Officially part of the USN Collection, the F11F is on indefinite loan from the U.S. Naval Aviation Museum, Pensacola, FL, to MAPS Air Museum for restoration purposes.
Originally a Grumman test case to apply aerodynamic changes to the Grumman Cougar, the F11F evolved into a unique aircraft all its own. Serving only 4 years with active Navy squadrons, the Tiger suffered from bad timing - it was put into service at the same time as the Chance Vought F-8 Crusader. While faster and better handling at lower altitudes than the Crusader, it was about 300 mph slower at 35,000 feet, where it was thought most combat action would take place. The Tigers saw the most time in service as part of the Blue Angels flight demonstration team, with whom it served from 1957 until 1969, when the flight team switched to using the McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom. Notable facts on the Tiger include the fact that instead of using normal wing construction techniques (thin skin over ribs), the F11F wings and tail planes were milled from a single slab of alloy. This will cause some challenges during the restoration process, as intragranular corrosion has caused issues with the wing and tail planes. Unlike the normal 'skin over ribs' construction, repairing such damage is a more lengthy and time-consuming process.