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Hellcat


Subdeacon Joe

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One of the most important aircraft of the pacific theater of World War II.

It was 2nd only to the P-51 in American Pilot air victories. Although wikipedia has it the otherway around with P51 2nd to Hellcat.

 

The british flew this aircraft also. They called it the Gannet.

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:FlagAm: The Hellcats had some help from the design of the Japanese aircraft,IE: not enough protection for crew and fuel tanks. Also, when the Hellcat appeared, they thought they looked like the Wildcats and used the same tactics that worked against the Wildcats.they were usually dead or on fire when they discovered they wouldn't work. After a while training wise, they weren't as good as the American aviators due to atrition and no time for proper training :FlagAm::blush:
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:FlagAm:/>/> The Hellcats had some help from the design of the Japanese aircraft,IE: not enough protection for crew and fuel tanks. Also, when the Hellcat appeared, they thought they looked like the Wildcats and used the same tactics that worked against the Wildcats.they were usually dead or on fire when they discovered they wouldn't work. After a while training wise, they weren't as good as the American aviators due to atrition and no time for proper training :FlagAm:/>/> :blush:/>/>

 

SURPRISE!

 

Another AHHH S%^T MOMENT for the Japanese pilot in the Zeke.

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On the other hand the F6F had a 2000 HP engine, and 6 vs 4 50 cal machine guns.

(Although some later production Wildcats had 6 50s but less ammo was available per gun.)

The greater power engine gave a higher speed and speed is life.

 

When deployed on the ESSEX in Feb 1943 there were still many skilled jap navy pilots.

Attrition did play a role, but later in the war.

 

It should be noted that most any Grumman aircraft of the time was rugged.

Hence the name "Grumman Ironworks".

 

Pilot training was just beginning to reach stride.

Both the F6F Hellcat and the training of USN pilots benefitted from the analysis of the so called "Koga" or Akutan zero.

(that is the one crashed on the aleutian island of Akutan in June 1942).

 

While Jimmy Thach and others had figured ways of dealing with the A6M zero the F4F Wildcat was still an inferior plane by performance.

When considering ruggedness most any US made aircraft was much more rugged than any jap plane.

The Wildcat and Hellcat were no exception and generally excelled in ruggedness.

 

Given the Hellcat's ruggedness, higher power, greater speed, climb and maneuverabilty it was a match (or overmatch) for the zero.

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Their favorite tactic was to get a Wildcat into a climbing match, wait for it to stall, then roll over and pounce while the Wildcat was trying to get back under control. Big difference in power/engine between the F-4-F and the F-6-F. Where the F-4 would stall, the F-6 would keep on going.Later versions of the F-4 made by GM( FM-4) had bigger engines. These were mostly on the "jeep" carriers where their smaller over all size was a plus :blush:

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