F8F Bearcat Detail in Action. Book by David Doyle. Squadron Signal Books. The Grumman F8F Bearcat represents the pinnacle of US carrier-borne piston-engine fighter design. Marrying a compact, lightweight airframe with a powerful 18-cylinder Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp radial engine churning out more than 2,000 horsepower produced an aircraft intended to be an interceptor that could operate from the smallest escort carriers. While the Bearcat prototype first took to the air in August 1944, and the first squadron equipped with the new fighters was operational in May 1945, the war ended before the Bearcat actually saw combat in World War II. The type would ultimately see combat in the First Indochina War. Visually chronicles this diminutive fighter with ample images and captures the nuances of this famed warbird. Illustrated with 179 photographs (89 vintage black-and-white photos, 13 color photos from the same time period, and 77 further color photos of preserved aircraft) plus five color profiles and 17 detailed line drawings; 80 pages.