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Vought Cutlass - $4.95

The Vought F7U Cutlass was a United States Navy carrier-based jet fighter and fighter-bomber of the early Cold War era. It was a highly unusual, semi-tailless design, allegedly based on aerodynamic data and plans captured from the Arado company at the end of World War II, though Vought designers denied any link to the German research at the time. It was one of the first combat aircraft to feature a head-up display (HUD), an inertial navigation system (INS), and a turbofan engine.

F7U Vought Cutlass Carrier Fighter Jet

Vought Cutlass model
Among the large quantities of German aeronautical research data which began to reach the USA in the latter part of 1945 were details of some work on tailless designs done by the Arado company. Development of these designs by the Chance Vought company led to production of the highly unconventional F7U Cutlass.

The wing, with a sweep back of 38 degrees, was of very low aspect ratio, 3 :1, and almost parallel chord. Pitch and roll controls were combined in elevons on the wing; fins and rudders were located on the wing at the ends of the center section.

It enjoyed only limited success and service, and had a bad safety record: over about 25% were lost in accidents in three years of service and was dubbed the“Gutless Cutlass”.

The Cutlass was a very unusual Vought design for a tailless fighter, with a swept wing and twin fins on the trailing edge near mid-span. The original F7U-1 was very unsatisfactory; after much redesign the F7U-3 entered service. 290 built.



General Characteristics
Primary function Fighter
Contractor: Vought
Power plant: 2 Westinghouse
J46-WE-8A turbofans

Thrust 2x 6,140 lb
Length: 44 ft 3 in
Height:14 ft 7 in
Wingspan 38 ft 8 in
Wing area: 496 sq ft
Weight empty: 18,210 lb
takeoff: 31,642 lb
Range: 660 miles
Max. speed: 680 mph
Rate of climb: 13,000 ft/min
Ceiling: 40,000 ft
Crew One


What people say...


Vought CutlassWishes DO come true! For the kids of the 50s, the Cutlass was the coolest jet in the whole world. As I was building Rob's Cougar last month, I pulled out the Cutlass, looked at it, and wished Rob would work his magic on it. His Blue Angel Cutlass is a significant update (more correctly, a "backdate") that makes into a F7U-1. The changes are much more than a repaint. He has captured the smaller canopy and intakes that make it unique. I hope that he has an F-8 and an F-18 up his sleeve soon. (And I have NASA photo references for him when he does... : - ) Cam Martin

The main body does not fit with the air intake. Had to improvise. Any sugestions? Walter Bartusiak.. Modelers find this is solved with a liittle extra pre-forming..We had little trouble with it ..chip


Some airplanes seem to be just perfect for paper modeling!

Not only does this model round up perfectly..guess what?! It fly's fantastically. Simply glue* an opened paper clip under the nose and launch with a rubber band (see above).
Ballast and balance as needed, Amazing! It goes straight up, levels off, and glides to the tallest tree or roof.


Vought Cutlass


F7U Vought Cutlass


.Laid out as a carrier-based fighter, this design offered a high rate of climb and high top speed combined with Vought cutlasscomparatively small size when the outer wing panels were folded up for carrier stowage. The US Navy ordered three XF7U-1 prototypes on June 25, 1946, specifying Westinghouse J34-WE-32 engines with afterburners. The first flight was made on September 29, 1948, by which time a production contract for 14 F7U-ls had been placed while development of the F7U-2 with J34-WE-42 engines and the F7U-3 with J46-WE-8As was initiated.

The first F7U-l flew on March 1, 1950, and the entire batch of this model was assigned to the Advanced Training Command at Corpus Christi Naval Air Station during 1952. Difficulties with the Westinghouse J34 program resulted in cancellation of the F7U-2 before completion, while early experience with the F7U-1 airframe led to an extensive redesign for the F7U-3. First flown on December 20, 1951, the latter model had a new nose shape, redesigned fins and other changes. Four squadrons were equipped-VF-81, VF-83, VF-122 and VF-124--and production of the definitive version totaled 162.

Basic armament of the F7U-3 comprised four 20 mm cannon in the upper lips of the intake fairing, with provision for underwing rocket pods or various other stores. Subsequently, provision was made for the Cutlass to carry four Sperry Sparrow I beam-riding missiles in the F7U-3M version, of which 100 were built, and 12 examples of a camera-equipped variant, the F7U-3P, also went into service. Production ended in December 1955 when 290 F7U-3 Cutlass variants had been delivered.


Special photos (Sept,00) of a Cutlass rebuild in progress. This is the renovation hanger at the Museum of Flight, Boeing Field, Seattle

Cutlass at Boeing again, Cutlass at Boeing


Vought Cutlass

Vought Cutlass

Vought Cutlass

Cutlass logo

F7U Blue Angel

Vought Cutlass