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Frank Cronin
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F7U-3 Cutlass Of VA-212 aboard Bon Homme Richard 1957

August 18, 2013 · in Aviation · · 17 · 2.2K

When I reported aboard BHR in 1957 this aircraft was on the flight deck. It was the only one on board and appeared to have been left over from VA-212. I have no other information on this except that it was lifted off and where it went is unknown. I found the decals on an old SuperScale sheet #48-350. There is a drawing of this airplane on page 40 and a photo of it on page 54 of the Squadron Signal book, USN aircraft carrier units, volume 1.

Also on board when I arrived was an F2H Banshee but I have no further recollection of it except that it was used in a training exercise and it was pushed over the side. As mentioned before, the kit is basic to say the least and is not entirely correct. But what the heck it was the only game in town at the time in 1/48.

Reader reactions:
3  Awesome

6 additional images. Click to enlarge.

17 responses

  1. awesome frank

  2. Wasn't the Cutless nicknamed the "Gutless" and the usual "Widow maker" applied to a/c that had many accidents. One of the coolest looking fighters to grace the sky...only it was under powered and way ahead of its time but lack the technology to bring all the design elements into something really good.

    Great model, two thumbs on this one.

  3. Beautiful work, Frank. Back when Naval Aviation was REALLY dangerous...

  4. really nice there Frank.

  5. Hey Frank, well done build…as usual. The “Gutlass” was definitely a beautiful looking AC but it possessed an extremely dangerous alter ego as far as carrier deck landings went for sure! What’s cooking on the burner these days?

  6. Nicely done, another Hobbycraft kit that was ok, really cannont say what is so inaccurate about it. Don't recall anyone doing a review so it is a Cutlass, looks like when. No other company mainstream ever did one, since getting a pretty good Demon, a Fury the excellent Tamiya Skyray, this is one of HC's kits that you don't see or read much about. But this is a nice built up of one and good to see.

  7. A real looker !

  8. Very colorful & attractive aircraft Frank.

  9. Outstanding Cutlass, Frank - thanks for posting this! I have another Cutlass in the stash, and plan on building in these very same markings. The yellow fins and wingtips really highlight the F7U's unique shape. Well done, Sir!

  10. Nice clean build of an unusual looking aircraft. Perhaps it's just me but were the 1950's era military aircraft more "futuristic appearence" than their counterparts of today? My 14 year old grandson remarked how "cool" looking the F7U was, it is a unique plane. Great job Frank!

  11. It's another one of your beautifully finished models, Frank, and what a cracking looking plane.

  12. HEY Frank .. I was on the US Tarawa about the samr time you were on the "Richard" .. I remember the first time I saw the "Gutless" .. a wierd looking bird up close ... ANYWAY .. your build is an awesome one ..lots of great detail ...kep up the FANTASTIC "work" .. C Ya

  13. Frank.. I was on the Tarawa when you were on the Richard . I remember the first saw the "Gutless" a weird bird up close .. anyway .. a great build .. FANTASTIC details .. keep up the GOOD "work" .. C Ya

  14. Frank ...SORRY for the duplicate comment . thought the first did not go through !

  15. Hi Frank. You may not be still reading these posts given how long ago you started them. However, I though I would let you know that while I don't know what happened to the plane, I do know what happened to the pilot. He is my wife's uncle, and I am building him the same model at the moment.

    • Murray,
      I did get your comment and I thank you. I hope you receive this reply as I am very interested in any and all information you can provide about your wife's uncle. It is the in depth knowledge about those that actually flew the models we make that's adds so much to this hobby. I would love to hear more. Please contact me at [email protected]

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