It is probably true to say that the Hellcat was designed in the spring of 1942, as important changes to the XF6F-1 and XF6F-2 prototypes led to the XF6F-3, which flew for the first time on 26 June 1942 (sometimes stated to be August). Large-scale production of the F6F-3 began at the end of that year and the Hellcat was first reported in action with a US Carrier Task Force in an attack on Marcus Island on 1 September 1943, flying from USS Yorktown.
The F6F-5 differed from its predecessor by having a redesigned engine cowling, improved windshield, new ailerons, strengthened tail surfaces, additional armour behind the pilot and a waxed high-gloss skin finish. It could also carry two 454kg bombs under the centre-section or drop-tanks, and was equipped to carry rocket projectiles and search radar as the F6F-5E. Night-fighter (F6F-5N) and photographic-reconnaissance (F6F-5P) versions were also in service.
The F6F-5K was a long-range radio-controlled pilotless drone conversion of the Hellcat. The modification was undertaken by the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit at Johnsville. Several were used in the Bikini operations.
The F6F-5 was the last operational version of the Hellcat, which was finally withdrawn from production in November 1945. The 10,000th Hellcat was delivered to the US Navy in March 1945 and final production amounted to 12,275. Interestingly the Hellcat was the only US aircraft designed and built after Pearl Harbor to be produced in this quantity and proved one of the most significant fighters flown in World War II, achieving a major victory against the Japanese in the Battle of the Philippine Sea. It was also flown by the Royal Navy as the Hellcat I and II.
| ENGINE||1 x Pratt & Whitney R-2800-10W Double Wasp, 1491kW|
| Take-off weight||6991 kg||15413 lb|
| Empty weight||4152 kg||9154 lb|
| Wingspan||13.06 m||43 ft 10 in|
| Length||10.24 m||34 ft 7 in|
| Height||4.11 m||14 ft 6 in|
| Wing area||31.03 m2||334.00 sq ft|
| Max. speed||612 km/h||380 mph|
| Cruise speed||270 km/h||168 mph|
| Ceiling||11370 m||37300 ft|
| Range w/max.fuel||2462 km||1530 miles|
| ARMAMENT||6 x 12.7mm machine-guns, 2 x 454kg bombs or 6 x 127mm missiles|
|A three-view drawing of F6F-5 Hellcat (1280 x 874)|
|Ron, toolkeeper123=rr.com, 24.04.2013|
That's a myth.
Sounds good but ... not factual.
Many believe the F6F was designed after capturing a Zero anyway and keep publishing this myth. As the text at the top states, the Hellcat was in the air by June 1942 already.
What matters is that it delivered the same effective combat results as if that myth was true. So chalk it up to poetic license. Quite a work horse wasn't it!
|willis E. Vanderberg, willis.vanderberg=gmail.com, 01.03.2013|
Just for the record, we had F4U-5N'S aboard the USS Salerno Bay CVE 108 in the early fifties. This was the smallest carrier class built. If the Corsair was so dangerous on carriers we never saw it in our experience.
|Chuck, huffmancharles=rocketmail.com, 10.11.2012|
My Father became an ACE while flying the F6F-3, station aboard the USS Wasp CV-18. He was in VF-14 "the Iron Angels" and is a plank owner of the Wasp.
My great grandad had an affinity for this plane. While stationed on Iwo Jima, his line was attacked by a Mitsubishi G4M. The commanding officer told his men to stay in their foxholes, but when a pair of Hellcats teamed up and brought down the Betty, they got up and cheered, with their officer yelling at them to get back in their d*** foxholes.
|David Bonnot, divadtonnob=yahoo.com, 22.06.2012|
Stationed at Point Mugu, Ca. 1956/1957 we use the f6f for drones and fired sparrow missles at them. The drones were painted bright red and controlled from another aircraft. Probably in over the year I was at Point Mugu a hundred were distroyed in flight. On one flight, the sparrow missles both missed and the drone lost radio control operation. Heading for downtown Los Angles, the air force was called in with f89 interseptor aircraft. After firing a large number of rockets the f6f finally gave up by running out of fuel and crashing.
|Gene L oveland, Geneloveland1=yahoo.com, 03.06.2012|
Flew the 1o,ooo Hellcat we received on board the Ticnderoga on two occasions.The cockpit had notes and telephone numbers of every girl who worked on it.I did not follow up. All the The F6's we flew were just great and gave you a feelig of confidence that you were flying the very besy.
|George Townsend, dublarrow=aol.com, 08.05.2012|
The F6F Was the Navy Advanced Trainer in Feb 1954 When I graduated at Pensacola. I did my final CARQUAL in The F6F-5.Wonderful airplane. R2800 PW. I loggged about 100 hrs.T/O 54in MP and 2660 RPM. I still remember.
|Steve Gorek, sjgorek=att.net, 18.02.2012|
Don't know if this is true but I believe I read the F6F was the only plane in history designed to combat another aircraft, The Zero. Has anyone ever read this?
|Rich, reperry=hal-pc.org, 17.02.2012|
Controversy has swirled concerning whether the Grumman F6F Hellcat or the Chance Vought F4U Corsair was the best US Navy fighter of WW II. And, some of that is occurring above. You must know some engineering and considerable history to accurately describe the relationship. I happen to love both fighters.
