, 2023-01-03 01:51:16,
F7U Cutlass Now Aboard USS Midway
by Adam Estes
At the tail end of 2022, an extraordinarily rare, early naval jet fighter went on display aboard the former U.S. Navy aircraft carrier, USS Midway, at the USS Midway Museum in San Diego, California. Hoisted aboard the carrier on December 14th, 2022, Chance Vought F7U-3 Cutlass BuNo. 129565 has found a perfect new home at one of San Diego’s largest attractions.
The Cutlass, like most first generation naval jets, was produced in relatively small numbers, with around 300 examples completed. The type’s tailless, delta-winged profile and composite construction, were radical design choices for its day, although not atypical for its manufacturer, Chance Vought, which had a reputation for taking unconventional approaches. The type first flew in September, 1948, but its complex systems, fractious development and trials period, not to mention the difficulty which Westinghouse had in providing engines with sufficient thrust, meant that the first squadron to field the type, VF-81, did not become operational until May, 1954 – a lengthy gestation period for the time. Despite the aircraft’s…
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