F6F Hellcat
Overview
 
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

-based
Carrier-based aircraft
Carrier-based aircraft are military aircraft designed specifically for operations from aircraft carriers. The term is generally applied only to fixed-wing aircraft, as naval helicopters are able to operate from a wider variety of aviation-capable ships. Carrier-based aircraft must be relatively...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 developed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat
F4F Wildcat
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940...

 in United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 (USN) service. Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat, it was a completely new design powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Pratt & Whitney R-2800
The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp is a two-row, 18-cylinder, air-cooled radial aircraft engine with a displacement of 2,804 in³ , and is part of the long-lived Wasp family....

. Some tagged it as the "Wildcat's big brother". The Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair
F4U Corsair
The Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought's manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and...

 were the primary USN fighters during the second half of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

The Hellcat was the first USN fighter designed in view of lessons from combat with the Japanese Zero
A6M Zero
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

.
Encyclopedia
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was a carrier
Aircraft carrier
An aircraft carrier is a warship designed with a primary mission of deploying and recovering aircraft, acting as a seagoing airbase. Aircraft carriers thus allow a naval force to project air power worldwide without having to depend on local bases for staging aircraft operations...

-based
Carrier-based aircraft
Carrier-based aircraft are military aircraft designed specifically for operations from aircraft carriers. The term is generally applied only to fixed-wing aircraft, as naval helicopters are able to operate from a wider variety of aviation-capable ships. Carrier-based aircraft must be relatively...

 fighter aircraft
Fighter aircraft
A fighter aircraft is a military aircraft designed primarily for air-to-air combat with other aircraft, as opposed to a bomber, which is designed primarily to attack ground targets...

 developed to replace the earlier F4F Wildcat
F4F Wildcat
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940...

 in United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

 (USN) service. Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat, it was a completely new design powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Pratt & Whitney R-2800
The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp is a two-row, 18-cylinder, air-cooled radial aircraft engine with a displacement of 2,804 in³ , and is part of the long-lived Wasp family....

. Some tagged it as the "Wildcat's big brother". The Hellcat and the Vought F4U Corsair
F4U Corsair
The Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought's manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and...

 were the primary USN fighters during the second half of World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

.

The Hellcat was the first USN fighter designed in view of lessons from combat with the Japanese Zero
A6M Zero
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

. The Hellcat was credited with destroying 5,271 aircraft while in service with the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps (5,163 in the Pacific and eight more during the invasion of Southern France, plus 52 with the Royal Navy
Royal Navy
The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...

's Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

 during World War II), which was more than any other U.S. naval aircraft. Postwar, the Hellcat was phased out of front line service, but remained in service as late as 1954 as a night fighter.

Design and development

Grumman was working on a successor to the F4F Wildcat
F4F Wildcat
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940...

 well before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. While the F4F was a capable fighter, early air battles revealed the Japanese A6M Zero
A6M Zero
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

 was more maneuverable and possessed a better rate of climb than the F4F. The F4F did have some advantages over the Zero. Wildcats were able to absorb a tremendous amount of damage compared to the Zero, and had better armament. The F4F was also much faster in a dive than the Zero, an advantage frequently used by Wildcat pilots to elude attacking Zeros. The F6F Hellcat was designed to enhance the favorable aspects of the F4F while having a much higher top speed and greater range, allowing it to outperform the Zero.

The contract for the prototype XF6F-1 was signed on 30 June 1941 and was designed to use the Wright R-2600
Wright R-2600
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London. Studio Editions Ltd, 1998. ISBN 0-517-67964-7-External links:...

 Cyclone engine of 1,700 hp (1,268 kW) driving a three-bladed Curtiss Electric propeller. However based on combat accounts of encounters between the F4F Wildcat
F4F Wildcat
The Grumman F4F Wildcat was an American carrier-based fighter aircraft that began service with both the United States Navy and the British Royal Navy in 1940...

 and A6M Zero
A6M Zero
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

, Grumman decided to further increase the new fighter's performance. Grumman redesigned and strengthened the F6F airframe to incorporate the 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800
Pratt & Whitney R-2800
The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp is a two-row, 18-cylinder, air-cooled radial aircraft engine with a displacement of 2,804 in³ , and is part of the long-lived Wasp family....

