to gun pod
  • Minimum fuel load is 14 min
  • Has carrier hook which makes it useful on Pacific maps
  • It doesn't see jets as often as F8F-1B


  • Sluggish low speed handling (roll rate) and turning
  • Loses a lot of energy when turning
  • Bad high altitude performance above 5,000 m
  • Rudder compresses hardly when speeding above 720 kph
  • Engine overheats on 100% when using auto controls
  • Limited supply of ADI (Anti-Detonant Injection - mixture of alcohol and water to boost performance for WEP)
  • Extremely poor weapons when compared to Fw-190, J6M, Spitfire, and Yak variants, among others
  • Limited ammo count


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.


  1. Duplicate the folder template_f8f1 in your UserSkins folder and rename to template_f8f1b
  2. Rename each file in the template_f8f1b folder from f8f1*.* to f8f1b*.*
  3. edit f8f1b.blk and replace all instances of f8f1 with f8f1b

See also

Other F8F vehicles:

External links

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 · F11F-1
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-40E-1 TD · P-40F-10
P-43 Lancer  P-43A-1
P-47 Thunderbolt  P-47D-22-RE · 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-51C-10 · 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 · F2G-1
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