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Grumman F6F "Hellcat"

The production of the Grumman F6F "Hellcat" was directed to correct some of the faults possessed by the Grumman F4F "Wildcat." The smaller frame and wing of the F4F prohibited the installation of larger engines, payload capacity or armament. The F6F had a larger 2,000 hp 18 cylinder radial engine vrs the smaller 1,200 hp 14 cylinder radial engine. This increased the maximum air speed from 318 mph to 386 mph and its climbing rate from 1,950 tp 3,750 feet per minute. The larger folding wing allowed the F6F to heft 2,000 lbs of bombs, (6) HVAR rockets and addition rounds of .50 caliber ammo for its (6) machine guns. Its operating range also increased from 770 miles to 1050 miles.


The performance of the 12,000 "Hellcats" manufactured from 1942 to the end of 1945 was supreme. While still not the fastest or maneuverable, it was the heaviest armed. In the Pacific theater for carrier based aircraft, there were 6,477 confirmed enemy aircraft destroyed. Of them, 4,947 are credited to the F6F "Hellcat", with note that many of the remaining numbers were destroyed by the earlier F4F "Wildcat."



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Christy Butler **** www.shoeboxphotos.net **** **** butts@bcn.net