 Double Wasp, estimating a 25% increase in performance would result. Instead of the Wildcat's narrow-track, hand-cranked undercarriage
Undercarriage
The undercarriage or landing gear in aviation, is the structure that supports an aircraft on the ground and allows it to taxi, takeoff and land...

 retracting into the fuselage, the Hellcat had wide-set, hydraulically-actuated undercarriage struts which twisted through 90° while retracting backward into the wings. The wing was low-mounted instead of mid-mounted and was arranged to allow each panel outboard of the undercarriage bay to fold backwards, parallel with the fuselage, with the leading edges pointing down. The cockpit was mounted high in the fuselage and the front fuselage sloped down slightly to the engine cowling, providing good all-round visibility for the pilot.

The Cyclone-powered XF6F-1 prototype (02981) first flew on 26 June 1942 and was followed by the first Double Wasp-equipped aircraft, the XF6F-3 (02982), which made its first flight on 30 July 1942. The first production F6F-3, powered by an R-2800-10
Pratt & Whitney R-2800
The Pratt & Whitney R-2800 Double Wasp is a two-row, 18-cylinder, air-cooled radial aircraft engine with a displacement of 2,804 in³ , and is part of the long-lived Wasp family....

 (late production versions used the R-2800-10W) driving a three-bladed Hamilton-Standard propeller, flew on 3 October 1942, with the type reaching operational readiness with VF-9 on in February 1943. Two night fighter sub-variants of the F6F-3 were also developed. The F6F-3E, converted from standard -3s, featured the AN/APS-4 radar in pod mounted on a rack beneath the right wing: a small radar-scope was fitted in the middle of the main instrument panel and radar operating controls fitted on the port side of the cockpit. The later F6F-3N, first seen in July 1943, was fitted with the AN/APS-6 radar in a bulbous fairing mounted on the leading-edge of the outer right wing. By November 1943, Hellcat night fighters had seen their first action.
Standard armament on the F6F-3 consisted of six .50 in (12.7 mm) M2/AN Browning air-cooled machine gun
Machine gun
A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

s with 400 rpg; later aircraft gained three hardpoints to carry a total bombload in excess of 2,000 lb (900 kg). The center hardpoint
Hardpoint
A hardpoint, or weapon station, is any part of an airframe designed to carry an external load. This includes a point on the wing or fuselage of military aircraft where external ordnance, countermeasures, gun pods, targeting pods or drop tanks can be mounted.-Rail launchers:Large missiles and...

 also had the ability to carry a single 150 gal (568 l) disposable drop tank
Drop tank
In aeronautics, a drop tank is used to describe auxiliary fuel tanks externally carried by aircraft. A drop tank is expendable and often jettisonable...

. Six 5 in (127 mm) HVAR
Hvar
- Climate :The climate of Hvar is characterized by mild winters and warm summers. The yearly average air temperature is , 686 mm of precipitation fall on the town of Hvar on average every year and the town has a total of 2800 sunshine hours per year. For comparison Hvar has an average of 7.7...

s (High Velocity Aircraft Rocket) could be carried; three under each wing.
A bullet-resistant windshield and a total of 212 lb (96 kg) of cockpit armor was fitted, along with armor around the oil tank and oil cooler. Self-sealing fuel tank
Self-sealing fuel tank
In aviation, self-sealing fuel tank is a fuel tank technology in wide use since World War II that prevents fuel tanks primarily on aircraft from leaking fuel and igniting after being damaged by enemy fire....

s further reduced susceptibility to fire and often allowed damaged aircraft to return home. A total of 4,402 F6F-3s were built through until April 1944 when production was changed to the F6F-5.

The F6F-5, featured several improvements including a more powerful R-2800-10W engine, embodying a water-injection system and housed in a slightly more streamlined engine cowling, spring-loaded control tabs on the aileron
Aileron
Ailerons are hinged flight control surfaces attached to the trailing edge of the wing of a fixed-wing aircraft. The ailerons are used to control the aircraft in roll, which results in a change in heading due to the tilting of the lift vector...

