The Vought F7U Cutlass was a United States Navy carrier-based jet fighter and fighter-bomber of the early Cold War era. It was a highly unusual, semi-tailless design and first flew in September 1948. Pitch and roll control was provided by elevons, though Vought called these surfaces "ailevators" at the time. Slats were fitted to the entire span of the leading edge. A very long nose landing gear strut was required for high angle of attack takeoffs and it was underpowered Westinghouse turbojets. The type had numerous technical and handling problems throughout its short service career.It killed many pilots in accidents.

Several versions were developed. The F7U-1 was very close to the prototypes, and further developed into the F7U-3 version with more powerful engines. Also the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, flew two F7U-1 Cutlasses as a side demonstration during their 1953 show season but is was not a success. The F7U-3 would be the definitive production version, with 288 aircraft equipping 13 U.S. Navy squadrons. It went out of service in 1957.



This aircraft with BuNo 129655, although marked as an F7U-3M, is in reality an F7U-3 which was factory upgraded to F7U-3M standards. This aircraft on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation at NAS Pensacola, Florida

Photographed January 2012 by Cees Hendriks (c) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Extra photo's :

Photographed January 2015 by Cees Hendriks (c) Copyright IPMS Nederland

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Several scale models of the Cutlass exits. Very good 1/72 kits are from Fujimi. In 1/32 scale Fisher Model & Pattern has a very good resin kit.


This webpage was first created May 2012