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Grumman F4F Wildcat


The Wildcat was the main shipboard fighter when the US entered WWII. The F4F was barrel-shaped, with angular wingtips and rudder and a narrow-track undercarriage. The Mitsubishi A6M outperformed it, but the F4F was well-armed and reliable, and was a natural shipboard aircraft, probably easier to land on a carrier deck than on land. It set the reputation of Grumman for building immensely strong aircraft. The F4F never had a operational speed limitation. Production continued to the end of the war, mainly for use on escort carriers; Eastern Aircraft built it as the FM.
General characteristics
Primary function Fighter
Contractors Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Eastern Aircraft
Power plant One Pratt&Whitney R-1830-86 engine
Thrust 1,180 HP 880 kW
Wingspan 38 ft 11.58 m
Length 28.74 ft 8.76 m
Height 9.22 ft 2.81 m
Wingarea 260 sq ft 24.15 sq m
Weight empty 5,760 lb 2,612 kg
max. 7,952 lb 3,607 kg
Max. speed 318 mph 512 km/h
Initial climb rate 1,920 ft/min 585 m/min
Ceiling 34,780 ft 10,600 m
Max. range 1,274 miles 2,050 km
Armament 6x 12.7mm machine gun; 2x 113 kg bombs
Crew One
First flight prototype September 2, 1936
serial version February, 1940
Date deployed 1940
Number built 7815


Jirka Wagner

 

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