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Monday, October 5, 2015

F7U-3P Mockup

     Typical with the majority of Naval Aviation fighter designs from WWII to the 1950's a photo reconnaissance version of the F7U-3 Cutlass was proposed and 12 examples eventually built. The type was not issued for squadron service.

xF7U-3P-Concept-with-Cameras-Airbrused-Photo VAHF Archive
     The photo above is a combination of photograph and artist rendering showing a shorter nose than was installed on the actual F7U-3P aircraft. Interesting array of cameras displayed in front of the aircraft as well.

     Contrast the artists composite concept above with an actual F7U-3P (BuNo 129750) on the Vought ramp. The length of the nose and camera window details vary from the concept to the actual.

F7U-3P-129750-Left-Front-View VAHF Archives

     Found in RG72 at the National Archives are the following images of the F7U-3P mockup.
First up is this image of the whole forward fuselage and cockpit section of the mockup.


     Below a closeup of the camera window protective covers installed on the F7U-3P mockup.


     The following image is of the F7U-3P mockup nose section with all the servicing panels open. The panels allow a tremendous level of access to the cameras, optical sight and associated equipment. The first major disadvantage is illustrated in the next image.


     This photo illustrates the major disadvantage to having a photo version of the F7U-3. The nose high stance of the aircraft makes camera installation and servicing difficult. The height requires the use of a specialized stand to gain access to the cameras and film..

     Mockup photos from the National Archives RG72, College Park, MD

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