F7F Tigercat “La Patrona”

Looking factory fresh, it is quite stunning! When I first heard that Rod Lewis was painting his F7F Tigercat silver, I have to be honest, I scratched my head wondering if I’d like it. All the Tigercats you see out there (only 6 are airworthy) and historic photos you see, they are all blue. I grew up seeing them blue. So in June when I had the opportunity to spend the morning with Lewis’ F7F Tigercat “Here Kitty Kitty”, I was a happy camper! Then I heard of the color change…..

The original F7Fs came out all silver for test flights. Rod took his back to that beginning by painting his silver. Why paint? While brushed aluminum would be historically accurate, can you imagine the maintenance time on this big bird to keep it looking silver? Paint was the obvious solution to having a historically correct and modern day practical F7F from the factory. And I’ll be the first to admit that when she’s in the air, she is spectacular!

And here it is in June of 2011 at Reno flying the course just for reference. A great tiger no matter the color of its stripes!