History of the Grumman F6F Hellcat
Grumman F6F Hellcat
The Hellcat, also known as the Grumman F6F Hellcat was a World War II fighter aircraft employed by the U.S Navy. The Hellcat was designed for use aboard aircraft carriers. There were a total of 12,275 Hellcats produced by Grumman between 1942 and 1945 and they were introduced in 1943.
The Grumman F6F cost approximately 35,000 dollars each to produce. The Hellcat was made in regards to lessons learned, in combat with the Japanese Zero. It was one of the most successful fighter aircraft in World War II. It had a victory ratio against the Japanese A6M Zero of 13-1.
The Hellcat was heavily armored to protect its pilot, compared to it's nemesis, the Japanese Zero, which had little or none. The Hellcat utilized the Pratt and Whitney R-2800 radial engine with a 2 stage supercharger which achieved 2,000 hp. This is the same powerplant used in the Chance Vought F4U Corsair. It had a service ceiling of 37,500 feet. The Hellcat had a maximum speed of 380 mph and a climb rate of 3,500 feet per minute.
Normally the F6F Hellcat was armed with six Browning M2 .50 caliber machine guns or four Browning M2 .50 caliber machine guns and two 20 mm canons and could carry up to 4,000 lbs of bombs and /or torpedos and a variety of rockets such as: two air to ground 11 3/4 inch "tiny tims" rockets or six- five inch -high velocity aircraft rockets (hvar). In 1944.some Hellcats were equipped with radar.
The Hellcat engaged just about every Japanese aircraft they had in World War II. The Hellcat is said to have made more ace pilots for the Americans than any other World War II fighter aircraft.