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  • Manufacturer
  • Grumman
  • Model
  • F8F-1 Bearcat
  • Name
  • “204”
  • Tail Number
  • N58204

If the Bearcats had ever screamed into battle with Japanese Zeros in the closing chapters of WWII, the reaction on the enemy side might have been, “What the heck was that?” The notoriously maneuverable Japanese fighters had dominated too many dogfights, and the F8F was designed as the last piston-engine aircraft used in the war to answer the need for an aircraft with a dramatically increased rate of climb and high top speed. Fortunately for the Zero pilots, who already had their hands full with the F4U Corsairs, the Bearcat units arrived too late in the Pacific to see combat. One of four F8 fighters in the Lewis Air Legends Bearcat squadron – another is the famous Rare Bear – 204 was rebuilt to Zero Time standards by Bruce Lockwood at the Museum of Flying from 1993 to 1995. With all new or completely overhauled systems, this remarkably fast, capable fighter is ready and waiting to report for duty.