Grumman F6F Hellcat; an airbrush illustration by Les Still - Mystic Realms

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Grumman F6F Hellcat
  Grumman F6F Hellcat; an airbrush illustration by Les Still
Grumman F6F Hellcat; an airbrush illustration by Les Still
Grumman F6F Hellcat
Origin;- Grumman Aircraft Engineering   Corporation.
Type;- Single seat naval fighter, later versions   fighter bombers and night fighters.
Engine;- Early production, one Pratt   and Whitney R-2800-10 Double Wasp 18 cylinder two   row radial, from January 1944 (final F6F-3 batch)   two thirds equipped with 2,200hp (water injection   rating) R-2800-10W.
Dimensions;- Span 42'10" (13.05m),   length 33'7" (10.2m), height 13'1" (3.99m).
Weights Empty (F6F-3) 9,042lb   (4101kg), loaded (r^f-3) 12,186lb (5528kg), clean   13,228lb (6000kg), maximum (F6F-5N) 14,250lb   (6443kg).
Performance;- Maximum speed (F6F-3,   -5, clean) 376mph (605km/h), (-5N ) 366mph   (590km/h), initial climb (typical) 3,240ft (990m)   /min, service ceiling (-3) 37,500ft (11,340m), (-5N)   36,700ft (11185m), range on internal fuel (typical)   1,090 miles (1755km).
Armament;- Standard six 0.5in   Brownings in outer wings with 400 rounds each, a few   -5N and -5 Hellcats had two 20mm and four o.5in.   Underwing attachments for six rockets and centre   section pylons for 2,000lb of bombs.
History;- First flight (R-2600) 26   June 1942, (same aircraft R-2800) 30 July 1942,   (production F6F-3) 4 October 1942, production   delivery (F6F-3) 16 January 1943, final delivery   November 1945.
Users;- UK (RN), US (Navy, Marines).
Development;- Though pugnacious   rather than elegant, the Hellcat was truly a war   winning aircraft. It was designed and developed with   great speed, mass produced at a rate seldom equalled   by any other single aircraft factory and used to   such good effect that from the very day of it's   appearance, the Allies were winning the air war in   the Pacific. It began as the XF6F-1, a natural   development of the F$F Wildcat with a Double Cyclone   engine.
Within a month the more powerful Double wasp had   been substituted and in the autumn of 1942 the   production line took shape inside a completely new   plant that was less advanced in construction than   the Hellcats inside it. The line flowed at an   extraordinary rate, helped by the essential   rightness of the Hellcat and lack of any major   engineering changes during subsequent sub types.   Deliveries in the years 1942-5 inclusive were 10,   2,545, 6,139 and 3,578, a total of 12,272 (   excluding two prototypes) of which 11,000 were   delivered in exactly two years. These swarms of big   beefy fighters
absolutely mastered the Japanese, destroying more   than 6,000 hostile aircraft (4,947 by USN Carrier   squadrons, 207 by land based USMC units and the rest   by Allied Hellcat squadrons). The Fleet Air Arm,   which originally chose the name Gannet, used   Hellcats in Europe as well as throughout the Far   East. Unusual features of the F6F were its 334 sq ft   of square tipped wing, with a distinct kink, and   backward retracting landing gear. The F6F-3N and -5N   were night fighters with APS-6 radar on a wing pod,   the -5K was a drone and the -5P a photo   reconnaissance version. After VJ day hundreds were   sold to many nations.
from Military Aviation Library -   World War 2 United States Aircraft
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