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Anyone have any experience with the F7U "Gutless Cutlass"



 
 
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  #1  
Old December 22nd 04, 06:35 PM
MuseumTech
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Default Anyone have any experience with the F7U "Gutless Cutlass"

I was wondering if there were any retired Naval Aviators who have
flight hours logged with the dreaded F7U Cutlass. I work at the
National Museum of Naval Aviation here in Pensacola. We currently have
one on display. Aesthetically speaking, it's a pretty nice looking
plane, but I have read a lot of negative things about it. Were the
flaws merely due to the low performance of the Westinghouse engine?
Were there other flaws? I would love to hear any stories from people
who flew this plane.
Thank you and Happy Holidays

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  #2  
Old December 22nd 04, 06:43 PM
Greasy Rider
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On 22 Dec 2004 10:35:25 -0800, "MuseumTech"
postulated :
I was wondering if there were any retired Naval Aviators who have
flight hours logged with the dreaded F7U Cutlass. I work at the
National Museum of Naval Aviation here in Pensacola. We currently have
one on display. Aesthetically speaking, it's a pretty nice looking
plane, but I have read a lot of negative things about it. Were the
flaws merely due to the low performance of the Westinghouse engine?
Were there other flaws? I would love to hear any stories from people
who flew this plane.
Thank you and Happy Holidays


If you Google F7U Cutlass you will get several hits.

http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/vought/f7u-3.htm

Buried down in there are several comments about the Cutlass and one is
allegedly by a F7U pilot with his e-mail address shown.

There are several more hits on the F7U.
  #3  
Old December 22nd 04, 08:51 PM
John Carrier
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Default

I didn't fly it (got its successor, the F-8 which used some of the concepts
developed in the Cutlass). From those that did, if you don't mind 2nd hand
info.

Systems (Hydraulics, electrical, etc) were unreliable. Underpowered in
basic engine (as were most navy jets of the era). The tailless design used
ailevators (ailerons also serving as elevators) which unfortunately acted to
decamber the wing (reducing lift) as they were commanded trailing edge up
(to increase attitude, AOA and lift). It was unforgiving around the boat.
I think it enjoyed a level of mediocrity shore based (fun to fly, one great
turn), but never actually deployed. The Blues used one briefly as a solo
aircraft. First Navy jet with afterburner. Longest nose strut ever
installed in a tactical aircraft. Seat modified to tilt forward for
improved vis during approach.

Noteworthy developments. Balsa/aluminum sandwich (the balsa was cut
crossgrain, Vought had a patented name for it, can't remember anymore)
construction for lightweight strength ... a poor man's honeycomb concept.
Trim system using potentiometer (thumbwheels) on stick for pitch and roll
trim vice the ubiquitous "coolly hat" trim button ... superior IMO, perhaps
not as reliable though I never experienced a primary trim failure in the
F-8. Early yaw and roll stab systems.

R / John

"Greasy Rider" wrote in message
...
On 22 Dec 2004 10:35:25 -0800, "MuseumTech"
postulated :
I was wondering if there were any retired Naval Aviators who have
flight hours logged with the dreaded F7U Cutlass. I work at the
National Museum of Naval Aviation here in Pensacola. We currently have
one on display. Aesthetically speaking, it's a pretty nice looking
plane, but I have read a lot of negative things about it. Were the
flaws merely due to the low performance of the Westinghouse engine?
Were there other flaws? I would love to hear any stories from people
who flew this plane.
Thank you and Happy Holidays


If you Google F7U Cutlass you will get several hits.

http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/vought/f7u-3.htm

Buried down in there are several comments about the Cutlass and one is
allegedly by a F7U pilot with his e-mail address shown.

There are several more hits on the F7U.



  #4  
Old December 22nd 04, 09:18 PM
Greasy Rider
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Default

On Wed, 22 Dec 2004 14:51:44 -0600, "John Carrier"
postulated :


I think it enjoyed a level of mediocrity shore based (fun to fly, one great
turn), but never actually deployed.


While at Port Lyautey in 1956 I saw a squadron of Cutlass (VA-66?)
stop in for a few weeks. I think they were from the Champlain
operating in the Med. One did a wheels up landing at Lyautey and the
pilot suffered a broken back. A wheel watch duty was created until
they left.


  #5  
Old December 22nd 04, 11:40 PM
W. D. Allen Sr.
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Default

"...Longest nose strut ever installed in a tactical aircraft. Seat modified
to tilt forward for improved vis during approach...."

