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Fighter / Attack:
   Bell P-39 Airacobra
   Bell P-63 Kingcobra
   Brewster Buffalo
   Chance-Vought F-4U Corsair
   Curtiss P-40 Warhawk
   Curtiss SB2C Helldiver
   Douglas A-1 Skyraider
   Douglas A-26 Invader
   Douglas SBD Dauntless
   Fairey Firefly
   Focke-Wulf Fw 190
   Grumman F4F Wildcat
   Grumman F6F Hellcat
   Grumman F7F Tigercat
   Grumman F8F Bearcat
   Grumman TBF Avenger
   Hawker Hurricane
   Hawker Sea Fury
   Lockheed P-38 Lightning
   Messerschmitt Bf-109
   Mitsubishi A6M Zero-Sen
   North American P-51 Mustang

   Polikarpov I-16
   Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
   Supermarine Spitfire
   Yakovlev Yak-3
   Yakovlev Yak-9


Trainers:
  
Beechcraft AT-11 Kansan (C-45)
   Beechcraft T-34 Mentor
   Boeing / Stearman PT-17

   Commonwealth CA-25 Winjeel
   Commonwealth CA-1 Wirraway
   DeHavilland DHC-1 Chipmunk
   DeHavilland DH-82 Tiger Moth
   Fairchild PT-19 Cornell
   Hunting / Percival Provost
   Meyers OTW
   Nanchang CJ-6
   Naval Aircraft Factory N3N
   N. Am. BT-9 / BT-14 / Yale
   N. Am. T-6 Texan / SNJ / Harvard
   N. American T-28 Trojan

   Piaggio P149
   Ryan PT-22 Recruit

   Scottish Aviation T1 Bulldog
   Vultee BT-13 Valiant
   Yakovlev Yak-11
   Yakovlev Yak-18
   Yakovlev Yak-52


Bombers:
   Avro Lancaster
   Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress
   Boeing B-29 Superfortress
   Bristol Blenheim / Bolingbroke
   Consolidated B-24 Liberator
   Consolidated PB4Y-2 Privateer

   Douglas A-3 Skywarrior
   DeHavilland Mosquito
   Fairey Swordfish
   Heinkel He-111 / Casa 2.111

   Lockheed PV-2 Harpoon / Ventura
   Martin B-26 Marauder
   North American B-25 Mitchell


Transports:
   Beechcraft C-45 (AT-11)

   Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter (KC-97)
   Curtiss C-46 Commando
   Douglas C-47 Skytrain / Dakota
   Douglas C-54 Skymaster

   Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar
   Fairchild C-123 Provider
   Grumman C-1 Trader (S-2)
   Lockheed C-60 Lodestar
   Lockheed C-69 Constellation


Utility / Observation / Special Duty:
   Aeronca L-3 Grasshopper
   Aeronca L-16 Grasshopper
   Antonov AN-2 Colt
   Auster AOP 6/9
   Avro 652 Anson
   Avro Shackleton
   British Taylorcraft I-V
   Cessna L-19 / O-1 Bird Dog
   Cessna O-2 Super Skymaster
   Cessna T-50 / UC-78 Bobcat
   Consolidated PBY Catalina

   DeHavilland U-6A / L-20 Beaver
   Fairey Gannet
   Fairey Swordfish
   Fieseler Fi156 Storch
   Grumman S-2 Tracker (C-1)
   Grumman HU-16 Albatross
   Grumman OV-1 Mohawk
   Junkers Ju 52/3m

   Lockheed P2V Neptune
   Max Holste M.H.1521 Broussard
   Messerschmitt Bf 108 Taifun

   Noorduyn UC-64 Norseman
   North American L-17 Navion
   N. Am./ Rockwell OV-10 Bronco
   Piper L-4 Grasshopper
   Stinson L-5 Sentinel
   Taylorcraft L-2 Grasshopper
   Westland Lysander


