The F-11 “Tiger” was intended to be a simple, lightweight, air superiority, day interceptor to protect the fleet. It was also the last fighter produced by Grumman until its introduction of the F-14 “Tomcat”.
The F-11 was the smallest airframe possible designed around a given engine. The aircraft was so small that only the tips of the wings folded. Thin swept wings incorporating spoilers instead of ailerons coupled with an area-rule (coke-bottle fuselage) design enable the “Tiger” to achieve a top speed of over 900 mph. Tigers reached a speed of 1386.47 mph in level flight and achieved a world altitude record of 76,828 feet.
First flown in July 1954. Subsequent test trials provided for one of the most bizarre moments in aviation history when a Grumman pilot managed to “shoot himself down” with his own bullets. Firing the guns in a dive, the trajectory of the bullets allowed him to overtake them on his pullout causing aircraft damage, an engine flame-out and a crash landing.
Nearly 200 “Tigers” were produced with some going to the Blue Angel flight demonstration team. The balance were assigned to six day-fighter attack squadrons. Having been replaced by the F8U “Crusader”, the F11Fs saw only brief front-line service and were ultimately sent to Advanced Training Command and Reserve squadrons.
- Designation: F11F-1/F-11A
- Manufacturer: Grumman Aircraft Corp.
- Type: Day fighter
- Crew: Pilot only
- Power Plant: (1) 7,450 lb s.t. Wright J65-W-18
- Dimensions: Span 31′ 7
- Weight: 22,160 lbs gross
- Speed: 750 mph maximum
- Range: 635 miles tactical
History of Grumman F-11A Tiger BuNo.141821
- Accepted 03-31-58. BAR Bethpage
- VF-51 Miramar 04/58-08/58
- VF-121 Miramar 08/58-02/59
- FASRON 10 Moffett Field 05/59-12/59
- VF-111 12/59-02/61
- Storage Field Litchfield Park 03/61-11/61
- O&R BUWEPS Cherry Point 01/62-02/62
- TARON 26 Chase 02/62-11/64