I remember seeing a movie of carrier deck crashes where a Cutlass came in
cocked up, snagged a wire, slammed down, drove the nose wheel strut up
through the cockpit, fired the ejection seat, seat and pilot came down in
the fore deck pack. Truncated yet another promising Naval Aviator career!

On the Shangri La 1956 deployment we had a VX-4 Cutlass four plane det. with
Sparrow missiles for early fleet evaluation. They were all old pilots (but
still a little bold) who had few if any problems flying their "barn doors"
around the boat.

WDA
CDR USN Ret.

end

"John Carrier" wrote in message
...
I didn't fly it (got its successor, the F-8 which used some of the concepts
developed in the Cutlass). From those that did, if you don't mind 2nd hand
info.

Systems (Hydraulics, electrical, etc) were unreliable. Underpowered in
basic engine (as were most navy jets of the era). The tailless design
used ailevators (ailerons also serving as elevators) which unfortunately
acted to decamber the wing (reducing lift) as they were commanded trailing
edge up (to increase attitude, AOA and lift). It was unforgiving around
the boat. I think it enjoyed a level of mediocrity shore based (fun to
fly, one great turn), but never actually deployed. The Blues used one
briefly as a solo aircraft. First Navy jet with afterburner. Longest
nose strut ever installed in a tactical aircraft. Seat modified to tilt
forward for improved vis during approach.

Noteworthy developments. Balsa/aluminum sandwich (the balsa was cut
crossgrain, Vought had a patented name for it, can't remember anymore)
construction for lightweight strength ... a poor man's honeycomb concept.
Trim system using potentiometer (thumbwheels) on stick for pitch and roll
trim vice the ubiquitous "coolly hat" trim button ... superior IMO,
perhaps not as reliable though I never experienced a primary trim failure
in the F-8. Early yaw and roll stab systems.

R / John

"Greasy Rider" wrote in message
...
On 22 Dec 2004 10:35:25 -0800, "MuseumTech"
postulated :
I was wondering if there were any retired Naval Aviators who have
flight hours logged with the dreaded F7U Cutlass. I work at the
National Museum of Naval Aviation here in Pensacola. We currently have
one on display. Aesthetically speaking, it's a pretty nice looking
plane, but I have read a lot of negative things about it. Were the
flaws merely due to the low performance of the Westinghouse engine?
Were there other flaws? I would love to hear any stories from people
who flew this plane.
Thank you and Happy Holidays


If you Google F7U Cutlass you will get several hits.

http://aeroweb.brooklyn.cuny.edu/specs/vought/f7u-3.htm

Buried down in there are several comments about the Cutlass and one is
allegedly by a F7U pilot with his e-mail address shown.

There are several more hits on the F7U.





  #6  
Old December 23rd 04, 04:08 AM
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Posts: n/a
Default

My father bored some holes in the sky in the F7U, in both the
non-afterburner and afterburner versions, while CO of VX-5 in
'54-'55. Ray Hawkins ran the F7U program in the squadron. Got
some photos around here somewhere.

I've heard it said that the only reason the Navy bought the F7U was
to keep Vought in business until they could develop the F8U. Can't
vouch for that, though.

Rich

  #7  
Old December 23rd 04, 04:15 AM
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Default

And Ray Hawkins was a wheel at the Museum for a long time ... maybe he
left some papers in the library. Might be worth a look.

Rich

  #8  
Old December 23rd 04, 02:20 PM
Josť Herculano
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turn), but never actually deployed. The Blues used one briefly as a solo

It did deploy.
_____________
Josť Herculano


  #9  
Old December 23rd 04, 02:40 PM
Pechs1
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Default

Since you are from the museum, do you know Stoney Myock? Supposed to be on the
staff there. Retired USMC Aviator, former Blues member.
P. C. Chisholm
CDR, USN(ret.)
Old Phart Phormer Phantom, Turkey, Viper, Scooter and Combat Buckeye Phlyer
  #10  
Old December 27th 04, 04:05 AM
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Cutlass was deployed to the Pacific around 1955/6. One came into Naha
AB, Okinawa, while I was there flying F86Ds in the 25 FIS. We were
ready to be impressed when this exotic fighter with two (2!)
afterburners took off. Unfortunately, we were not at all impressed -
its T/O performance was marginal. We did get to walk around it while it
was parked on the ramp. BTW not only did that bird have the longest
nose gear strut, I think it was also the thickest and heaviest one ever
mounted on a fighter. -Walt BJ

 




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