Some cool plastic machining company images:
Hasegawa 1/72 Grumman F-11F-1 Tiger, long nose, Blue Angel #1
Image by wbaiv
Blue Angels Tigers were the longest serving Tigers. Its a pretty little airplane but technology was moving so quickly that supersonic in level flight, 4 X 20mm cannon, and in-flight refueling capability weren’t enough to make a Visual Flight Rules (VFR – ie not night/all weather, no radar in the nose…) fighter very interesting to the Navy. For a complete redesign that was originally pitched as a derivative of the F9F Cougar/Panther, the TIger is a pretty neat piece of work.
But with Vought’s F8U-1 Crusader and McDonnell F3H-1 Demon carrying some radar and promising more, along with more internal volume for fuel, the Tiger was good, but not quite good enough.
The large fin and rudder were direct results of the F-100C crash that killed test pilot George Welch- North American doubled the size of the F-100D’s fin and rudder. Grumman revised their prototype very quickly when word got back from Edwards AFB, where both the F9F-11 and F-100 were being tested. Soon the F9F-11 was the F-11F-1 and a very modern-sized fin and rudder graced every Tiger that flew. The Tiger was also area ruled from the onset – taking a lesson from the hard luck of the Lockheed YP-90 and Convair YF-102, which looked great but couldn’t get past the drag increase of the "sound barrier".
It all seems so amazing, Vought, Lockheed, Grumman, North American, McDonnell, Convair, not to forget Douglas, Republic, (and dark-horses Northrup, Boeing and Martin) all building single-seat jet fighters in the USA, while AVRO Canada was conceiving the CF-105 to follow the CF-100s. AVRO, de Havilland, Bristol, Hawker, Supermarine (and others?) were designing single-seat fighters in the UK; NORD and Dassault were lighting up French skies, and Bill Lear Jr was leading the design of an indigenous *Swiss* single seat jet. MiG, Yak, Sukoi and Tupolev were all at it in the Soviet Union too.
Jet engine power and economy were nothing like today- they were heavy, weak, and blew fuel out the tail-pipe as if it cost .10 a gallon, which it probably did. But they went faster the propeller engines. Compare the subterfuge and trickery all of these airframe companies of the 1950s were applying to the jet fighters of today – tail surfaces are are still sharply swept, but wings got much straighter, because another ton or two of thrust is easier to produce than a thin, tapering, swept structure that’s stiff enough to do the job and cheap enough to build.
But the F11F or MiG-19, F-100, F-8 Crusader, even the F-4 Phantom look like they’re going twice the speed of an F/A-18 or even the supercruise-capable F-22. (Supersonic without afterburner).