I had totally forgot about the Bearcat!t"An unmodified production F8F-1 set a 1946 time-to-climb record (after a run of 115 ft/35 m) of 10,000 ft (3,048 m) in 94 seconds (6,383 fpm).
The Bearcat held this record for 10 years until it was broken by a jet fighter (an F-16 which still could not match the Bearcat's short takeoff distance)." - Wiki
Go ahead. Take a moment to think about that. :shockaroona:
They lightened it as much as possible taking the guns, ammo, etc. off and giving it only a minimal fuel load. It eventually ran out of gas and coasted back down for a landing.
A former Bearcat pilot said that an F8F glided like a greased tire iron and that if both were dropped from altitude it was likely the Bearcat would hit the ground first.