Grumman F8F-2P Bearcat, Bureau #: 121714, G-RUMM
Pratt & Whitney R-2800-73, 46 litre, 18-cylinder air-cooled radial
The Bearcat is the longest serving member of The Fighter Collection and a favourite mount of Collection founder Stephen Grey. Built in 1948 this Bearcat saw US Navy service until 1957 before passing through two owners in the United States including Planes of Fame founder Ed Maloney from 1957-1972. After a refurbishment in the 1970s the Bearcat was aquired by Stephen Grey in 1981 moving initially to Geneva before the fledgling Fighter Collection re-located to Duxford in 1984. A Duxford staple for over 30 years the Bearcat was Stephen Grey's aeroplane of choice for his powerful, dynamic Joker routine at many a Flying Legends airshow, until his retirement from display flying in 2013.
Around 15 Bearcats remain in airworthy condition, this being the only example currently flying outside the United States.
"Look around at the tinkling, oil-streaked, magnificent Beasty. How can one have that much fun, apart from taking off again?" - Stephen Grey 1998 TFC Website - Bearcat
© Dave Brenchley Photography