Blue Angels F-11 Tiger
A handcrafted F-11 Tiger with Blue Angel markings! Each piece is carved from wood and handpainted to provide a piece you’ll love.
The Grumman F11F/F-11 Tiger was a supersonic, single-seat carrier-based United States Navy fighter aircraft in operation during the 1950s and 1960s. Originally designated the F11F Tiger in April 1955 under the pre-1962 Navy designation system, it was redesignated as F-11 Tiger under the 1962 United States Tri-Service aircraft designation system.
The F11F/F-11 was used by the Blue Angels flight team from 1957–1969. Grumman Aircraft Corporation made 200 Tigers, with the last aircraft being delivered to the U.S. Navy on 23 January 1959.
even U.S. Navy squadrons flew the F11F-1: VF-21 and VF-33 in the Atlantic Fleet and VA-156 (redesignated VF-111 in January 1959), VF-24 (redesignated VF-211 in March 1959), VF-51, VF-121, and VF-191 in the Pacific Fleet.
In service, the Tiger operated from the carriers Intrepid, Lexington, Hancock, Bon Homme Richard, Shangri-La, Forrestal, Saratoga and Ranger. The F11F’s career lasted only four years because its performance was inferior to the Vought F-8 Crusader and the J65 engine proved unreliable. Also, the range and endurance of the Tiger was found to be inadequate. Thus, the Navy cancelled all orders for the F11F-1P reconnaissance version and only 199 F11F-1 (F-11A) fighters were built.
The aircraft was withdrawn from carrier operations by 1961. It continued in service, however, in the Naval Air Training Command in south Texas at NAS Chase Field and NAS Kingsville, until the late 1960s. Students performed advanced jet training in the TF-9J Cougar, and upon completing that syllabus, were given a brief taste of supersonic capability with the F-11 before transitioning to fleet fighters.
While the F-11’s fighter career was short, the Blue Angels performed in the aircraft from 1957–1968, when the Tiger was replaced by the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II.
Prior to the 1962 code unification, the fighter was known as the F11F; after unification, it was redesignated as the F-11.
In 1973, two ex-Blue Angels F-11As were taken from storage at Davis-Monthan AFB and modified by Grumman as testbeds to evaluate inflight thrust control systems. BuNo 141853 was fitted with a Rohr Industries thrust reverser and BuNo 141824 was kept in standard configuration as a chase plane. Tests of the inflight thrust reversal were carried out by Grumman at Calverton beginning in March 1974 and continued at NATC Patuxent River, Maryland until 1975. Following the completion of these tests, both planes were returned to storage at Davis Monthan AFB. These were the last Tigers to fly.