The story of Fighter jet That Shot Itself Down -Plane ran into its own gunfire
In 1956, the Grumman aircraft corporation was testing its new fighter, The F-11 Tiger.
The pilot fired a long burst from its guns and moments later suffered mysterious, catastrophic damage
that caved in the windshield and mortally wounded the engine.
The F-11 Tiger, the second supersonic fighter in the Navy’s inventory, capable of 843 miles an hour (Mach 1.1).
It was actually Grumman’s first supersonic fighter
The company’s inexperience with the consequences of supersonic flight, as well as the fighter’s amazing speed, would be one test Tiger’s undoing.
On September 21st, 1956, as DataGenetics explains, a Grumman test pilot flying a Tiger off the coast of Long Island dropped his nose twenty degrees and pointed it at an empty spot of ocean.
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He fired a brief, four second burst from his four Colt Mk.12 20-millimeter cannons, entered a steeper descent, and hit the afterburners.
A minute later, his windshield suddenly caved in and his engine started making funny noises, eventually conking out as the pilot attempted to return to Grumman’s Long Island airfield.
The test pilot had assumed he had been the victim of a bird strike, but the accident investigation revealed another cause: in his fast descent, the pilot had actually flown into his own stream of 20-millimeter cannon rounds
Although the rounds had a head start but they slowed quickly due to drag passing through the surrounding air.
The rounds decelerated, the Tiger accelerated, and the two reunited in the sky, with fatal consequences.
The Tiger was totalled during the crash and the pilot, while severely injured, was able to return to flight status less than six months later