You will notice, if you check, that radial engines produced much less horsepower only a few years before. Technology advances at the beginning of the war were beginning to promise some amazingly powerful engines. Very powerful engines could only be exploited with large diameter propellers. Grumman and Chance Vought approached this problem very differently. The Corsair came along earlier. To keep the larger prop away from the ground or deck, it was designed with an inverted-gull wing to allow shorter, stouter landing gear for the rigors of carrier landings. Center-of-gravity considerations moved the cockpit further aft. The unfortunate byproduct of this design was that the very long and large nose and the rearward positioning of the pilot caused the carrier deck to be hidden in the last seconds of landing. For a confident, experienced pilot, this was tolerable. But, for inexperienced pilots, the Corsair was a 'killer'.
The Hellcat, on the other hand, put the pilot forward and 'beefed up' the taller landing gear to withstand carrier landings. The Hellcat didn't challenge the inexperienced pilot's abilities. When the Hellcat became available and was deployed, the Corsairs were reassigned to land bases with some Navy but mostly Marine squadrons where landing on airstrips with wide, long runways was the rule and little problem.
Before you think that I'm defending the Hellcat, the Corsair actually had slightly better performance and maneuverability. The Japanese called the Corsair 'Whistling Death' because the oil-cooler intakes in the wing-roots made a distinctive whine during a dive.
|Don Parker, nas1955=yahoo.com, 25.06.2011|
Flew the F6 at VU 3 in 1958 configured as a drone. Greatest flying time I ever had as the squadron had about 30 of them and putting time on the engines was the only mission. All painted red and in those days there were few if any constraints to just getting in one and going "flying"..........those days will never return !!
|r l battersby, batmanrlb=gmail. com, 02.06.2011|
i operated the f6f drone out of point magu in 54-55 the aircraft is very forgiving in respect to pulling out of almost any attitude you could put it in during takeoff or landing including 90 degree and or inverted takeoff , we flew 4-6 drone ops a day with recovery approx. 60% lots of fun
|Klaatu, klaatu83=lycos.com, 27.04.2011|
The most effective carrier-based fighter of world War II, period. The Pacific Campaign could never have been won without these aircraft.
Oh yes, I can hear all the Corsair fans disputing that statement already, with their arguments about how much better the F4U performed. The point is, however, that the assertion concerns the most effective CARRIER-BASED fighter, and that title simply has to go the the Hellcat. Boyington and his famous "Black Sheep" Marine aviators were all strictly land-based. The navy finally did deploy F4Us from carriers, but that was only in the last few months of the war, after the Hellcats had already accomplished most of the carrier-based fighting.
Vought first flew the F4U in the spring of 1940 and when, two years later, it still wasn't panning out as a viable carrier-based fighter, the Navy turned to the people at Beth Page, on the other side of Long Island Sound, to come up with an alternative. Grumman designed, built and deployed the F6F in combat in less than 18 months, and all while Vought was still trying to get the bugs out of the F4U. To develop such an outstanding fighter plane in such a short time was a phenomenal achievement by any standards!
|C. K. Purcell, cpurcell4439=4439.com, 26.04.2011|
A good airplane
|mark blasco, mark=mbi-inc.ca, 14.03.2011|
I was just in Maui and dove on a hellcat in about 50ft of water off McGregor point. We heard the pilot survived. Aircraft was in good shape sitting upright on the bottom.
|aldol, aldolaghi=gmail.com, 03.03.2011|
kill ratio against the mistsubishi zero?
19 to 1
|B.C., billone=comcast.net, 19.02.2011|
Hi Funseekers!..I am finishing up my model aircraft, the F6F, complete with wing armament and radio antenna. This is tge 2nd one, first one was back in the 50's when I was still in H.S. .. This time, as a retired man, I built another wood scale model out of the Guillow box and even hand-crafted the tri-propeller from basswood to give it the authenthic look and painted it blue and yellow, the colors of its carrier usage. Will have photos on Facebook.
It was nice reading all the comments on this fine aircraft.
|Ben Beekman, bbeekman=optonline.net, 03.02.2011|
This was a truly great airplane! According to William Green's book "Famous Fighters of the Second World War", (Doubleday, 1967), the Hellcat is credited with 4,947 of the 6,477 enemy aircraft claimed to have been destroyed in the air by U.S. Navy carrier pilots. If we add the scores of shore-based Hellcats, the total comes to 5,156 enemy machines, the ratio of kills to losses exceeding nineteen to one! Near the end of the war Grumman equipped a test model, the XF6F-6, with an R-2800-18W P/W 2,450 hp water-injected engine driving a four bladed Hamilton Standard propeller. This test aircraft reached a top speed of 417 mph at 22,000 ft.,the fastest of all Hellcats.
|Ray Owen, rayowen58=yahoo.com, 22.01.2011|
Flew this plane off the carrier Wasp (CV -18).Never had a problem ,unless you count the approx. 3'x3' tip of the wing i left in the Philippines after an attack on a Jap cruiser. Returned about 180 miles and landed aboard ship w/no problem. Love that plane.
|Ron, toolkeeper123=roadrunner.com, 02.01.2011|
It caught my attention when you said night fighter.
I'm curious about the pair of 20 mm cannons mixed with the 4 remaining .50s on early F6F night fighters in the war years.
What was their firing rate and belt composition (AP to HE etc..and respective shell weight and %HE), and any jamming issues? How effective etc...? Any light you can add?
nice plane.igota model rc
Do you have any comments about this aircraft ?