The Grumman Aircraft Corporation produced 12,275 F6F Hellcats from late 1942 to November 1945. Based on the durable F4F Wildcat design, the F6F could fly faster, climb faster, and take more punishment than its forerunner. The Hellcat was powered by a 2,000 hp Pratt & Whitney 18-cylinder radial engine with a wing span of 42 ft. 10 in., length of 33 ft. 7 in., max. T-O weight of 15,400 lbs., and max. speed of 376 mph. Armament was 6 machine guns, 6 rockets, and 2,000 lbs. of bombs. Designed specifically to defeat the Zero in the skies over the Pacific, the Hellcat proved to be one of the most significant fighters flown in World War II. Navy pilots in the Hellcat destroyed 5,155 Japanese planes while losing only 280. This was a 19 to 1 ratio which is a record unmatched by any other combat plane.
All Rights Reserved, Copyright by Edward C. Schaefer, 1995, 2014.