Hellcat: The F6F in World War II


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F6F Hellcat

Aug 08, Matt rated it it was amazing Shelves: aircraft-carrier-history , aircraft-biography , escort-carrier-history , naval-aviation , naval-history , aviation-reference , royal-navy , wishlist , world-war-ii , world-war-ii-atlantic-theater. Barrett Tillman has a very good series that is biographies or aircraft. The Hellcat is an edition of this "series" that includes the Corsair, the Wildcat and the Dauntless. His book starts with the need for a fighter to help replace the Wildcat. The Hellcat became the fighter replacement since the F4U Corsair was having teething issues in being produced.

Great Planes - Grumman F 4F Wildcat - F 6F Hellcat - Documentary

What Tillman does is weaves the technological history with the operational history. He follows the war through the narrow prism of the F6F's op Barrett Tillman has a very good series that is biographies or aircraft.

Hellcat, the F6F in World War II

He follows the war through the narrow prism of the F6F's operational history and it becomes a telling of the war through the Hellcat's "eyes". The Hellcat is often overlooked by historians and with a 19 to 1 kill ratio and an escort history that only forty two bombers ever fell while being escorted by Hellcats is an enviable history worth telling. Thankfully Tillman does this masterfully. Feb 19, Jeffrey Struck rated it it was amazing. The Hellcat was one of the most rugged planes used in combat next to the just as famous Corsair and line of Bombers especially the B Flying Fortress and B's.

Personally speaking, I hated it when the Jet Fighters came into existence,replacing those great fighters flown during WWll. Aug 21, Pierre Lauzon rated it liked it. There is good discussion of the development of the fighter and how it improved the odds in the Pacific against the Japanese. It also discusses some of the aces who used the Hellcat. Later in the book there is a great deal of data and details about the squadrons, commanding officers, members of the squadrons and so forth. Too much detail for me but probably of interest to historians.

May 04, Allan Harle rated it really liked it. A very thorough history of one of the less glamourous fighters of the second world war.

F6F Hellcat: The Sword of the Pacific Fleet

An enjoyable read. Apr 10, Darrel Bartell rated it really liked it. Lb rated it liked it Sep 07, Don Price rated it it was amazing Aug 10, William Knight rated it really liked it Apr 03, Erik Kidd rated it really liked it Jan 21, Pat Murray rated it it was amazing Jun 23, Sandalwoodman Patterson rated it it was amazing Sep 11, Duane E Cox rated it it was amazing Apr 02, Rays rated it liked it Dec 13, Dave rated it it was amazing Jan 23, Kevin Varley rated it it was amazing Feb 28, Stephen Schaller rated it it was amazing May 14, In , it was shipped back to the Paul E.

As a precaution against possible delays in the Corsair reaching the fleet, in June , the Navy asked Grumman to develop an improved version of the Wildcat. It had been designed in the s and its performance was not up to the standard of the newer fighters. Clearly the most pressing need in the Wildcat was a larger engine to boost performance.

A bigger powerplant, however, would require the use of a larger propeller, which in turn necessitated a taller landing gear for increased ground clearance. More power also called for more wing area, and an increase in the area of the vertical and horizontal tail surfaces. The wing would also need to be lowered from the Wildcat's mid-fuselage position to accommodate the newer hydraulically-operated landing gear, which would replace its predecessor's obsolete manual system.

What Grumman proposed to the Navy, therefore, was an entirely new fighter. The advanced Wildcat had turned, by a process of evolution, into the Hellcat. The F6F Hellcat still bore a family resemblance, however, to its predecessor and there was little that was revolutionary in its design. Simplicity was a hallmark of Grumman aircraft. Known components were used, and ease of manufacture was always a priority.


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Grumman chief engineer William Schwendler was an advocate of building components to twice the strength required in specifications. This practice would make the F6F a tough, uncomplicated, easy-to-manufacture aircraft. The Hellcat was legendary for its ruggedness and it was even jokingly rumored to be made of steel.

Grumman F6F-5 Hellcat at the Cradle of Aviation Museum

This story arose from the fact that, because of wartime shortages, Grumman had been unable to acquire the structural steel to construct the new factory in which the Hellcats would be produced. In a resourceful move, Grumman general manager Jake Swirbul was able to purchase some of the needed steel from the scrapped remains of a New York City elevated railway. The joke was that the steel had not gone to making the factory, but in to making Hellcats. It proved to be easy to fly, with no bad characteristics.

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In Leroy Grumman would, on a whim, successfully fly a production Hellcat, even though he had not been in a cockpit in many years. Like the Hellcat, the R was rugged and easily maintained. It would also power the Corsair and is considered to be one of the best reciprocating engines ever produced. At the same time a Hamiliton Standard Hydromatic propeller replaced the Curtiss propeller.


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The re-engined Hellcat was designated the XF6F Grumman was so confident of the Hellcat that production started in October , while the prototype was still in testing. Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognising you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. F6F-3 Hellcat. We're running a one question survey this month to decide what digital content you'd like to see on our website. Please vote and help spread the word. Powered by GDPR plugin.

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Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II
Hellcat: The F6F in World War II Hellcat: The F6F in World War II

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