s, and an improved, clear view windscreen, with a flat armored-glass front panel replacing the F6F-3's curved plexiglass panel and internal armor glass screen. In addition the rear fuselage and tail units were strengthened, and the colour scheme was changed to an overall gloss sea blue finish. After the first few F6F-5s were built the small windows behind the main canopy were deleted. Fitting AN/APS-6 radar to F6F-5s resulted in the night fighter F6F-5N, recognizable with a radar fairing mounted on the outer-starboard wing. A small number of standard F6F-5s were also fitted with camera equipment for reconnaissance duties as the F6F-5P. While all F6F-5s were capable of carrying an armament mix of one 20 mm (.79 in) M2 cannon
Hispano-Suiza HS.404
The Hispano-Suiza HS.404 was an autocannon widely used as both an aircraft and land weapon in the 20th century by British, American, French, and numerous other military services. The cannon is also referred to as Birkigt type 404, after its designer. Firing a 20 mm caliber projectile, it delivered...

 in each of the inboard gun bays (220 rpg), along with two pairs of .50 in (12.7 mm) machine guns (each with 400 rpg), this configuration was only used on many later F6F-5N night fighters. The F6F-5 was the most common variant with 7,870 being built.

Other prototypes in the F6F series included the XF6F-2 (66244) and F6F-3 which was converted to use a turbo-charged Wright R-2600-15, which was later replaced by a turbo-charged Pratt & Whitney R-2800-21. The performance proved not to be as good as was expected and the turbo chargers proved to be unreliable on both engines: 66244 was converted back to a standard F6F-3 and delivered to the navy. Prior to the XF6F-2 the XF6F-1 prototype (02981) became a testbed for a projected F6F-4: the XF6F-4, which first flew on 3 October 1942, was armed with four 20mm M2 cannon and was powered by an R-2800-27. This model was rejected and 02981 was converted to an F6F-3 and also delivered to the navy. Two XF6F-6s (70188 and 70913) were converted from F6F-5s and used the 18-cylinder 2,100 hp (1,567 kW) Pratt and Whitney R-2800-18W two-stage blower radial engine with water injection and driving a Hamilton-Standard four-bladed propeller. The XF6F-6s were the fastest version of the Hellcat series with a top speed of 417 mph (671 km/h). The war ended before this variant could be mass-produced.

The last Hellcat rolled out in November 1945, the total production figure being 12,275, of which 11,000 had been built in just two years. This high production rate was credited to the sound original design, which required little modification once production was underway.

The US Navy preferred the more docile flight qualities of the F6F compared with the Vought
Vought
Vought is the name of several related aerospace firms. These have included, in the past, Lewis and Vought Corporation, Chance Vought, Vought Sikorsky, LTV Aerospace , Vought Aircraft Companies, and the current Vought Aircraft Industries. The first incarnation of Vought was established by Chance M...

 F4U Corsair
F4U Corsair
The Vought F4U Corsair was a carrier-capable fighter aircraft that saw service primarily in World War II and the Korean War. Demand for the aircraft soon overwhelmed Vought's manufacturing capability, resulting in production by Goodyear and Brewster: Goodyear-built Corsairs were designated FG and...

, especially during carrier take-offs and landings, and the F6F remained the standard USN carrier-borne fighter until the F4U series was finally cleared for carrier operations in late-1944. In addition to its good flight qualities the Hellcat was easy to maintain and had an airframe tough enough to withstand the rigours of routine carrier operations. Like the Wildcat, the Hellcat was designed for ease of manufacture and ability to withstand significant damage. The U.S. Navy's all-time leading ace, Captain
Captain (naval)
Captain is the name most often given in English-speaking navies to the rank corresponding to command of the largest ships. The NATO rank code is OF-5, equivalent to an army full colonel....

 David McCampbell
David McCampbell
Captain David McCampbell was an American naval aviator, who became the US Navy’s all-time leading ace with 34 aerial victories during World War II. The third-highest scoring US flying ace of World War II, he was the highest-scoring to survive the war.McCampbell was born in Bessemer, Alabama, and...

 USN (Ret) scored all his 34 victories in the Hellcat. He once described the F6F as "...an outstanding fighter plane. It performed well, was easy to fly and was a stable gun platform. But what I really remember most was that it was rugged and easy to maintain."

Operational history

The Hellcat first saw action against the Japanese on 1 September 1943 when fighters off the shot down a Kawanishi H8K
Kawanishi H8K
|-See also:-References:NotesBibliography* Bridgeman, Leonard. "The Kawanishi H8K2 “Emily”" Jane’s Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London: Studio, 1946. ISBN 1-85170-493-0....

