by Tommy H. Thomason

Monday, September 25, 2023

Relying on Museum Examples for Detail Accuracy Part 4

 Actually, I have written about this more than three times. Some unnumbered ones were:

Mk 4 Atomic Bomb:

F11F Tiger:

P/F-80 Canopy:

A4D-2 Skyhawk:

F4D Skyray Wheels:

J79 Exhaust Nozzles:

Grumman F9F-8T Nose Strut Extension:

Numbered ones:

Part One (F6U):

Part Two (F7U-3M):

Part Three (AD Skyraider Vertical Fin: note that in this case, the fin shape of readily available examples has almost always been ignored):

This post was inspired by the F11F kit project at DBMK (; also see their Facebook page. Note that their research includes LIDAR scans of an F11F.

Based on their requests and questions, I can vouch for their desire for accuracy, at least in this instance. The latest one was about this feature under the forward fuselage between the forward speed brake and the NACA air inlets.

I'd never noticed it before but quickly tracked this example down to BuNo 141735, now at the Yanks Air Museum at Chino, California. At first, I assumed it was for the attachment of an antenna that wasn't present, probably specific to this particular Tiger since it wasn't evident in pictures of any operational or Blue Angels F11Fs. I finally found one that wasn't BuNo 141735 with a shape there that seemed familiar:


More searching and I found a few more examples of Navy Training Command F-11s with the shape, in particular this one:

That's when the light dawned (no pun intended). At some point after the collision between two airliners over the Grand Canyon in June 1956, the CAA/FAA decreed a requirement for anti-collision lights on U.S. civil aircraft. The military was not required to comply but did so voluntarily. As a result, anti-collision lights were eventually added to the Navy Training Command's surviving F11Fs, including the early ones.

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