(Originally published at 4:17 p.m. MDT June 20, 2019)
Today we have another couple of photos from the Flight Test Museum at Edwards Air Force Base — an F7F-3 (N7625C) registered to Fred Arnberg Inc out of Yreka, California. In these photos there is a small “2” on the tail and also on the nose wheel cover.
A photo at Goodall.com.au shows an F7F-3 registered to Fred Arnberg with the same N number but with different livery and a large “22” on the tail. That website says Arnberg operated the first F7F-3 Grumman Tigercats as air tankers for several seasons in the early 1960s. This particular aircraft was purchased February 27, 1962 and by September 24, 1962 had hit trees and crashed near Callahan, California.
In the photo below you can see painted on the underside of the right-side wing.
And here is one more F7F-3 known as Tanker 22. It is N7238C operated by Cal-Nat Airways out of Grass Valley, California. Other owners were Dick Gordon of Santa Rosa, California and Sis-Q Flying Service of Montague, California.
(UPDATED at 10 a.m. MDT June 20, 2019)
Bill Bailey sent us an email and the photo below:
N7635C had AERO on the top of the left wing and bottom of the right wing and it has AD on top of the right wing and under the left. There were 2 AERO AD F7F-3s, N7625C , which you posted and N7626C which was later owned by Cal-Nat, still painted all Red and marked as Tanker E-42.
I found the attached photo some years ago and don’t remember who took it.
By the way, that first photo solved a question among modelers that has raged for years ….. was AERO AD painted on top of the wings.
Thanks go out to Bill B.
(UPDATED at 4:46 p.m. MDT June 20, 2019)
JD Davis sent us additional photos of the F7F-3. Thanks JD!