 "Emily" flying boat
Flying boat
A flying boat is a fixed-winged seaplane with a hull, allowing it to land on water. It differs from a float plane as it uses a purpose-designed fuselage which can float, granting the aircraft buoyancy. Flying boats may be stabilized by under-wing floats or by wing-like projections from the fuselage...

. Soon after, on 23 and 24 November, Hellcats engaged Japanese aircraft over Tarawa
Tarawa Atoll
Tarawa is an atoll in the central Pacific Ocean, previously the capital of the former British colony of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands. It is the location of the capital of the Republic of Kiribati, South Tarawa...

, shooting down a claimed 30 Mitsubishi Zeros for the loss of one F6F. Over Rabaul, New Britain, on 11 November 1943, Hellcats and Corsairs were engaged in day-long fights with many Japanese aircraft including A6M Zero
A6M Zero
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

s, claiming nearly 50 aircraft.

When trials were flown against a captured Zero Type 52, they showed that the Hellcat was faster at all altitudes. The F6F outclimbed the Zero marginally above 14,000 ft and rolled faster at speed above 235 mph. The Japanese fighter could out-turn its American opponent with ease at low speed and enjoyed a slightly better rate of climb below 14,000 ft. The trials report concluded:
“Do not dogfight with a Zero 52. Do not try to follow a loop or half-roll with a pull-through. When attacking, use your superior power and high speed performance to engage at the most favourable moment. To evade a Zero 52 on your tail, roll and dive away into a high speed turn.”


Hellcats were involved in practically all engagements with Japanese air power from that point onward. It was the major U.S. Navy fighter type involved in the Battle of the Philippine Sea
Battle of the Philippine Sea
The Battle of the Philippine Sea was a decisive naval battle of World War II which effectively eliminated the Imperial Japanese Navy's ability to conduct large-scale carrier actions. It took place during the United States' amphibious invasion of the Mariana Islands during the Pacific War...

, where so many Japanese aircraft were shot down that Navy aircrews nicknamed the battle The Great Marianas Turkey Shoot. The F6F accounted for 75% of all aerial victories recorded by the U.S. Navy in the Pacific. Radar
Radar
Radar is an object-detection system which uses radio waves to determine the range, altitude, direction, or speed of objects. It can be used to detect aircraft, ships, spacecraft, guided missiles, motor vehicles, weather formations, and terrain. The radar dish or antenna transmits pulses of radio...

-equipped Hellcat night fighter squadrons appeared in early 1944.

Navy and Marine F6F pilots flew 66,530 combat sorties and claimed 5,163 kills (56% of all U.S. Naval/Marine air victories of the war) at a recorded cost of 270 Hellcats (an overall kill-to-loss ratio of 19:1). The aircraft performed well against the best Japanese opponents with a claimed 13:1 kill ratio against Mitsubishi A6M
A6M Zero
The Mitsubishi A6M Zero was a long-range fighter aircraft operated by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service from 1940 to 1945. The A6M was designated as the , and also designated as the Mitsubishi A6M Rei-sen and Mitsubishi Navy 12-shi Carrier Fighter. The A6M was usually referred to by the...

, 9.5:1 against Nakajima Ki-84
Nakajima Ki-84
The Nakajima Ki-84 was a single-seat fighter used by the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force in World War II. The Allied reporting name was "Frank"; the Japanese Army designation was . Featuring excellent performance and high maneuverability, the Ki-84 was considered to be the best Japanese fighter...

, and 3.7:1 against the Mitsubishi J2M
Mitsubishi J2M
The Mitsubishi J2M Raiden was a single-engined land-based fighter aircraft used by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service in World War II. The Allied reporting name was "Jack".-Design and development:...

 during the last year of the war. The F6F became the prime ace-maker aircraft in the American inventory, with 305 Hellcat aces. The U.S. successes were not only attributed to superior aircraft, but also because they faced increasingly inexperienced Japanese aviators from 1942 onwards, as well as having the advantage of increasing numerical superiority.

In the ground attack role, Hellcats dropped 6,503 tons (5,899 tonnes) of bombs.

