The last, most powerful of Grumman's prop-driven fighters, the F8F Bearcat has been described as an engine with a saddle on it. Born of experience gained by study of fighter operations from carriers, the F8F was built smaller and 900 kg lighter than its F6F predecessor, despite being designed around the big Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine. The most powerful single-engine aircraft ever built, the F8F out-performed all others in all aspects of combat maneuverability. Too late for World War II, it was used by the French in French Indochina (later Vietnam) in 1953.
In FHSW, the Bearcat appears only on some late war maps, such as the Operation Kikusui Day 2 or the Kushira. However, with its good rate of climb, great agility, high speed, powerful and rapid-fire armanent this is actually the best US fighter and the best piston-engine fighter ingame.