Grumman F4F Wildcat
WORLD WAR II
One of the 25 airplanes that won it
still flying 70 years after victory.
AIR&SPACE Smithsonian, May 2015I'd Rather Be Flying From Hangar 18
Grumman F4F Wildcat
(Featuring some of the Ol'Kunnel's favorite airplanes!)
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy (as the Martlet) in 1940. First used in combat by the British in Europe, the Wildcat was the only effective fighter available to the United States Navy and Marine Corps in the Pacific Theater during the early part of World War II in 1941 and 1942; the disappointing Brewster Buffalo was withdrawn in favor of the Wildcat and replaced as units became available. With a top speed of 318 mph (512 km/h), the Wildcat was still outperformed by the faster 331 mph (533 km/h), more maneuverable, and longer ranged Mitsubishi A6M Zero. But the F4F's ruggedness, coupled with tactics such as the Thach Weave, resulted in an air combat kill-to-loss ratio of 5.9:1 in 1942 and 6.9:1 for the entire war.
Lessons learned from the Wildcat were later applied to the faster “F6F Hellcat” which, with the exception of range and maneuverability at low speed, the Hellcat could rely on superior power and high speed performance to outperform the Zero. The Wildcat continued to be built throughout the remainder of the war to serve on escort carriers, where larger and heavier fighters could not be used.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
STATISTICS for the F4F-4
- Crew: One
- Length: 28ft 9in
- Wingspan: 38 ft
- Loaded weight: 7,000 lb
- Powerplant: One Pratt & Whitney R-1830-76
double-row radial engine, producing 1,200 hp
- Maximum speed: 331 mph
- Range: 845 mi
- Service ceiling: 39,500 ft
- Guns: Four .50 calibe AN/M2 Browning wing-mounted
machine guns with 450 rounds per gunCheck for any REUNION notices here!
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