The British Fleet Air Arm
Fleet Air Arm
The Fleet Air Arm is the branch of the British Royal Navy responsible for the operation of naval aircraft. The Fleet Air Arm currently operates the AgustaWestland Merlin, Westland Sea King and Westland Lynx helicopters...

 (FAA) received 1,263 F6Fs under the Lend-Lease Act; initially it was known as the Grumman Gannet
Gannet
Gannets are seabirds comprising the genus Morus, in the family Sulidae, closely related to the boobies.The gannets are large black and white birds with yellow heads. They have long pointed wings and long bills. Northern gannets are the largest seabirds in the North Atlantic, with a wingspan of up...

 Mark I. The name Hellcat replaced it in early 1943 for the sake of simplicity, the Royal Navy at that time adopting the use of the existing American naval names for all the U.S.-made aircraft supplied to it, with the F6F-3 being designated Hellcat F I, the F6F-5, the Hellcat F II and the F6F-5N, the Hellcat NF II. They saw action off Norway
Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...

, in the Mediterranean and in the Far East
Far East
The Far East is an English term mostly describing East Asia and Southeast Asia, with South Asia sometimes also included for economic and cultural reasons.The term came into use in European geopolitical discourse in the 19th century,...

. A number were fitted with photographic reconnaissance equipment similar to the F6F-5P, receiving the designation Hellcat FR II. The FAA Hellcat units experienced far fewer opportunities for air-to-air combat than their USN/Marines counterparts; they claimed a total of 52 enemy aircraft kills during 18 aerial combats from May 1944 to July 1945. 1844 Naval Air Squadron, on board of the British Pacific Fleet
British Pacific Fleet
The British Pacific Fleet was a British Commonwealth naval force which saw action against Japan during World War II. The fleet was composed of British Commonwealth naval vessels. The BPF formally came into being on 22 November 1944...

 was the highest scoring unit, with 32.5 kills.

FAA Hellcats, as with other Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease
Lend-Lease was the program under which the United States of America supplied the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, Free France, and other Allied nations with materiel between 1941 and 1945. It was signed into law on March 11, 1941, a year and a half after the outbreak of war in Europe in...

 aircraft, were rapidly replaced by British aircraft after the end of the war, with only two of the 12 squadrons equipped with the Hellcat at VJ-Day still retaining Hellcats by the end of 1945. These two squadrons were disbanded in 1946.

Postwar, the Hellcat was succeeded by the F8F Bearcat which was smaller, more powerful and more maneuverable than the Hellcat, but entered service too late to see combat in World War II. The Hellcat was used for second-line USN duties including training. In late 1952, Guided Missile Unit 90 used F6F-5K drones, each carrying a 2000 lb bomb, to attack bridges in Korea; flying from USS Boxer
USS Boxer (CV-21)
USS Boxer was one of 24 s built during World War II for the United States Navy. She was the fifth US Navy ship to bear the name, and was named for a British ship captured by the Americans during the War of 1812...

, radio control was from an escorting AD Skyraider. The French Aéronavale was equipped with F6F-5 Hellcats and used them in Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

. The Uruguay
Uruguay
Uruguay ,officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay,sometimes the Eastern Republic of Uruguay; ) is a country in the southeastern part of South America. It is home to some 3.5 million people, of whom 1.8 million live in the capital Montevideo and its metropolitan area...

an Navy also used them until the early 1960s.

Variants

XF6F-1
First prototype, powered by a two-stage 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) Wright R-2600
Wright R-2600
|-See also:-Bibliography:* Jane's Fighting Aircraft of World War II. London. Studio Editions Ltd, 1998. ISBN 0-517-67964-7-External links:...

-10 Cyclone 14 radial piston engine.

XF6F-2
Second prototype, powered by a turbocharged Wright R-2600-16 Cyclone radial piston engine.

XF6F-3
The first XF6F-1 prototype revised and fitted with a two-stage supercharged 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 Double Wasp radial piston engine.

F6F-3
Single-seat fighter, fighter-bomber aircraft, powered by a 2,000 hp (1,500 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10 Double Wasp radial piston engine.

Gannet Mk. I
British designation of the F6F-3 Hellcat; later redesignated Hellcat F Mk.I.

F6F-3E
Night fighter version, equipped with an AN/APS-4 radar in a fairing on the starboard outer wing.

F6F-3N
Another night fighter version, equipped with a newer AN/APS-6 radar in a fairing on the starboard outer wing.

XF6F-4
One F6F-3 fitted with a two-speed turbocharged 2,100 hp (1,567 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-27 Double Wasp radial piston engine.

F6F-5 Hellcat
Improved version, with a redesigned engine cowling, a new windscreen structure with an integral bulletproof windscreen, new ailerons and strengthened tail surfaces; powered by a 2,200 hp (1,640 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W (-W denotes Water Injection) radial piston engine.

Hellcat F Mk II
British designation of the F6F-5 Hellcat.

F6F-5K Hellcat
A number of F6F-5s and F6F-5Ns were converted into radio-controlled target drones.

F6F-5N Hellcat
Night fighter version, fitted with an AN/ APS-6 radar. Some were armed with two 20 millimeter (0.79 in) AN/M2
Hispano-Suiza HS.404
The Hispano-Suiza HS.404 was an autocannon widely used as both an aircraft and land weapon in the 20th century by British, American, French, and numerous other military services. The cannon is also referred to as Birkigt type 404, after its designer. Firing a 20 mm caliber projectile, it delivered...

 cannon in the inner wing bays and four 0.50 in (12.7 mm) M2 Browning machine guns in the outer.

Hellcat NF Mk. II
British designation of the F6F-5N Hellcat.

F6F-5P Hellcat
Small numbers of F6F-5s were converted into photo-reconnaissance aircraft, with the camera equipment being fitted in the rear fuselage.

Hellcat FR Mk II
This designation was given to British Hellcats fitted with camera equipment.

XF6F-6
Two F6F-5s that were fitted with the 2,100 hp (1,566 kW) Pratt & Whitney R-2800-18W radial piston engine, and four-bladed propellers.

FV-1
Proposed designation for Hellcats to be built by Canadian Vickers; cancelled before any built.

Operators

  • French Navy
    French Navy
    The French Navy, officially the Marine nationale and often called La Royale is the maritime arm of the French military. It includes a full range of fighting vessels, from patrol boats to a nuclear powered aircraft carrier and 10 nuclear-powered submarines, four of which are capable of launching...


  • Royal Navy
    Royal Navy
    The Royal Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces. Founded in the 16th century, it is the oldest service branch and is known as the Senior Service...


  • United States Navy
    United States Navy
    The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

  • United States Marine Corps
    United States Marine Corps
    The United States Marine Corps is a branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for providing power projection from the sea, using the mobility of the United States Navy to deliver combined-arms task forces rapidly. It is one of seven uniformed services of the United States...


  • Uruguayan Navy

Survivors

A relatively large number of Grumman F6Fs are survivors, either in museums or in flyable condition. In order of Bu.No. they are:

United Kingdom

Airworthy
  • F6F-5K Hellcat, BuNo. 80141 is flightworthy and owned by The Fighter Collection in Duxford
    Duxford
    Duxford is a village in Cambridgeshire, England, some ten miles south of Cambridge.-History:The village formed on the banks of the River Cam, a little below its emergence from the hills of north Essex...

    .


On display
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 79779 is on display at the Fleet Air Arm Museum
    Fleet Air Arm Museum
    The Fleet Air Arm Museum is located north of Yeovil, and south of Bristol. It has an extensive collection of military and civilian aircraft, as well as models of Royal Navy ships, especially aircraft carriers. Some of the museum has interactive displays...

     in RNAS Yeovilton
    RNAS Yeovilton
    Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton, or RNAS Yeovilton, is an airfield of the Royal Navy, sited in South West England a few miles north of Yeovil in Somerset...

    .

United States

Airworthy
  • F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 41930 is flightworthy and owned by Chino Warbirds Inc. in Houston, Texas
    Houston, Texas
    Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States, and the largest city in the state of Texas. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the city had a population of 2.1 million people within an area of . Houston is the seat of Harris County and the economic center of , which is the ...

    .
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 70222 is flightworthy and owned by Commemorative Air Force
    Commemorative Air Force
    The Commemorative Air Force , formerly known as the Confederate Air Force, is a Texas-based non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and showing historical aircraft at airshows primarily throughout the U.S. and Canada...

     (Southern California Wing) in Camarillo, California
    Camarillo, California
    Camarillo is a city in Ventura County, California, United States. The population was 65,201 at the 2010 census, up from 57,084 at the 2000 census. The Ventura Freeway Camarillo is a city in Ventura County, California, United States. The population was 65,201 at the 2010 census, up from 57,084 at...

    .
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 78645 is flightworthy and owned by the Yanks Air Museum
    Yanks Air Museum
    The Yanks Air Museum is a non-profit 501 organization dedicated to exhibiting, preserving and restoring American aircraft and artifacts.-Chino facility and exhibits:...

     in Chino, California
    Chino, California
    Chino is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. It is located in the western end of the Riverside-San Bernardino Area and it is easily accessible via the Chino Valley and Pomona freeways....

    .
  • F6F-5K Hellcat, BuNo. 79683 is flightworthy and owned by the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum in Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    The area on which the modern city stands was once home to Native Americans of the Hopewell culture, who migrated into the area sometime before the first millennium. Evidence of their early residency remains in the form of a small mound in downtown's Bronson Park. The Hopewell civilization began to...

    .
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 79863 is flightworthy and owned by Vulcan Warbirds Inc. in Seattle, Washington
    Seattle, Washington
    Seattle is the county seat of King County, Washington. With 608,660 residents as of the 2010 Census, Seattle is the largest city in the Northwestern United States. The Seattle metropolitan area of about 3.4 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country...

    .
  • F6F-5N Hellcat, BuNo. 94204 is flightworthy and owned by Lone Star Flight Museum
    Lone Star Flight Museum
    The Lone Star Flight Museum, located in Galveston, Texas, USA, is an aerospace museum that displays more than 40 historically significant aircraft and many hundreds of artifacts related to the history of flight. The museum's collection is rare because most of the aircraft are flyable...

     in Galveston, Texas
    Galveston, Texas
    Galveston is a coastal city located on Galveston Island in the U.S. state of Texas. , the city had a total population of 47,743 within an area of...

    .
  • F6F-5N Hellcat, BuNo. 94473 is flightworthy and owned by Palm Springs Air Museum
    Palm springs air museum
    The Palm Springs Air Museum, is a non-profit educational institution in Palm Springs, Riverside County, California. The Museum's mission is to exhibit, educate and eternalize the role of the World War II combat aircraft and the role the pilots and American citizens had in winning the war...

     in Palm Springs, California
    Palm Springs, California
    Palm Springs is a desert city in Riverside County, California, within the Coachella Valley. It is located approximately 37 miles east of San Bernardino, 111 miles east of Los Angeles and 136 miles northeast of San Diego...

    .


On display
  • F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 41476 is on display at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon
    McMinnville, Oregon
    McMinnville is the county seat and largest city of Yamhill County, Oregon, United States. According to Oregon Geographic Names, it was named by its founder, William T. Newby , an early immigrant on the Oregon Trail, for his hometown of McMinnville, Tennessee...

    . It is on loan from the National Museum of the Marine Corps
    National Museum of the Marine Corps
    The National Museum of the Marine Corps is the historical museum of the United States Marine Corps. It is located in Quantico, Virginia and is open to the public with free admission. The museum had its grand opening on November 10, 2006 and is now the number one tourist attraction in Virginia,...

     in Triangle, Virginia
    Triangle, Virginia
    Triangle is a census-designated place in Prince William County, Virginia, United States. The population was 5,500 at the 2000 census. It is bounded to the south by the Quantico Marine Corps Base, which surrounds the town of Quantico. It is bounded to the north and west by the town of Dumfries...

    .
  • F6F-3K Hellcat, BuNo. 41834 is on display at the National Air and Space Museum
    National Air and Space Museum
    The National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world. It was established in 1976. Located in Washington, D.C., United States, it is a center for research into the history and science of aviation and...

     in Washington D.C..
  • F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 42874 is on display at the San Diego Aerospace Museum
    San Diego Aerospace Museum
    San Diego Air & Space Museum is an aviation and space exploration museum in San Diego, California, USA...

     in San Diego, California
    San Diego, California
    San Diego is the eighth-largest city in the United States and second-largest city in California. The city is located on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, immediately adjacent to the Mexican border. The birthplace of California, San Diego is known for its mild year-round...

