Grumman F7F Tigercat

Cal-Nat Airways, Grass Valley, CA # 43

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F7F-3P BuNo 80483/N6178C was obtained by George Kreitzberg (having only 46-hr flight time!) but it soon passed to Cal-Nat Airways at Grass Valley, California, where it became Tanker 43 with the bulbous fuselage tank. From that point, it went on to fly with Sis-Q Flying Service and Macavia International Corp. In the mid-1980s, the surviving Tigercats were retired and N6178C was purchased by Kermit Weeks in 1987. The plane was sold to Lea Aviation in Duxford, England, in 1988 and was flown across the "pond" by Mike Wright, arriving at Duxford on 13 November 1988. The aircraft was utilized in numerous airshows until being sold to Richard Bertea, Chino, California, during May 1993 - with Mike Wright once again doing the piloting.

Mike delivered the aircraft to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, from which point it was picked up by Dick Bertea and flown to its new home base at Chino where it arrived on 11 September 1993. At the time, John Muszala's Pacific Fighters was based at Chino and the Tigercat was rolled into the hangar and a lot of maintenance work was undertaken. Shortly after its arrival at Chino, one of the R-2800s failed during a local flight. Two engines were obtained and installed. Over the years, maintenance work on the twin-engine fighter has been carried out by both Pacific Fighters and Aero Trader.

Bureau #: 80483
Construction #:
Civil Registration:
Model: F7F-3P
Name: None
Status: Airworthy
Last info: 2002
Cal-Nat Airways, Grass Valley, CA, 1964-1966.
- Registered as N6178C.
- Flew as tanker #E43.
Sis-Q Flying Service, Santa Rosa, CA, 1969-1985.
Macavia International Corp, Santa Rosa, CA, June 1985-1986.
- Flew as tanker #E43.
Weeks Air Museum, Tamiami, FL, 1987-1988.
- Stored Santa Rosa, CA.
Lea Aviation (US) Inc, Tampa, FL/Duxford, UK, 1988-1993.
- Arrived Duxford, Nov. 13, 1988.
- Operated by Plane Saling Air Displays.
- Flew as USN/JW/483.
Richard Bertea, Chino CA, 1993-2002.