Old bird reborn: RTAF F8F Bearcat fly again

Thank Chirs G. for wordproof

After a lengthy restoration process, The Tango Historical Squadron’s Grumman F8F Bearcat (code number 1234) has once again taken to the air.

Today was 1234’s first flight in twelve years. The aircraft, piloted by Group Captain Virayut Dityasarin (also a member of the Tango Historical Squadron) took off from Don Meuang AFB and flew around the area for approximately four minutes. The old fighter returned to base and landed safely.


The Bearcat, a single engine fighter, was developed by Grumman for the US Navy towards the end of World War 2. This type was once the most widely used fighter in the RTAF. More two hundred aircraft served nationwide between 1952 and 1972.


Many hours of long work were spent at Grumman Northrop, by a group of retired engineers. Members of the Tango Historical Squadron also dedicated their time and talents to this project. All of these individuals, driven by a love of aircraft, contributed to the restoration of 1234. Of special note was the replacement of the old R-2800-34-W engine by a C-123 powerplant.


Unlike many restored warbirds, 1234 bears the same registration as it did while in service. This airplane was the 4th aircraft in flight group 3 of the 12th squadron of the 1st Wing.


Thanks go out to the volunteers at Grumman Northrop and the members of Tango Historical Squadron whose efforts were instrumental in returning 1234 to the sky where she belongs.



Thank Mr. 001 JZ team for Bearcat’s photos.

PS. 1234 = 4th aircraft of 3th flying group of 12th sqn. of 1st Wing. this is the real register. c/n is 122120

Photos has been force resize to fit the wordpress web style. You can save these photos in your computer to see the full-scale images.

RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat
RTAF F8F Bearcat

2 Responses to Old bird reborn: RTAF F8F Bearcat fly again

  1. chris drew says:

    Hi – i enjoyed your website and it is great to see the Bearcat airborne once again.

    I did notice however that the English translation was very poor. I would like to offer my services as an English proof reader and editor.

    While I could understand what you wanted to say, your site would be so much more professional if the English text was correct.

    Keep up the god work and keep the ‘Cat flying!


    Chris Drew

  2. Gus Larard says:

    Hi there, am most interested to read about the beautiful restoration of the aircraft. I am rated on a number of WWII fighter types, including the Bearcat – have flown Bearcat N14WB a few times and for an Air Classics magazine photo shoot. I live in HK and travel to BKK regularly, would love to catch up with you to talk Bearcats if convenient.

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