Although designated in the F8C series, the XF8C-2 and
XF8C-4 differed extensively from the F8C-1 and -3, and
were dual-role aircraft intended for use both as two-seat
fighters and as dive bombers, dive bombing techniques
at that time being under development by the US
Marine Corps. Possessing smaller overall dimensions
than previous F8C series aircraft, featuring some structural
revision and powered by a 450hp R-1340-80
Wasp, the XF8C-2 prototype appeared early in 1929 and
was equipped to carry either two 53kg bombs
or one 227kg bomb. A second prototype, the
XF8C-4, was flown in August 1929, by which time
orders had been placed for 27 F8C-4s and nine F8C-5s.
The XF8C-4 differed from the XF8C-2 primarily in
having an R-1340-88 Wasp enclosed by a Townend
ring. The latter was not initially applied to the production
F8C-4s which were delivered from May 1930, a
further 43 being ordered for 1931 delivery, these being redesignated O2C-1s. Two F8C-5s temporarily fitted
with wing flaps and leading-edge slots were designated
XF8C-6s, one VIP transport version with a 575hp
Wright R-1820-64 Cyclone was designated XF8C-7
(XO2C-2) and two similarly powered examples were
XF8C-8s. The designation XF10C-1 was assigned to
one aircraft initially powered by a Curtiss R-1510 and
subsequently re-engined with a Cyclone.
|A three-view drawing of F8C-4 (1280 x 882)|
| Empty weight||1140 kg||2513 lb|
| Wingspan||9.75 m||32 ft 0 in|
| Length||7.82 m||26 ft 8 in|
| Height||3.12 m||10 ft 3 in|
| Wing area||28.61 m2||307.96 sq ft|
| Max. speed||237 km/h||147 mph|
| Range||732 km||455 miles|
I read that F8Cs were also the planes in the original King Kong.
These aircraft were featured prominently in the 1931 MGM motion picture "Hell Divers", starring Wallace Beery and Clark gable, operating from the old aircraft carrier USS Saratoga, along with the Navy's Rigid Airship USS Los Angeles (ZR-3). Fairly ridiculous story, but great vintage aviation footage!
|Dick Bagby, 17.12.2011|
The movie was on Turner Classic Movies today, 12/17/2011. Great movie showing flight ops on the Saratoga in the early '30s.
|Mel Hibbard, 07.12.2009|
My Dad flew these as a Marine Reservist in the early to mid-30's. He flew from the old Naval Air Station Grosse Isle, Michigan. They have a marvelous web site at: http://www.nasgi.org
MY FATHER DIED IN THIS HELLDIVER 19XX MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE!
|Richard Weir, 27.10.2007|
I first saw a Helldiver F8C-4 from NAS Squantum(near Boston) and destined to go on the USS Lexington in 1928. A movie was mad starring Wallace Beery and Clark Gable. Is a VHS tape or DVD of that movie"Helldivers" available? I saw the original movie.
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?