In life there are always those “Oh shit!” moments…..well this plane had one of those very moments…..in a BIG WAY!
In 1956, the Grumman aircraft corporation was testing its new fighter, the F-11 Tiger, off the coast of New York state. The pilot fired a long burst from its guns and moments later suffered mysterious, catastrophic damage that caved in the windshield and mortally wounded the engine. What happened? The pilot had shot himself down.
The F-11 Tiger, like all Grumman aircraft, was named after a cat. Fast and nimble, the F-11 was only the second supersonic fighter in the Navy’s inventory, capable of 843 miles an hour (Mach 1.1). It was actually Grumman’s first supersonic fighter and the company’s inexperience with the consequences of supersonic flight, as well as the fighter’s amazing speed, would be one test Tiger’s undoing.
On September 21st, 1956, as DataGenetics explains, a Grumman test pilot flying a Tiger off the coast of Long Island dropped his nose twenty degrees and pointed it at an empty spot of ocean. He fired a brief, four second burst from his four Colt Mk.12 20-millimeter cannons, entered a steeper descent, and hit the afterburners. A minute later, his windshield suddenly caved in and his engine started making funny noises, eventually conking out as the pilot attempted to return to Grumman’s Long Island airfield.
Maybe this is not the best way to sell this plane to the Navy….whatcha think?
Have a good day and let the weekend begin…..
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