Bearcat expendable wingtips

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Dave55, Aug 27, 2019.

  1. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA Patron

    Thinking outside the box.

    The outer portions were more lightly constructed, and designed to snap off at the hinge line if the g-force exceeded 7.5 g. In this case the aircraft would still be flyable and could be repaired after returning to the carrier. This saved 230 pounds (100 kg) of weight

    Grumman F8F Bearcat - Wikipedia
  2. Robert-w

    Robert-w Well-Known Member

    However as the wiki article itself mentions these so called safety tips had to be abandoned relatively soon and replaced by strengthened permanent tips. The Pilots Notes section II mentions that the original tips had occasioned a number of fatal accidents. Their original purpose was to prevent over stressing of the main wing structure and with their replacement a series of flight restrictions were placed on the aircraft which are listed in the Pilots Notes.

    Fatalities were initially caused when the aircraft crashed when only one tip snapped off so detonating cord was included so that the tips could be blown off but a hard landing (and deck landings are often hard) could cause them to blow and kill deck crew.

    The restrictions limit both the permissible manoeuvres and the weight of external stores and in a wartime environment would have reduced the effectiveness of the aircraft. In this case thinking outside the box did not pay off.

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