Jets:
   Aero L-29 Delfin
   Aero L-39 Albatros
   Aermacchi MB-326
   Avro Vulcan
   BAC Strikemaster
   Blackburn (BAC) Buccaneer
   Canadair Tutor
   Cessna A-37 Dragonfly
   DeHavilland Vampire
   DeHavilland Venom
   English Electric Canberra
   English Electric Lightning
   Folland Gnat
   Fouga CM-170 Magister
   Gloster Meteor
   Grumman F9F Panther
   Hawker Hunter
   Hispano HA-200 Saeta
   Hunting Jet Provost
   Lockheed F-104 Starfighter
   Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star
   McDonnell-Douglas A-4 Skyhawk
   McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom
   Messerschmitt Me-262
   Mikoyan MiG-15
   Mikoyan MiG-17
   Mikoyan MiG-21
   N. Am. F-86 Sabre / FJ-4 Fury
   N. Am. F-100 Super Sabre
   N. Am. / Rockwell T-2 Buckeye
   Northrop T-38 Talon / F-5
   PZL / WSK TS-11 Iskra
   Saab J35 Draken
   Soko G-2A Galeb
   Temco Pinto & Super Pinto


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Grumman F6F Hellcat

(Variants/Other Names: Gannet Mk I; Hellcat Mk I / Mk II)


Grumman F6F Hellcat
Hellcat N1078Z makes a photo pass at Oxnard, California in August, 2004.
Photo used with permission of Terry Wall, and courtesy of Airliners. net.

History: After early US Navy experience in the Pacific in the early months of WWII, and after consultation with Allied air forces in the European theater, Grumman began to develop a successor to their Wildcat fighter, to be called the Hellcat. Major design changes from the Wildcat included a low-mounted wing, wider landing gear which retracted into the wings, more powerful engine, improved cockpit armor plating, and increased ammunition capacity.

The Navy ordered four prototypes of the new airplane, each with a different engine for test and evaluation purposes. Less than a year later, on 26 June 1942, the first prototype (the XF6F-1, with a Wright R-2600 Cyclone engine) flew for the first time. Before much meaningful evaluation of the various engines could be made, however, the Navy decided to press the Hellcat into production by fitting the XF6F-1 prototype with the most powerful engine available, the Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp. (This turned it into an XF6F-3. The XF6F-2 and XF6F-4 were never evaluated.)

The first production model, the F6F-3, first flew in October 1942, and deliveries began four months later with squadron VF-9 on the USS Essex in the Pacific. Extremely robust, powerful and maneuverable, the Hellcat was a potent force against the Japanese, and was credited with over three-quarters of the US Navy's air-to-air kills in the war.

The UK's Fleet Air Arm received 252 F6F-3s (designated Gannet Mk I) beginning in 1943. Meanwhile, in the US, over 200 Hellcats were modified as radar-equipped night fighters. During the F6F-3 production run, which lasted until April 1944, Grumman had developed an improved Hellcat, the F6F-5, which utilized a redesigned engine cowl, new ailerons, a strengthened tail, and a water-injection system for the engine, which added 10% to the takeoff performance and increased its armament-carrying capabilities. The F6F-5 was first flown on 4 April 1944, and production continued through November 1945. Over 900 more "Dash-5" Hellcats were delivered to the UK under the Lend-Lease program under the designation Hellcat Mk II.

Nicknames: Ace-Maker

Specifications (F6F-5):
    Engine: 2000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W Double Wasp 18-cylinder radial piston engine
    Weight: Empty 9150 lbs., Max Takeoff 15,410 lbs.
    Wing Span: 42ft. 10in.
    Length: 33ft. 7in.
    Height: 13ft. 6in.
    Performance:
        Maximum Speed at 23,500 ft: 380mph
        Cruising Speed at 6,000 ft: 168mph
        Ceiling: 37,300 ft
        Range: 1,530 miles with 150-gallon drop tank
    Armament:
        Six 12.7mm (0.5 inch) wing-mounted machine guns
        Two 1,000-lb bombs, or six 127mm (5-inch) rockets

Number Built:
12,275

Number Still Airworthy:  7

Links:
Aviation Enthusiast's Page: Hellcat
Combat Aircraft of the Pacific War -- Hellcat
Dawn's Grumman Hellcat Shrine
Quonset Air Museum's Ensign Frankwitz Memorial F6F-5 Hellcat
Flight Journal magazine -- Hellcat Photo Essay
Photovault F6F Hellcat Photo Page
Zeno's Warbird Videos Online -- "Flight Characteristics of the F6F Hellcat"

Hellcat: The F6F in WWII

Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
By Barrett Tillman
Paperback,
265 pages
Published 2001 by U.S. Naval Institute Press

A spirited, carefully-documented operational history of the plane which was largely responsible for crushing Japanese airpower in the Pacific. Heavily illustrated with photos from the pilot's own collections.

$13.27 9.36




 

[ Click for more books and videos about the Hellcat. ]

 

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