F8F-2 Bearcat

"Tai Wun On"

F8F-2 Bearcat

  • Manufacturer: Grumman
  • Model: F8F-2 Bearcat
  • Name: "Tai Win On"
  • Tail Number: N747NF

In the Pacific theater of WWII the notoriously maneuverable Japanese fighters were taking a hammering from the Navy’s F4U Corsairs. The F8F Bearcats would have likely put the nail in the coffin. Thanks to a captured Focke-Wulf Fw 190 fighter, Grumman was able to design the last piston-engine aircraft used in WWII to answer the need for an aircraft with a dramatically increased rate of climb and high top speed. At 450 mph, only the new jet-powered aircraft could best the Bearcat for top speed and climb rate. Into the late 1940s, the Navy still relied on the F8F, and it remained a favorite of fighter pilots. One of four F8F fighters in the Lewis Air Legends Bearcat squadron – another is the famous Rare Bear – Tai Wun On bears the Royal Thai Air Force markings. The F8F was still on duty well into the Cold War, with 204 of the aircraft serving in the RTAF between 1951 – 1963.


  • Wing Span: 35' 10"
  • Length: 28' 3"
  • Height: 13' 10
  • Max Speed: 450 mph
  • Gross Weight: 11,000 lbs
  • Power Plant: Pratt & Whitney R-2800-34W
  • Horsepower: 2,100
  • Fuel Capacity: 260gal


Guns: 4 x .50 cal machine guns