Skip to content

Grumman XF5F Skyrocket — oh what could have been!

10 July 2014

Grumman XF5F Skyrocket — oh what could have been!

Grumman XF5F Sky Rocket — photo by Joseph May

Grumman XF5F-1 Skyrocket model at the Naval Air Station Ft. Lauderdale Museum — photo by Joseph May

Recently we were reminded of this unconventional aircraft when visiting the Naval Air Station Ft. Lauderdale Museum — here is the review — where the wooden model of it is on display. The 1940 XF5F Skyrocket was Grumman’s reply to the Navy’s request for a aircraft carrier borne interceptor possessing a high rate of climb and heavy armament. Being light in weight and powered by a pair of Wright XR-1820 Cyclone radial reciprocating engines had the Skyrocket live up to its name. A pair of 23mm Madsen cannon were the initial armament but modified to 4 x 0.50 inch (12.7mm) machine guns — heavy armament in 1940 but not later in WW II though they were nose mounted so they would have had greater effective range than wing mounted machine gun fighters.

Grumman XF5F Sky Rocket — from the San Diego Air & Space Museum photo archive

Grumman XF5F-2 Skyrocket (this model had an extended nose) while flight in this color photo which was unusual for the time — from the San Diego Air & Space Museum photo archive

Grumman XF5F Sky Rocket — from the San Diego Air & Space Museum photo archive

Grumman XF5F-1 Skyrocket profile (one can sense the high power-to-weight ratio) — from the San Diego Air & Space Museum photo archive

But the Skyrocket — with its wing-forward-of-the-fuselage-design — was not to be as production of the F4F Wildcat was considered to be the best decision from a logistical standpoint. The design effort contributed to the F7F Tigercat, however. One does have to wonder, though,  since the Skyrocket easily pulled out accellarted the XF4U Corsair how it may have been a greater kamikaze interceptor than the F8F Bearcat?

Grumman XF5F Sky Rocket — from the San Diego Air & Space Museum photo archive

Grumman XF5F-1 Skyrocket in acsent — from the San Diego Air & Space Museum photo archive

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: