MDF 25 – Grumman F6F Hellcat – DISPATCH DUE BEGINNING NOV 15
By Thomas M Cleaver
Colour Profiles By Jim Laurier
The Grumman F6F Hellcat was an iconic, American designed carrier-based fighter, originally designed to replace the F4F ‘Wildcat’ in US Navy service. The Hellcat competed with the faster Vought F4U for use as a carrier based fighter, however, the Corsair had significant issues with carrier landings, which the Hellcat did not, allowing the Hellcat to become the Navy’s dominant fighter in the second part of World War II, a position it did not relinquish lightly. The Corsair instead was primarily deployed to great effect in land-based use by the US Marine Corps.
Although the F6F resembled the Wildcat in some ways, it was a completely new design and was powered by a 2,000hp Pratt & Whitney R-2800 engine; the same power plant used for both the aforementioned Corsair and the USAAF’s Republic P-47 Thunderbolt, leading some military observers to tag the Hellcat as the ‘Wildcat’s big brother’. The F6F is probably best known for its role as a rugged, well-designed carrier fighter, which was able, after its combat debut in early 1943, to counter the Mitsubishi A6M, and help secure air superiority in the Pacific Theatre. Such was the quality of the basic simple, straightforward design, that the Hellcat was the least modified fighter of the War and were credited with destroying 5,223 aircraft while in service with the US Navy, US Marine Corps and the Royal Navy’s Fleet Air Arm, more than any other Allied naval aircraft. The French Aéronavale was also equipped with F6F-5 Hellcats and used them in Indochina, and the Uruguayan Navy also used them until the early 1960s. The F6F-5 also gained fame as the first aircraft used by the US Navy’s ‘Blue Angels’ flight demonstration team at its formation in 1946. So presented here is one of the US Navy’s most powerful and enduring aircraft – the Grumman F6F Hellcat. This latest Data file from SAM Publications presents the story one of the US Navy’s most powerful and enduring aircraft – the Grumman F6F Hellcat.
Price £19.99 (+p&p)
Available November 2015