Hello there :cya: I'm not very good at american WW2 planes, and especially carrier-based ones. So, here is my question (maybe a little noobish:( ): What are the Hellcat and what are the Wildcat? U see, I was on the Flying Legends Airshow 2004 in UK this year, and I took like 300 pictures from that show...now I have begun the work too archive them....:( Well, thanks in advance! :) EDIT: I'm über-sorry for the huuuge picture, I didnt think about it, sorry.
hey attention whore and lazy man maybee you could use that search engine called Google ever heard about it ;)?
Lol...u may be right, but when I searched for Wildact/Hellcat, I didnt find any pics that showed the entire aircraft...well...thx anyway! :)
Hellcat (plane in the fore ground) http://www.planesoffame.org/images/photo%20images/fighters-2.jpg
F4F Wildcat was main American carrier fighter at Wake and midway and such. Hellcat was really just a lot better version of the Wildcat in short. Someone else will probably go into more detail.
Any chance you could make a zip file with those pics or something? :)
The Brewster F2 Buffalo and the original Grumman F4F Wildcat competed for the same US navy contract for the first advanced retractable gear monoplane carrier based fighter.
Ironically the Brewster design won the competition and was awarded the contract.
Grumman felt they still had the better aircraft and went back and did some redesigning and added a 1200hp engine and resubmitted the design to the US Navy. The Navy was impressed with the redesigned Wildcat and accepted it for production along side the Buffalo.
Since the Buffalo protype was accepted the US Navy had substituted a less powerful engine and added close to 3,000lbs. making the aircraft now overweight with a high wing loading and underpowered. It was decided to cancel the rest of the Buffalo orders and concentrate on the Wildcat.
Fortunately the Brit combat experience resulted in the Wildcat being upgraded with self sealing fuel tanks, 6 .50cal MG's and better pilot armor. This brought about the F4F-4 model which was the main frontline US Navy fighter in the early Pacific battles.
The Zero was superior in speed, climb, dive, and turns when the airspeed was below 200-250mph. The Zero's large control surfaces made for excellent handling at low speeds but as airspeed increased the airflow over the surface area of the Zero's large control surfaces made stick movement harder and harder as airspeed rose.
The Wildcat relied on mutually supporting tactics, its better performance in a pushover into a dive and better high speed handling, and its legendary ruggedness. It was due to the Wildcats durability that Grumman got the knickname "The Ironworks".
General Motor's aviation division, Eastern Aviation, also built Wildcats and TBF Avengers for the US Navy and many went to England. The GM built F4F-4 Wildcats were called FM-1's and were called Marlets in FAA service.
The final Wildcat version was the FM-2 and was based on research and data from the XF4F-8 Wildcat prototype. It had improved aerodynamics, fixed slats, taller tail and a higher output engine. The performance of the FM-2 was almost as good as the early model F6F Hellcats.
The Wildcat was the right plane at the right place at the right time to affect the outcome of the war in the Pacific.
The reports of combat with Zero's and pilot feedback started Grumman to rush to develop a improved version Wildcat that was slightly larger and had a 2000hp engine. It was desinged to be a Zero beater. Fortunately for the US a Zero had crash landed in mud in the Aluteuins and was brought to Wright Field in Ohio, repaired and flight tested. Based on this data the new fighter design was tweaked and modified to be even more lethal.
This aircraft was the F6F Hellcat.
The Hellcat removed all of the Wildcats weakspots, and had a 2000hp engine and was the top scoring US Navy fighter in WW2. Flown by the now experienced and better trained US pilots the Hellcat dominated the Japs and cleared the skies of opposition.
The Hellcat was also flown by the Brits with the name of Gannet I.
In January, 1944 the Brits renamed all Grumman aircraft to use the US names.
EDIT: I have also found data that the Brits operated F4F Wildcats in North Africa and they proved a very capable fighter against the German fighters. Their speed, ruggedness and firepower were considered very good and the pilots were very fond of them. The data I have also suggests that the North African F4F's came from the Greece order of G-36's.
A$$A$$INAny chance you could make a zip file with those pics or something? :)
Would u like me too make a zip of the Wildcat/Hellcat pics I have? :)