    .
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 66237 is on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation
    National Museum of Naval Aviation
    The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The museum opened in 1962....

     in Pensacola, Florida
    Pensacola, Florida
    Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

    .
  • F6F-5K Hellcat, BuNo. 77722 is on display at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility in Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

    .
  • F6F-5K Hellcat, BuNo. 79192 is on display at the New England Air Museum
    New England Air Museum
    The New England Air Museum is located at Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, Connecticut, USA. The museum is housed in three large display buildings consisting of more than of exhibit space...

     in Windsor Locks, Connecticut
    Windsor Locks, Connecticut
    Windsor Locks is a town located in Hartford County, Connecticut, United States. As of the 2000 census, its population was 12,043. It is the site of Bradley International Airport, which serves the Greater Hartford-Springfield region. It is also the site of the New England Air Museum...

    .
  • F6F-5K Hellcat, BuNo. 79593 is on display at the USS Yorktown
    USS Yorktown (CV-10)
    USS Yorktown is one of 24 s built during World War II for the United States Navy. She is named after the Battle of Yorktown of the American Revolutionary War, and is the fourth U.S. Navy ship to bear the name...

    /Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
    Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
    Mount Pleasant is a large affluent suburban town in Charleston County, South Carolina, United States. It is a member of the Charleston–North Charleston–Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area, for statistical purpose only, as designated by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget....

    .
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 94203 is on display at the National Museum of Naval Aviation
    National Museum of Naval Aviation
    The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The museum opened in 1962....

     in Pensacola, Florida
    Pensacola, Florida
    Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

    .
  • F6F-5K Hellcat, BuNo. 94263 is on display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum
    Cradle of Aviation Museum
    The Cradle of Aviation Museum is an aerospace museum located in East Garden City, New York on Long Island to commemorate Long Island's part in the history of aviation. It is located on land once part of Mitchel Air Force Base which, together with nearby Roosevelt Field and other airfields on the...

     in New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    . It is on loan from the USMC Museum in Quantico, Virginia
    Quantico, Virginia
    - Demographics :As of the census of 2000, there are 561 people, 295 households, and 107 families living in the town. The population density is . There are 359 housing units at an average density of .-Racial composition:...

    .


Under restoration
  • F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 25910 is under restoration at the National Museum of Naval Aviation
    National Museum of Naval Aviation
    The National Museum of Naval Aviation is a military and aerospace museum located at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. The museum opened in 1962....

     in Pensacola, Florida
    Pensacola, Florida
    Pensacola is the westernmost city in the Florida Panhandle and the county seat of Escambia County, Florida, United States of America. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 56,255 and as of 2009, the estimated population was 53,752...

     after being retrieved from Lake Michigan
    Lake Michigan
    Lake Michigan is one of the five Great Lakes of North America and the only one located entirely within the United States. It is the second largest of the Great Lakes by volume and the third largest by surface area, after Lake Superior and Lake Huron...

     in 2009.
  • F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 40467 is under restoration at Yanks Air Museum
    Yanks Air Museum
    The Yanks Air Museum is a non-profit 501 organization dedicated to exhibiting, preserving and restoring American aircraft and artifacts.-Chino facility and exhibits:...

     in Chino, California
    Chino, California
    Chino is a city in San Bernardino County, California, United States. It is located in the western end of the Riverside-San Bernardino Area and it is easily accessible via the Chino Valley and Pomona freeways....

    .
  • F6F-3 Hellcat, BuNo. 43041 is under restoration to airworthy condition at Fantasy of Flight
    Fantasy of Flight
    Fantasy of Flight is an aviation-related attraction in Polk City, Florida, USA that takes visitors back to the pioneering days of early flight, World War I, World War II and beyond. The attraction opened in November of 1995, and houses the world's largest private aircraft collection on display...

     in Polk City, Florida
    Polk City, Florida
    Polk City is a city in Polk County, Florida, United States. The population was 1,516 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 1,515. It is part of the Lakeland–Winter Haven Metropolitan Statistical Area...

    .
  • F6F-5 Hellcat, BuNo. 70185 is under restoration at the Quonset Air Museum
    Quonset Air Museum
    Founded in September 1992, the Quonset Air Museum was dedicated as an educational facility whose current mission is to preserve and interpret Rhode Island's aviation Heritage....

     in Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

Specifications (F6F-5 Hellcat)

See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK