Cutlass - Vought F7U Cutlass
Vought F7U Cutlass Original Aviation Art Painting - VF-83, USS Intrepid by Aviation Artist Darryl Legg
Designed by Rex Beisel, the F7U Cutlass typifies the experimentation that took place in aircraft design during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
The semi-tailless Cutlass was produced in response to a US Navy requirement for a new jet fighter that could achieve 600mph at 40,000 ft and took advantage of captured German research, a high-ranking member of the Messerschmitt design team, Waldemar Voigt by this time working for the company.
Vought test pilot J. Robert Baker took the prototype Cutlass aloft for the first time on 29 September 1948, while the first entered service in 1954 with VF-84. Found to be underpowered and quite an unstable machine to fly, the F7U gained the misfortunate nicknames of the Gutless Cutlass and the Ensign Eliminator.
A total of 320 were built and the last retired from service in 1959.
Darryl Legg's aviation art painting shows an aircraft of VF-83 aboard USS Intrepid in 1956.