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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

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

   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

   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

   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 F4F Wildcat

(Variants/Other Names: General Motors FM-1/FM-2; Martlet Mk I / II / III / IV; Wildcat Mk V / VI.)

Grumman Wildcat
Grumman FM-2 Wildcat N5833, operated by the Commemorative Air Force. This aircraft is painted to represent the British designation of the aircraft, the Martlett.
Photo by Max Haynes, MaxAir2Air.com.

History: In 1936 the US Navy evaluated a number of designs which were competing to be the Navy's new carrier-based fighter. Grumman built a design which, after several re-designations and airframe modifications, won the contract and eventually became the F4F Wildcat. The prototype, the XF4F-2, first flew on 2 September 1937. The prototype of an improved version, the XF4F-3, was renamed the F4F and was ordered by the Navy in August of 1939. The first five aircraft off the assembly line were sent to Canada, with the next 90 (designated "Martlet Mk I" going to the 804 Squadron of the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm where, in December 1940, two Martlets made history by becoming the first American-made aircraft to down a German plane in WWII.

The first US Navy F4F-3 was flown on 20 August 1940, powered by a Pratt & Whitney R-1830 engine with 1,200 horsepower. The subsequent F4F-4, incorporating several improvements including folding wings, six guns and self-sealing fuel tanks, was delivered in November 1941. It was then that the name "Wildcat" was first given to the F4F. As war raged around the world, the Wildcat's reputation and utilization grew immensely. It flew with the US Navy and US Marines in all of the major Pacific battles, and in North Africa with the Navy.

In mid 1942, Grumman realized that it needed to concentrate on the production of its new F6F Hellcat fighter, and so it contracted with the General Motors Company to build the Wildcat under the designation FM-1. The first FM-1 flew on 31 August 1942, and over 1,150 of them were produced, hundreds of which went to the Fleet Air Arm as the "Martlet Mk V." General Motors next developed an improved version, called the FM-2 ("Wildcat Mk VI" in the Fleet Air Arm), which was powered by a Wright R-1820 engine with 1,350 horsepower. It featured a taller vertical tail than the FM-1. Over 4,700 FM-2s were built before the Wildcat was eclipsed by the more capable fighters which appeared later in the war.

Nicknames:  Peanut Special (British nickname)

Specifications (F4F):
    Engine: 1200hp Pratt & Whitney R-1830-36 Twin Wasp, 14-cylinder radial piston engine
    Weight: Empty 5760 lbs, Maximum Takeoff 7950 lbs.
    Wing Span: 38ft. 0 in.
    Length: 28ft. 9in.
    Height: 9ft. 2.5in.
        Maximum Speed at 20,000ft: 318mph
        Cruising Speed: 155mph
        Service Ceiling: 39,500ft
        Initial Climb Rate: 1950 feet/min.
        Range: 770 miles
        Six 12.7-mm (0.50 in) Browning machine guns (FM-2 had four guns);
        Two 100-lb bombs (FM-2 could carry two 250-lb bombs).

Number Built: 7,885 (All production variants)

Number Still Airworthy: ~17

AeroWeb F4F Page
Aviation History Net -- F4F Wildcat, by Bruce Crawford
Cavanaugh Flight Museum -- Wildcat -- Addison, TX, USA
Combat Aircraft of the Pacific War -- Wildcat
The Fighter Collection -- Wildcat Page
Great Lakes Shipwreck Research Group -- Wildcat recovery discussion board.
Hoof's F4F Combat Sim Page -- Interesting performance numbers and data from a Wildcat PC simulation.


[ Click for more great books and other items about the Wildcat! ]



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All text and photos Copyright 2016 The Doublestar Group, unless otherwise noted.
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