Falcon Models FA728003 USAF Grumman F-11F-1 Tiger Fighter - VF-33 "Astronauts", 1959 (1:72 Scale)
"My God, we simply have to figure a way out of this situation. There's no point in talking about 'winning' a nuclear war."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower
The Grumman F11F/F-11 Tiger was the first supersonic, single-seat carrier-based United States Navy fighter aircraft in operation during the 1950s and 1960s. Originally designated the F11F Tiger in April 1955 under the pre-1962 Navy designation system, it was redesignated as F-11 Tiger under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system.
The F11F/F-11 was used by the Blue Angels flight team from 1957 to 1969. Grumman Aircraft Corporation made about 200 Tigers, with the last aircraft being delivered to the U.S. Navy on 23 January 1959.
The F11F (F-11) Tiger origins can be traced back to a privately funded 1952 Grumman concept to modernize the F9F-6/7 Cougar by implementing the area rule and other advances. This Grumman company project was known as the G-98, and when it was concluded it was a complete design departure from the Cougar.
The design's potential for supersonic performance and reduced transonic drag stirred interest in the U.S. Navy. By 1953, redesigns led to a completely new aircraft bearing no more than a familial resemblance to the Cougar. The new wing had full-span leading edge slats and trailing edge flap with roll control achieved using spoilers rather than traditional ailerons. For storage on aircraft carriers, the F-11 Tiger's wings manually folded downwards. Anticipating supersonic performance, the tailplane was all-moving. The aircraft was designed for the Wright J65 turbojet, a license-built version of the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire.
Pictured here is a 1:72 scale replica of a USAF Grumman F-11F-1 Tiger Jet that was attached to VF-33 "Astronauts", during 1959. Now in stock!
Wingspan: 6.25 inches
Length: 6.75 inches
Release Date: December 2013
Historical Account: "Astronauts" - Following its deployment to Korea, VF-33 returned to the U.S. East Coast and transitioned to the Grumman F9F-6 Cougar. The squadron was assigned to Carrier Air Group Six (CVG-6) and deployed to the Mediterranean Sea aboard the USS Midway (CVA-41) in 1954. After this tour the Tarsiers again transitioned to the North American FJ-3 Fury and made three deployments in 1956 and 1957 to the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, this time aboard the carriers USS Lake Champlain (CV-39), USS Leyte (CVS-32), and USS Intrepid (CVA-11). Aboard Intrepid VF-33 took part in the NATO exercise Operation Strikeback. As part of a series of exercises to simulate an all-out Soviet attack on NATO, Operation Strikeback was tasked with two objectives. Its initial objective was the deployment of NATO's naval forces (designated the "Blue Fleet") against other NATO forces attempting to simulate an "enemy" navy that featured a large number of submarines (designated the "Orange Fleet"). Its other objective was to have the Blue Fleet execute carrier-based air strikes against "enemy" formations and emplacements along NATO's northern flank in Norway. Operation Strikeback involved over 200 warships, 650 aircraft, and 75,000 personnel.
In 1958, VF-33 transitioned to the supersonic Grumman F11F-1 Tiger and was renamed Astronauts. As part of CVG-6 VF-33 made two tours to the Mediterranean Sea aboard the Intrepid.