blue angels aircraft (Bearcat)

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Video Extraordinaire
Apr 2, 2005
hi: i have founded this aircraft for the eye pleasure.
excuse my poor english, i am french..




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Those shots are from an airshow in Galveston last weekend (23-24 April 05).

Here's a shot of an original Blues Bearcat...


Blue Angels/USN Photo

And here's 'Beetle Bomb'...


Image source/credit: unknown web

Fade to Black...
There is an old Spike Jones song called "Beetle Bomb" about a horse race. I wonder if it is somehow related. That's real similar to the color scheme they used on the SNJ. Maybe a training aircraft of some sort?
When the Blues used the Bearcat as their main display bird they had an
SNJ which was painted up to look like a Zero, hence the number '0' on
the tail. 'Twas yellow overall and had the red meatballs...


The SNJ was used as part of a dogfight routine. At the end of the routine
the 'Zero' would trail smoke, a dummy pilot with parachute was thrown
outta the rear cockpit and the plane would probably disappear behind
some trees or some such. Just like Hollywood...

Anyhoo, at some point a yellow Bearcat replaced the SNJ. The meatballs
were gone, replaced by the 'US Navy' in blue and the dummy pilot was
carried under the belly of the plane in a pod.

I dunno the origin of the name 'Beetle Bomb' but the Spike Jones tune
providing inspiration is probable.

When the team switched to jets I believe they kept this routine for a while
but eventually dropped it. Perhaps they discontinued it after the team was
reformed following the Korean War... I really dunno.

The Bearcat was the team narrator's mount and its use continued after
the dogfight routine was dropped, eventually being replaced by a TV
Sea Star.

Fade to Black...
Here's another F8F-1, bureau number 94880, assigned to NATC in 1946. This particular airplane set a climb to time record, from a standing stop to 10000 feet, of 100 seconds at the Cleveland Air Races on November 22, 1946. Here's a funny little triva question: How long did that record stand?



The Bearcat holds the piston-powered world record for it's time to climb. That record is 91 seconds from brake release at sea level to 10,000 feet. It is said to have held this record for almost three decades until finally beaten by the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

Considering the age difference, the Lightning's performance was totally outstanding when introduced into service, and when it finally bowed out, it could still out-climb most of its successors. Its initial rate of climb was 50,000 ft per minute. The Mirage IIIE climbed initially at 30,000 ft per minute; the Phantom F-4M managed 32,000 ft per minute; the MiG-21 could only manage 36,090 ft per minute; the F-16A's initial rate was 40,000 ft per minute, and the Tornado F.3's 43,000 ft per minute. So the Lightning reigned supreme. Only later was it surpassed; the F-15 Eagle, and the MiG-25 both have initial climb rates as good or better. The Lightning's time to FL 360 in re-heat was 2.5 minutes, in this respect the Eagle produced a similar figure, though this could vary depending upon its configuration.

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